Chapter 17.35
HARBOR DEVELOPMENT REGULATIONS

Sections:

17.35.010    General Provisions for Harbor Structures.

17.35.020    Piers.

17.35.030    Bayward Location of Piers and Floats.

17.35.040    Other Structures.

17.35.050    Bulkheads.

17.35.060    Balboa Island—Noncommercial Piers.

17.35.070    Areas with Special Harbor Permit Regulations.

17.35.080    Parking Requirements.

17.35.090    Signs.

17.35.010 General Provisions for Harbor Structures.

A.    Design. Design of harbor structures shall conform to the “Waterfront Project Guidelines and Standards, Harbor Design Criteria, Commercial and Residential Facilities” as adopted by resolution of the City Council and as may be amended from time to time. The applicant may submit an alternate design for review and potential approval of the City prior to the issuance of a harbor development permit using the “Alternate Materials, Design or Method of Construction” as provided in Sections 1.8.7 and [A] 104.11 of the California Building Code.

B.    Protection of Coastal Access and Resources. All harbor structures, including remodels of and additions to existing structures, shall be designed and sited to current standards so as not to obstruct public lateral access and to minimizing impacts to coastal views and coastal resources.

C.    Appearance. All structures permitted to encroach into open coastal waters, wetlands and estuaries shall be designed and sited to harmonize with the natural appearance of the surrounding area.

D.    Eelgrass Protection. The use of materials in pier and dock construction design, materials and methods shall consider minimal impacts to eelgrass and marine habitat.

E.    Docking Facilities. Docking facilities shall be designed and sited in relationship to the water’s depth and accessibility.

F.    Protection of Traffic. Adequate provisions shall be made for the protection of the traveling public. Barricades shall be placed on streets with lights at night, and flagmen employed, as necessary or otherwise required. The permittee shall not attempt to forbid the full and free use by the public of all navigable waters at or adjacent to the work or structure. Additionally, adequate lighting and signals required by the particular work in progress or as prescribed by the U.S. Coast Guard shall be provided by the permittee at his or her expense.

G.    Structures. Structures shall be so constructed as not to obstruct, interfere with or prevent the free use of adjacent harbor structures or passage of any sidewalks, street, alley, public way or navigable channel.

H.    Liability for Damages. The permittee is responsible for all liability for personal injury or property damage which may arise out of work herein permitted, or which may arise out of the use or possession of such works, and in the event any claim is made against the City of Newport Beach or any department, officer, or employee thereof by reasons of, or in connection in any way with such work, permittee shall defend, indemnify and hold them and each of them, harmless from such claim.

I.    Repairs. The permittee shall keep the structures in good repair at all times. Failure to repair, when written notice has been given by the Public Works Department, shall be cause for the revocation of the permit in accordance with Section 17.70.020.

J.    Pollution Control. The permittee shall maintain the area delineated on the harbor development permit free and clear from beached or floating rubbish, debris or litter at all times. Adequate safeguards shall be maintained by the permittee to avert any other type of pollution of Newport Harbor from recreational and/or commercial use of the tidelands. Failure to comply with the provisions of this section shall be cause, after written notice has been given to the permittee by the City, for the revocation of the permit in accordance with Section 17.70.020. When unusual circumstances arise with respect to the collection of debris or litter, the City Manager may authorize by the use of City forces or by contract, the removal of such debris. Cost for such pollution control shall be borne by the permittee.

K.    Rights to Impose Rental or Other Charges. The approval of permits or leases by the City shall not constitute a waiver of any rights or requirements which it may now have or hereafter have to impose rental or other charges in conjunction with the maintenance or use of the proposed facility and upon the users of the same.

L.    Special Event Permits. If a permittee proposes a use of Newport Harbor other than that allowed by this Code, he or she must first obtain a “special event permit,” as provided by Chapter 11.03. Upon issuance of the special event permit, the City of Newport Beach may impose conditions on the permit to ensure that the proposed use does not affect the health, safety or welfare of the residents of Newport Beach. (Ord. 2020-5 § 1 (Exh. 1) (part), 2020: Ord. 2017-8 § 3, 2017; Ord. 2013-11 § 152, 2013; Ord. 2013-1 § 6, 2013; Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.35.020 Piers.

A.    Use Regulations.

1.    No permits for a residential pier will be granted to persons other than the owners or long-term lessee of the abutting upland properties.

2.    The permit application for a residential pier permit must be signed by the fee owners or long-term lessee of all abutting upland property having access to the pier.

3.    Piers bayward of residential zoned areas shall be controlled by the permittee. Vessels moored at residential piers shall not create a nuisance with regard to vehicle parking, vessel waste, or noise disturbances to adjoining residents.

4.    Piers bayward of commercial-zoned areas may be rented pursuant to the provisions of this title.

5.    Only piers and certain patio decks authorized under subsection (C) of this section and their appurtenances shall be permitted bayward of the bulkhead.

6.    No private piers shall be permitted at street ends.

7.    In single-unit and two-unit residential districts, only a single pier and slip shall be permitted bayward of each parcel or lot. For multi-unit or mixed-use districts, only a single pier and slip shall be permitted bayward of each parcel or lot unless permitted by the reviewing authority.

8.    No new noncommercial piers on Balboa Island shall be permitted, unless approved pursuant to Section 17.35.060.

9.    The City shall provide harbor lines, parcel lines, parcel information, utility easements, and other pertinent information associated with the permitting process, via the City of Newport Beach website at: https://www.newportbeachca.gov.

10.    Permits may be granted for joint ownership piers at the prolongation of common lot lines. The permit for joint ownership piers shall provide that all parties shall have equal rights under the permit and shall be held jointly responsible for compliance with all rules, regulations, and conditions set forth in the permit.

B.    Setbacks.

1.    All piers and slips for residential properties shall be set back a minimum of five feet from the prolongation of the side property line.

2.    With the prior approval of the City, piers and slips for commercial properties may extend past the prolongation of the property line.

3.    The prolongation of the property line bayward at the same bearing from the bulkhead shall generally be used in determining the allowable setbacks for piers and slips. Because there are certain physical conditions which preclude the strict application of this policy without prejudice to adjoining properties, special consideration will be given to areas where precise prolongation of the property line has not been determined and at least one of the following conditions exist:

a.    Where property lines are not approximately perpendicular to the bulkhead line;

b.    Where curves or angles exist in the bulkhead line; or

c.    Where bridges, topography, street ends or publicly owned facilities adjoin the property.

4.    Setbacks apply to joint ownership piers with the exception that the slips, floats and piers may extend over the common property line.

C.    Patio Decks. Patios are not permitted to extend over the waters of Newport Harbor unless the waters are adjacent to the upland property and outside the areas described in the tidelands trust, and provided the patio complies with the following conditions:

1.    The maximum projection of patio deck encroachments beyond the bulkhead line shall be limited to five feet.

2.    The minimum setbacks from the prolongations of the side property lines shall be five feet.

3.    No float shall be permitted within one foot of the decks.

4.    No permanent structure shall be permitted on the projecting portion of the patios except:

a.    Planters and benches not over sixteen (16) inches in height; and/or

b.    Railings not over forty-two (42) inches in height with approximately ninety-five (95) percent open area.

5.    A harbor development and building permit has been obtained.

D.    Storage Lockers. Storage lockers and boat boxes may be installed on shore-connected piers and floats subject to the following limitations:

1.    The overall height shall not exceed thirty (30) inches when located bayward of residential property zones.

2.    The overall height shall not exceed thirty (30) inches when located bayward of commercial and industrial property zones where the piers and floats are used primarily for the mooring of pleasure boats.

3.    The overall height shall not exceed sixty (60) inches when located on facilities bayward of commercial and industrial-zoned property where the use is not primarily for the mooring of pleasure boats.

4.    The overall height shall be measured from the deck of the pier or float to the top of the storage locker. The enclosed portion of the locker or box shall not exceed the storage locker height.

E.    Safety Requirements.

1.    All commercially operated boat docking facilities shall be equipped with firefighting facilities as specified by the Fire Code.

2.    Any electrical service upon any pier, dock or float shall be installed under a permit obtained from the Community Development Department.

3.    Any domestic water service upon any pier, dock, or float shall be installed under a permit obtained from the Community Development Department.

4.    All commercial piers, floats or docks used for the loading of passengers shall be lighted in such a manner as to provide an illumination level as specified by the California Building Code for all areas used for the loading of such passengers.

F.    Encroaching Piers and Floats. In areas where existing piers and floats encroach in front of abutting upland property owned or leased by others, a new permit shall be required upon the occurrence of any of the following:

1.    Any change in type of existing use of the piers and floats;

2.    Any change in type of existing use of the abutting upland property owned by the permittee;

3.    Any change of existing ownership of the abutting upland property owned by the permittee or upon the death of the permittee; or

4.    Any destruction of the pier and float in which over sixty (60) percent of the replacement value of the pier and float has been destroyed.

A public hearing before the Harbor Commission is required prior to the issuance of a new permit for an encroaching pier or float. The public hearing shall be held in accordance with the procedures set forth in Section 17.05.140. The Harbor Commission may approve or conditionally approve a new permit for an encroaching pier or float upon making the findings set forth in Section 17.05.140(D)(1). The requirements in this subsection are limited to permits and shall not apply to leases entered into by the City in accordance with Chapter 17.60.

G.    Defective Piers. Upon learning that any pier is in a defective or dangerous condition, the Public Works Director shall immediately notify the owner or other person having charge of the same in writing, requiring such person or persons to immediately repair it or to put up barriers to prevent persons from going upon it. If such person fails or neglects to do so, the Public Works Director may place barriers, as necessary, for the protection of the public and charge the cost thereof to such person. It shall be a violation of this title for any person to interfere with any such barrier.

H.    Damaged Pier. If any pier, or any portion thereof, or any material on such pier, shall fall into the waters of Newport Harbor, it shall be the duty of the owner, agent or lessee of such pier to forthwith remove the same from the waters of Newport Harbor and, if they shall fail to do so, the Public Works Director may do so and the cost thereof may be recovered from the owner, agent, or lessee of such pier in a civil action. (Ord. 2020-5 § 1 (Exh. 1) (part), 2020: Ord. 2013-27 § 2, 2013; Ord. 2013-11 §§ 153, 154, 2013; Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.35.030 Bayward Location of Piers and Floats.

A.    Piers and floats may not extend beyond the pierhead line unless approved in compliance with Council policy as may be amended from time to time.

B.    Piers and floats shall not be permitted on the north side of the channel south of Bay Island.

C.    Piers and floats shall not be permitted in the beach area along the northerly side of Lido Isle between the easterly line of Lot 849 and the westerly line of Lot 493.

D.    Piers and floats shall not be permitted in the beach area along the southerly side of Lido Isle between the easterly line of Lot 919 and the westerly line of Lot 457. (Ord. 2020-5 § 1 (Exh. 1) (part), 2020: Ord. 2018-5 § 1, 2018: Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.35.040 Other Structures.

A.    Race Committee Platforms. Race committee platforms and instruction platforms may be constructed bayward of the bulkhead line at recognized yacht clubs and recognized sailing schools. All work shall require issuance of a harbor development permit.

B.    Floating Dry Docks. Permits for floating dry docks may be approved by the Public Works Director. An application for a floating dry dock permit shall be filed with the Public Works Department in accordance with Section 17.60.020 and shall be approved if:

1.    The Public Works Director makes the findings set forth in Section 17.05.140(D)(1);

2.    The location of the floating dry dock is in waters bayward of commercial, manufacturing or unclassified zones; and

3.    A harbor development permit has previously been approved.

4.    Permits for floating dry docks are issued for one location only. A new permit must be obtained to move a floating dry dock from one location to another location within the harbor. (Ord. 2020-5 § 1 (Exh. 1) (part), 2020: Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.35.050 Bulkheads.

A.    All bulkheads in residential districts shall be installed on the established bulkhead line or at a location behind the bulkhead line that would preserve the design profile of the harbor. Any retaining or ornamental wall installed landward of the bulkhead line shall be considered a bulkhead if it also serves to contain the waters of the harbor and shall be processed in the same manner as if it were on the bulkhead line. The establishment of bulkhead lines does not necessarily allow the property owner to build to the limits of the bulkhead line, due to the potential environmental considerations established by the State of California and/or the Federal government.

The Community Development Director may approve bulkheads located between U.S. Bulkhead Station Nos. 112 and 109, not to exceed the bayward side of the “Vacated East Bay Avenue.” For the addresses at 2209, 2223, 2227, 2231 and 2233 Bayside Drive, approval of a bulkhead at these properties shall not exceed a point bayward of the average high tide line established at a point forty (40) feet landward of the face of the bulkhead at the property at 2137 Bayside Drive, and then on a straight line from that point to the baywardmost point of the bulkhead at the property at 2301 Bayside Drive.

B.    Bulkheads shall be at the existing height established for the area and shall be connected to adjacent bulkheads. In cases where no adjacent bulkhead or bulkheads exist, a wing wall or wing walls shall be constructed from the bulkhead landward adequate to contain the fill behind the bulkhead.

C.    The height and design of all bulkheads and wing walls shall be subject to the design criteria and the design and construction standards of the Community Development Department.

D.    All bulkhead construction permits shall be subject to a detailed construction drawing being approved by the Community Development Department. Drawings and substantially structural calculations shall be signed by a civil or structural engineer.

E.    The bulkhead shall not be used to support any structure on the abutting upland property unless the bulkhead has been properly designed to carry the additional loads.

F.    In areas where there is existing development and it is of direct benefit to the City to have a bulkhead constructed, the City may contribute one-third of the cost of constructing a bulkhead across street ends.

G.    Bulkheads shall be designed and sited to protect the character of the existing shoreline profiles and avoid encroachment onto public tidelands.

H.    Maintenance or replacement of existing bulkheads is permitted when expansion or encroachment into coastal waters is limited to the minimum extent necessary to repair, maintain, or replace an existing bulkhead and the backfill is not used to create new usable residential land areas. (Ord. 2020-5 § 1 (Exh. 1) (part), 2020: Ord. 2013-11 §§ 155, 156, 2013; Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.35.060 Balboa Island—Noncommercial Piers.

A.    No new noncommercial piers on Balboa Island shall be approved unless determined by the Harbor Commission to be in the public interest, which finding shall be a prerequisite to the issuance of a harbor development permit pursuant to Chapter 17.50. New noncommercial piers, if approved, shall be constructed in strict conformance with this section and Chapter 17.50 and the design criteria. Piers presently permitted may be maintained and repaired upon securing a permit in accordance with Chapter 17.50. Any revision of an existing pier or float shall be in strict conformance with this section and shall not be approved if the addition or revision would, in comparison to the existing structure, further restrict or impair the public’s use of the bay or beach in the vicinity of the pier or floats.

B.    The alteration, reconstruction or replacement of any existing permitted noncommercial pier on Balboa Island, or any portion thereof, shall be limited to the following:

1.    The overall square footage of the noncommercial pier, as proposed for alteration, reconstruction or replacement shall be equal to or less than the square footage of the permitted noncommercial pier;

2.    The noncommercial pier, as proposed for alteration, reconstruction or replacement shall not extend beyond the City permit line (the U.S. pierhead line) or such other bayward extension of the permit area that is permitted by this section or Council policy; and

3.    The noncommercial pier, as proposed for alteration, reconstruction or replacement shall be wholly within the original permitted area as specified in the existing permit on file with the City.

C.    Whenever any application for a harbor development permit to install a new noncommercial pier on Balboa Island is submitted, a public hearing shall be held by the Harbor Commission in accordance with the procedures set forth in Section 17.05.140. (Ord. 2020-5 § 1 (Exh. 1) (part), 2020: Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.35.070 Areas with Special Harbor Permit Regulations.

A.    Promontory Bay. The following conditions are to be placed on each harbor development permit when approved:

1.    The permittee shall be responsible for maintaining the area delineated on the harbor development permit free and clear from floating rubbish, debris or litter at all times; and

2.    The permittee shall be responsible for all maintenance dredging, in accordance with the design profile for Promontory Bay, for the area between the bulkhead line and pierhead line as delineated by the harbor development permit.

B.    Grand Canal. There shall be no permits issued for onshore moorings or pier platforms fronting on alleys, avenues or other public easements terminating on the Grand Canal. There shall be no new permits issued for onshore moorings or pier platforms bayward of those lots at the extreme south end and north end of Grand Canal. The following conditions are to be in effect and placed on each harbor development permit for the Grand Canal:

1.    The permittee shall be allowed either one pier platform, or in lieu thereof, two shore mooring type appurtenances per lot. Pier platforms and shore moorings shall be constructed according to the design criteria adopted by the City.

2.    All vessels (maximum length eighteen (18) feet) moored in the Grand Canal shall be tied off to pier platform structures or onshore moorings. Floating platforms or slips will not be allowed. Vessels tied to the bulkhead or by alternate methods not approved by the Harbor Department shall be prohibited.

3.    The permittee shall be allowed no more than one vessel per onshore mooring.

4.    Any onshore mooring approved for the Grand Canal shall display a permit number issued by the Harbor Department.

5.    Each vessel tied to any pier platform in the Grand Canal shall be anchored from the stern in such a method as to prevent the vessel from swinging into adjoining vessels or across bayward prolongations of private property lines. (Ord. 2020-5 § 1 (Exh. 1) (part), 2020: Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.35.080 Parking Requirements.

Parking shall be provided pursuant to Titles 20 and 21. (Ord. 2020-5 § 1 (Exh. 1) (part), 2020: Ord. 2013-11 § 157, 2013: Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)

17.35.090 Signs.

No sign permitted on the tidelands shall exceed four square feet in total area except signs permitted pursuant to a lease with the City or under a marine activities permit issued pursuant to Chapter 17.10. (Ord. 2020-5 § 1 (Exh. 1) (part), 2020: Ord. 2008-2 § 1 (part), 2008)