By Len Bose
June 13, 2014 | 8:29 p.m.
I have quite a bit of information to pass along this week regarding the harbor and Newport Beach. This information is best combined with participation and making your concerns heard.
First is the change on the Harbor Commission. Three of the harbor commission seats are up for renewal. One commissioner is being termed-out and the other two are incumbents Doug West and Duncan McIntosh. Both have done an outstanding job, and it would be inconceivable if they are not returned to the commission.
Other Newport Beach residents who have applied are Thomas Dessel, the owner of Coast Marine; John Drayton, active harbor user and technology manager for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority; Patricia Humphreys, local Realtor; and William Kenney Jr., active yachtsman and commercial Realtor.
On June 24, the City Council will pick three applicants from this list. To review the applications, go to novusagendapublic.newportbeachca.gov.
Earlier this week, the City Council heard a presentation from the developer of Lido Village. Terms to understand when developing a new marina are bulk head lines, pier head lines and project lines. It would take far too long to explain the difference between these terms. To put it simply, bulk head and pier head lines can be changed by our local agencies. Project lines can only be changed by an act of Congress.
We will get back to these different lines in a minute, but for now, I would like to touch on a couple of items that pricked up my ears during this presentation.
I am sure you all agree the Lido Village is long overdue for a face lift. We have a "bird in the hand" with a developer who has done his due diligence and placed a ton of money into this project to get it off the ground.
The positive items that grabbed my attention were the addition of two new public docks, the start of a walkway that would run through the village and connect to Mariner's Mile and, of course, new docks.
My concern was the addition of 15 slips that can handle 82-foot ships. Now, if these slips are filled with private owners or visiting yachtsmen, that's one thing. But if these slips are filled with mile-high charter boats, that's another. I need to remind our commissioners and council members that these ships will overhang from our pier lines into our bulk head lines under our current overhang policy.
This conversation stalled when one council member needed to recuse himself and another was absent. Half the members wanted to spend more time making sure this was the correct concept for a marina that will last for another 50 years. They wanted to look into ideas of entering into the forbidden zone of exceeding the project lines. That could delay this project for months or maybe years.
I have to give it to this developer: He held his cool and explained that he looked into the previous plan at great lengths and came to the conclusion that it was not feasible. The council decide to push the topic to the next meeting and vote then. If it was up to me, I would move forward on this plan and send it to the Harbor Commission for review and comments.
Next up was the floating dock concept presented by Harbor Commissioner Brad Avery. Avery gave an outstanding presentation and covered all the concerns, from both sides of the table, regarding this topic. At the end of the presentation, the council decided to create a survey for mooring permit holders, home owners and any harbor user who would like to voice his or her opinion.
For me, this is a easy concept to move forward on ever since I heard John Cazier, past commodore of the Balboa Yacht Club and a person I highly admire, say, "This place would be a different world if we took all these moored boats and placed them onto a floating marina. Floating docks are a big change to try to institute. Every square foot of water out there is worth a lot of money, and we are using it very badly."
Words I completely agree with.
Time to get into the game, people. Please voice your opinions and be heard.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.