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Village of Port Chester, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Port Chester 7-6-1992 by L.L. No. 9-1992; amended in its entirety 5-20-2019 by L.L. No. 4-2019. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Rowboat stations and boat liveries — See Ch. 206, Art. IX.
The operation and mooring of vessels in the Byram River and Port Chester Harbor, being a matter affecting the public interest, is and should be subject to the regulatory and administrative controls hereinafter set forth. The purpose of this chapter is to reestablish standards, requirements and procedures for the safe and sanitary operation of vessels; mooring of vessels; and use, maintenance and management of marinas and marine structures.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings stated after each such term:
CHANNEL
A federally or locally designated navigation accessway in the harbor.
HARBOR
All waters to the mean high water mark, within or bounding the Village, as such waters are designated on the Official Map of Port Chester which are located south and east of the mouth of the Byram River.
LITTER
Any garbage, refuse or rubbish and other waste material.
MARINA
Any public or private installation which provides accommodations or facilities for vessels, including mooring, docking, storing, leasing, sale or servicing of vessels within the river or harbor or uplands adjacent thereto, including yacht clubs, beach clubs, boatyards and any other installation providing for services or storage space for vessels.
MARINE STRUCTURES
Any boathouse, mooring and/or dock, or other structure in any waters within or bounding the Village to a distance of 1,500 feet from shore.
MEAN HIGH WATER
The average height of the high waters over a nineteen-year period immediately preceding the current year.
MOORING
The attachment of a vessel to a pier or dock or other structure or the attachment of a vessel to the ground or lands underwater by means of tackle so designed that, when such attachment is terminated, some portion of the tackle remains below the surface of the water and is not under the control of the vessel or its operator. The term "mooring" shall also include the placing of a vessel at anchor for more than 12 hours consecutively.
VESSEL
Any watercraft or other contrivance used or capable of being used as a means of transportation in the water.
A. 
Dangerous operation prohibited. No person shall operate a vessel at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent or which unreasonably endangers the users of the Village waters under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.
B. 
Speed limit. No vessel shall be operated by any person within the posted limits of the harbor at a speed in excess of five nautical miles per hour, nor shall any vessel be operated by any person within such limits so as to make dangerous wakes that have the potential to cause injury to persons on another vessel or to cause damage to another vessel, structure or shoreline.
C. 
Identification. Vessel operators shall, at all times, identify themselves and produce the vessel's registration to Village, state and federal authorities upon request. Failure to produce such registration upon request shall be a violation of this section.
D. 
Anchoring and mooring. No person shall anchor or moor any vessel in a channel within Village waters except in emergencies. Minor encroachments by vessels within the outer edge of the Byram River channel may be permitted on a seasonal basis, provided they are removed on demand for dredging, bathymetric surveys and other public necessities, and do not impede navigation through the channel.
E. 
Fishing. No person shall anchor to or fish from any vessel located in a channel.
F. 
No person shall use or operate a vessel to tow a person on water-skis, boards, tubes or any other device through the water.
Erection of marine structures requires a Village permit. The application process is set forth in §§ 148-13 through 148-15 of this chapter. The issuance of any necessary permits from the federal or state government, or any other regulatory authority, does not relieve any party seeking to erect a marine structure from the requirements of this chapter.
Excavating, dredging or filling in the Byram River and Port Chester Harbor are subject to the issuance of all necessary federal and state regulatory agency permits. All applicants are responsible for applying for all necessary federal and state regulatory agency permits and, at the same time, must submit one copy of the application package made to such agencies to the Village Building Department.
A. 
Littering. No person shall place, throw, deposit or discharge or cause to be placed, thrown, deposited or discharged in to the harbor or river from any vessels, marina or from the shoreline any litter or any other materials, including, but not limited to hydrocarbons, soapy and detergent waters which render the waters unsightly, noxious or otherwise detrimental to the public health or welfare, to marine, animal or plant life or to the enjoyment of the water for recreational purposes.
A. 
Litter receptacles at marinas. The owner or other person vested with the possession, management and control of a marina shall be required, under this chapter, to provide and maintain a sufficient number and selection of trash receptacles for the deposit of litter at locations where they are convenient to vessel users of such marinas.
B. 
Toilet facilities at marinas.
(1) 
The owner or other person vested with the possession, management or operation of a marina shall maintain suitable toilet facilities onshore for the accommodation of vessel users who are patrons of their marinas.
(2) 
The owner or other person vested with the possession, management or operation of a marina accommodating 25 or more vessels with United States Coast Guard approved onboard marine sanitation devices shall install and maintain suitable vessel waste sewage and waste-pumping facilities onshore for the purpose of servicing vessels.
A. 
Anchorage and mooring areas. The anchorage grounds for vessels in the water include the Byram River and Port Chester Harbor except those areas within the fairways and channels used for ingress to and egress from the Byram River and the harbor. The Harbormaster is authorized to designate the areas within the harbor where vessels may be moored or placed at anchor.
B. 
Location of moorings.
(1) 
The location of all offshore moorings for vessels shall be designated by the Harbormaster or, in the Harbormaster's absence, the Village of Port Chester Police Department.
(2) 
No person shall moor a vessels in Village waters until its location and position have been approved by the Harbormaster.
(3) 
The Harbormaster shall have authority, for reasons of safety or other documented reasons, to direct and order that the location or position of moorings be changed. Such notice shall be provided to the owner of the subject vessel and compliance shall be required within 10 days thereof. Failure to comply with such direction or order of the Harbormaster shall be a violation of this section.
A. 
Permits required. No person shall moor, anchor or dock a vessel without a mooring permit, nor shall any person lay any mooring tackle, unless a permit is issued therefor and then only for the vessel specified in the permit and only at the location specified in the permit. The issuance of a mooring permit shall be evidenced by a decal, which shall be affixed to a vessel in accordance with § 148-9C.
B. 
Mooring permit process.
(1) 
Any person desiring to procure a mooring permit shall file with the Harbormaster a written application upon a form furnished by the Village Clerk. Such application shall state the name, type, length and registration number, if any, together with such proof of ownership or right to use of the vessel as the Harbormaster may require. The annual administrative fee, as set forth in Village Code Chapter 175, Fees, shall accompany the application.
(2) 
The Harbormaster has the authority to approve or deny each application for permit.
(3) 
Mooring permits shall be issued only to the owner or lessee of the vessel to be moored. A marina may apply for all vessels moored at the marina, provided the required information is given for all such vessels.
(4) 
A mooring decal shall be issued upon the payment of an annual administrative fee for vessels moored offshore, irrespective of where moored, and for vessels docked at private docks, marinas and clubs.
(5) 
No licensed vessel shall exceed 24 feet in length and eight feet and six inches in width. For purposes of length, vessels shall be measured from bow to stern on a center line over the deck; for purposes of width, vessels shall be measured at their widest point. These maximum dimensions shall include any additional platform(s) or extensions that would increase the overall length or width of the vessel.
(6) 
There shall be a charge as set forth in Chapter 175, Fees, for the issuance of a duplicate decal to replace a lost or misplaced decal.
(7) 
Requests for a new mooring permit may be filed with the Village Clerk at any time specifying the type and size of the vessel for which the mooring permit is requested. After February 15, the last day for filing applications for renewal of mooring applications may be forwarded to those persons who have requested the same as space is available for the type and size of vessel for which mooring space has been requested. Within the limits of type and size of vessels, priority will be given in the forwarding of applications for permits in the order in which requests for such permits have been filed and accepted as complete by the Harbormaster.
(8) 
No more than one mooring space shall be allotted to any one vessel.
C. 
Display of permit. The mooring permit decal issued pursuant to this Chapter 148 shall be conspicuously displayed on the exterior port side of said vessel and only on the particular vessel for which an application is on file.
D. 
Transfer of permit.
(1) 
Mooring permits are not transferable or assignable from person to person or vessel to vessel, except as herein provided. Subject to the consent of the Harbormaster and upon payment of a fee as set forth in Chapter 175, Fees, the holder of a permit may exchange such permit with the holder of another permit so as to allow an exchange of locations between such two holders. The holder of a permit may substitute another vessel of which such holder is the owner or lessee for the vessel originally specified in such mooring permit, provided that the Harbormaster approves such substitution upon written application therefor.
(2) 
In the event that a holder of a mooring permit sells his vessel while the permit is still in force, he shall immediately notify the Village Clerk in writing. The party holding such mooring permit shall cause the decal to be removed prior to the vessel's delivery to the purchaser.
(3) 
It is a violation of this section for any person issued a permit to transfer or cause to be transferred such permit to any other person or vessel. This violation shall apply to both the person so transferring and person so receiving or benefiting from the transfer.
E. 
Renewal of permit. Priority will be given in the issuance of permits to those persons applying for the renewal of permits granted in the preceding year. The applicant shall file with the Village Clerk renewal application for such a permit on or before February 15 of the year for which the permit is to be effective. The Harbormaster reserves the right to reassign space based upon availability and size of vessel. The prescribed fee for the renewal of the necessary permit shall be paid at the time application is filed. In the event any permit holder fails to file a renewal application with the Harbormaster by 5:00 p.m. of the last business day on or before February 15 of the year in question, said party shall forfeit the priority for a renewal permit as provided in this section and must make a new application for any such permit.
A. 
Mooring buoys must be clearly and permanently marked, in the manner prescribed by the Harbormaster, with the owner's name or mooring permit number. Winter buoys, when used, must be similarly marked.
B. 
If a mooring buoy or winter buoy becomes a hazard to navigation, the Harbormaster may, at the owner's expense, without previously notifying the owner, remove the buoy and drop the chain to the bottom. In such instances, the Harbormaster, the Village, or other agent of the Village shall not be responsible for loss of the mooring or mooring tackle.
C. 
Multiple vessels on mooring buoys. No person shall moor more than one vessel to any single mooring buoy, nor shall any other floating object be secured to a mooring buoy by any person without the advance permission of the Harbormaster.
A. 
Permit holder. The permit holder shall be responsible for compliance with all the provisions of this chapter and shall be subject individually to the penalties provided for any violation of this chapter.
B. 
Maintenance of mooring buoy equipment shall be maintained in good condition to prevent the moored vessel from breaking adrift and damaging other vessels and property and endangering public safety. Whenever a mooring buoy is exchanged in accordance with this chapter, the mooring buoy tackle shall be raised and inspected before another vessel is placed on that mooring buoy. Mooring buoy tackle found to be in poor condition will not be reset until it has been made safe by the owner or his agent. This section shall not apply to mooring buoy tackle, which has been installed or raised and inspected during the season for which the current mooring buoy permit has been issued. Mooring buoy tackle must be raised and inspected every three years, and defective parts must be replaced.
C. 
Responsibility of owner upon expiration or revocation of mooring permit. Mooring buoy tackle in a space for which a permit has expired and for which a renewal application has not been received shall be removed by the owner. If such tackle is not removed by May 1, the Harbormaster may remove it or have it removed and hold the same until the cost of such removal is paid. Mooring buoy tackle in a space for which a permit has been revoked shall be removed within 10 days of notification of revocation.
D. 
Unauthorized mooring tackle and buoys. Failure of an owner to remove unauthorized mooring tackle and buoy, including one for which no permit has been issued, may result in the owner being assessed for charges of mooring tackle and buoy removal, fined as defined in this chapter and subjected to liability for obstruction to navigation pursuant to § 148-16 of this chapter.
A. 
Record of mooring. The Harbormaster or the Village Clerk shall record in a proper register the location and the names, length, draft, beam and type of all vessels moored in the harbor, as well as the names and addresses of the owners of all such vessels, and the position of each approved mooring shall be noted upon a map or chart of the harbor. Such records, maps and charts shall be kept at the office of the Village Clerk.
B. 
Inspection of vessels. The Harbormaster, Assistant Harbormaster, or a Police Officer, while on duty, may enter and survey all vessels within Village waters for the purpose of determining compliance with the Navigation Law of the State of New York and with this chapter.
C. 
Revocation of permits. All permits may be revoked by the Harbormaster, with the approval of the Village Manager, for any violation of this chapter or any regulation promulgated by any applicable state or federal law.
D. 
Removal of vessels. The Harbormaster may remove unattended vessels from their mooring or anchorage location in order to protect life or property.
E. 
If directions given by the Harbormaster, with the approval of the Village Manager, with respect to removing unauthorized moorings or changing the location of existing moorings, shortening of mooring chains, cables or ropes or with respect to other provisions of this chapter are not complied with within 10 days after notice of such directions has been given as herein provided, the Harbormaster, with the approval of the Village Manager, may cause such moorings to be removed or changed or may drop the same to the bottom. The cost of such removal, change or dropping will be assessed against the owner of the vessel, and an action therefor may be instituted in the Village Court. Whenever the Harbormaster shall be unable to find the owner of a vessel mooring or any agent or person in possession, charge or control thereof, upon whom notice may be served, the Harbormaster shall address, stamp and mail such notice, by certified mail, to the last known address of such person and, in addition thereto, shall, during the notice period, attach said notice to the subject vessel.
F. 
Any vessel or marine structures or parts thereof, including moorings, which become a menace to navigation or a danger to life, property or the environment, which is unseaworthy or sinks to the bottom or is run aground or otherwise becomes disabled shall be removed by the owner or person in charge thereof within 10 calendar days of issuance of an order to correct said hazard by the Harbormaster. If such menace to navigation and/or safety is not removed or corrected within 10 calendar days as aforesaid, it may be removed or corrected by the Harbormaster or at his direction and the cost thereof shall be charged against said owner or person in charge of said navigation hazard. Nothing herein contained shall prevent the Harbormaster from taking such immediate action as he deems necessary for the protection of life, property or environment.
A. 
Construction or reconstruction, as defined in Subsection B hereof, is prohibited unless the party seeking to perform the same obtains a permit with respect to the same.
B. 
An application for a permit for the construction or reconstruction, as defined herein, of a marine structure within the harbor shall be referred by the Building Inspector to the Waterfront Commission within five days of the date of the application, provided that it appears to conform, in all respects, to all other applicable laws. For the purpose of this section, "construction" and "reconstruction" shall mean any new manufacture of any value or the addition to or alteration of any existing marine structure where the estimated cost is more than $2,000. "Addition," "alteration" or "erection," as used herein, shall refer to activity respecting a single project or collectively for any projects or portions thereof, over a one-year period, which relate to any marine structure under common ownership.
C. 
Notwithstanding the provisions of the above Subsection B, an application for a permit shall be filed for a construction or reconstruction which results in a changed configuration to an existing marine structure or which the Waterfront Commission determines may result in an interference with navigation within the harbor.
D. 
Existing marine structures that do not possess a marine structure permit shall apply for a permit from the Waterfront Commission. Submission of a copy to the Waterfront Commission of a valid federal (Army Corps of Engineers) permit for the structure may satisfy this requirement.
The Waterfront Commission may approve, disapprove or approve with condition any application for a permit referred to it, provided that such action shall be by the majority vote of Commission members present. In case of disapproval, the Commission shall find that the marine structure for which the permit was applied would, if erected, be detrimental to the desirability or development of the harbor by reason of:
A. 
Method and manner of construction: unsuitable materials, methods or design which can be reasonably expected to result in a marine structure that may fail to accomplish its stated and intended purpose or will present a safety hazard to any person utilizing the harbor for commercial or recreational pursuits.
B. 
Inappropriateness of marine structure: inappropriate size, design or material which will result in a marine structure that is ill-suited or ill-adapted and will conflict with the lawful use of any existing marine structure in the harbor or any land-based structure located within 500 feet.
C. 
Siting of the marine structure: location of a marine structure such that it lies within the lines of a channel or which would result in vessels moored to the structure lying within the lines of a channel. Minor encroachments may be permitted, provided the structure is a floating structure for seasonal use and which is removable for channel maintenance and does not substantially interfere with navigation through the channel.
A. 
The Building Department shall refuse any permit application disapproved as provided in § 148-14. Failure on the part of the Waterfront Commission to act on any permit application referred to it under this chapter within 90 days from the date of receipt of the application by the Waterfront Commission from the Building Department shall be deemed to constitute approval, unless the time limit is extended by stipulation with the applicant.
B. 
The Building Department shall forthwith issue an order to stop all work of construction or reconstruction of any marine structure if an applicant proceeds after the application has been disapproved by the Commission or if the applicant proceeds in a manner inconsistent with the conditions or specifications under which the Commission approved the application.
C. 
Any person aggrieved by the action of the Waterfront Commission on approving or disapproving a permit application may take an appeal therefrom to the duly constituted Zoning Board of Appeals of the Village of Port Chester in the same manner as is provided for zoning appeals, and such Board of Appeals, after proceeding in the same manner as is provided for zoning appeals and with the same power and authority therein vested in passing upon appeals before it under the provisions of law and Chapter 98, Zoning, of the Village of Port Chester Code, and in the exercise thereof, may reverse or affirm the action of the Waterfront Commission.
A. 
Enforcement. The enforcing authority of this chapter shall be the Harbormaster, the Assistant Harbormaster, and any member of the Police Department of the Village of Port Chester.
B. 
Penalties for offenses.
(1) 
Any person who has been determined to be in violation of any of the foregoing provisions of this chapter may, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not exceeding $250 or imprisonment not exceeding 15 days, or both, for each and every day in violation.
(2) 
In addition, any person who has been convicted of a violation of § 148-9D(3) herein shall have any current permits revoked and may not be permitted to apply for or to receive permits for two years.
C. 
Appeals. The Zoning Board of Appeals of the Village of Port Chester shall be empowered to hear and decide appeals from and reviews of any order, requirement, decision or determination made by the Village of Port Chester Harbormaster with respect to the issuance or revocation of mooring permit as provided for in this chapter.
(1) 
Request for hearing. Upon the denial of a permit by the Harbormaster in connection with the issuance of a mooring permit or upon the issuance of a notice of revocation of any such permit, the aggrieved applicant may, within five days after receiving written notice from the Harbormaster or the Village Clerk, file an appeal, in writing, in the office of the Village Clerk, requesting a review of any such determination by the Harbormaster. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall hear and decide such appeals and may reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or may modify the determination appealed from and/or make such determination and order which, in its opinion, should be made under the circumstances.
(2) 
(Reserved)
(3) 
Hearing. Upon receipt of a request for a hearing as provided above, the Clerk of the Zoning Board of Appeals shall set a time and place for a public hearing. Such hearing shall commence no later than 30 days after the date on which the request was filed, unless an extension of said time period is agreed upon by both the Zoning Board of Appeals and the aggrieved party. Failure by the Zoning Board of Appeals to commence said hearing within the above-specified time period shall not be deemed to constitute approval of such request if good and sufficient reason exists.
(4) 
Conduct of hearing. The applicant, or his representative, shall be given an opportunity to show cause why such decision by the Harbormaster should be modified or withdrawn. The burden of proof in this regard shall be upon said applicant, or his representative, who shall be required to demonstrate by a fair preponderance of the evidence that the Harbormaster's decision should be withdrawn or modified.
(5) 
Findings. Upon consideration of the evidence presented, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall sustain, modify or withdraw the Harbormaster's decision.
D. 
Adoption of administrative regulations. In the event administrative regulations are required for the safe and efficient maintenance of the harbor and related moorings and float facilities, the Waterfront Commission shall prepare regulations with respect to the same and submit them for approval as follows:
(1) 
Any proposed administrative regulation relative to this chapter shall be submitted to and reviewed by the Harbormaster and the Village Manager.
(2) 
Any proposed administrative regulation relative to this chapter shall be approved by the Village Board of Trustees.
(3) 
After being approved by the Village Board of Trustees, said regulation shall be published in the manner required by law and shall be enforced by the Harbormaster.