Catalina Island News

Informational Notice of New Regulations Effecting Vessels Using Avalon Harbor

City of Avalon

Effective February 17, 2006
After numerous discussions with public input at the Harbor Committee and City Council meetings, the City of Avalon adopted new regulations pertaining to vessels using moorings and anchorage areas within city waters. The new changes will take effect February 17, 2006.

10-2.101 Long Term Vessel Definition

(n) "Long Term Vessel" shall mean any vessel as defined herein which is moored in City waters during the storm season (November 1st through March 30th) and during such time is required to pay a service charge for mooring use for fourteen (14) days or more consecutive days or for a total of twenty (20) days in any thirty (30) day period.

10-2.212 Mooring Places: Use of by Guests, Long Term Use Permit Requirements, Fees.

(b) Payment of Fees: All service charges shall be paid prior to departure from the assigned mooring. Failure to pay all or any portion of a service charge which is due and owing prior to departure from the assigned mooring shall result in a penalty in the amount equal to the service charges owing, in addition to payment of any service charge owing. The Harbor Master shall have the authority to waive the penalty where the person in charge of the vessel first advises the Harbor Master of the need to remove the vessel from the mooring for repair or of the vessel owner's desire to move the vessel outside City waters in order to avoid additional mooring fees, provided the owner has entered into an agreement for payment of outstanding fees. No person shall be permitted to pay outstanding fees under a payment plan more than once in any twelve (12) month period. There shall be added to any mooring fees that are more than fourteen (14) days past due, interest at the rate of one-half of one percent (1/2%) per month. Except when small craft or gale warnings are in effect, the Harbor Master shall have the authority to deny use of a mooring in city waters, if there are any outstanding fees as provided under this Title owed to the City by the owner or person in charge of such vessel.

(f) Long Term Vessel Permit Required: Except as provided herein, the owner or operator of a long term vessel as defined in this Article shall be required to obtain a permit from the Harbor Master by the fifteenth consecutive day of being moored in City waters during the applicable period as a condition of continued use of City moorings. A permit shall not be required of vessel owners and/or operators holding a revocable mooring permit or operating the vessel pursuant to a Waterside Permit. Long Term Vessel Permits will be issued beginning on November 1st for a 30-day period and will be automatically renewed the 1st day of each month up and to including March 30th of each year unless the Harbor Master gives notice the permit holder that he/she has become ineligible to be granted an extension for failure to comply with the conditions thereof.

The permit shall issue only if all of the following conditions exist:

(1) All fees and service charges provided for in this Title are current or payments under a payment plan are current;

(2) The Harbor Master has inspected the vessels and the owner and/or operator has demonstrated that it complies with Section 10-2.512.

(3) If the permittee, within the previous three years, has entered into a payment plan for the payment of outstanding mooring fees or other Harbor Department charges, the permittee shall also be required to pay, in addition to the applicable mooring fee(s), of a security deposit in a sum equal to the following one (1) month's mooring fees, refundable upon expiration of the permit, less any fees owed to the City at the time of expiration of the permit.

(4) The vessel is equipped with a functioning marine sanitation device which complies with U.S. Coast Guard regulations where all through-hull valves are properly closed to prevent illegal discharge and/or dumping while in city waters.

(5) Proof of insurance as described in Section 10-2.219.

The permittee shall comply with all applicable county, state, and federal laws, the provisions of the Avalon Municipal Code and any resolutions adopted by the City Council, and all terms and conditions of the permit. Failure to comply with these laws, ordinances, resolutions, or policies shall constitute grounds for revocation of the permit and may result in the loss of use of City moorings. If the Harbor Master finds a permittee has violated any term or condition of the permit, harbor regulations or other applicable harbor related laws, the Harbor Master may suspend or revoke the permit. A decision by the Harbor Master to suspend or revoke a Long Term Mooring permit pursuant to this section shall be appealable to the City Council. Any such appeal must be filed in writing with the City Clerk within 10 days of the date of suspension or revocation. The suspension or revocation shall be stayed while the appeal is pending. The appeal shall be filed in writing and shall specify all of the grounds for the appeal. If the appeal is denied, suspension or revocation shall become effective three (3) days following the City Council's decision.

10-2.511 Unattended Vessels

Persons using moorings other than their own and those anchored in City waters shall not cause or permit a vessel which they control or for which they are responsible to be unattended. As used herein, unattended means that the vessel owner or the owner's agent is not aboard the vessel or fails to promptly respond when contacted by the Harbor Master to care for the vessel. Where the Harbor Department is able to reach the owner, it shall be the owner's responsibility to find another person if the owner is not able to promptly respond to the Harbor Department's directive. An owner may designate in writing with the Harbor Department no more than two (2) agents and shall provide contact telephone numbers for each agent. In no event shall the Harbor Department or the City be responsible for damage to the vessel because of the failure to contact the owner or the agent in the event of weather or other conditions.

10-2.512 Movement of Vessels

No vessel except those moored in the harbor as a result of bona fide emergency, shall be permitted or maintained on a mooring place or in the anchorage in City waters unless the vessel has the ability to operate in open waters of the Pacific Ocean and back to the mooring or anchorage under its own mechanical power, which power is operational and can be placed and operated in neutral, forward, and reverse. If the vessel is a sailboat, it must have functioning auxiliary power that is capable of propelling and steering the sailboat in a safe manner. If a vessel owner or operator disputes the Harbor Master's determination that the vessel does not comply with this section, the owner or operator may perform a sea trial consisting of maneuvering the vessel out of the Harbor and back to the vessel's mooring or anchorage.

10-2.515 Maintenance of Vessels

All vessels moored or anchored in city waters shall be sound and properly maintained so as not to create or present a danger to public safety or cause damage to city property or other vessels or persons aboard such vessels. No materials shall be stored or permitted on the vessel which result in noxious odors. Halyards and other equipment shall be secured so as to prevent unnecessary noise. Decks must be kept clear of any clutter, rubbish, debris, or parts and/or equipment relating to the marine environment so as allow clear passage and access by emergency personnel.

10-2.219 Insurance Requirements

All vessel owners and/or operators holding a revocable mooring permit and/or operating a vessel pursuant to a Waterside Permit, and any person using a mooring as a guest or anchored in City waters for more than fifteen consecutive days during the period from November 1 to March 30 or more than thirty consecutive days during the period from April 1 to October 31 shall provide proof of current and valid Protection & Indemnity (P & I) or Watercraft Liability Insurance with limits of at least $300,000 which names the City of Avalon, its officials, employees, and volunteers as an additional insured, and which provides that coverage shall not be cancelled except after fifteen (15) days prior written notice has been given to the City. A provision allowing for cost recovery for salvage and pollution control shall be included in the P & I or Watercraft Liability Insurance.