Town of Dartmouth, MA
Bristol County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Dartmouth 6-5-2012, approved 8-15-2016 (Art. 41 of the 2011 General By-Laws). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Boating and waterways — See Ch. 146.
A. 
Divisions of the Waterways Management Department. There shall be established a Waterways Management Department ("Department") that shall consist of a Waterways Management Commission ("Commission"), a Harbormaster, Assistant Harbormasters and other employees. The Department shall oversee and govern the tidal waterways of the Town, as well as those public landings of the Town, including the structures thereon, that are designated to its control by the Select Board, and shall advise the Town with respect to the same; provided that the Department shall not oversee or govern any shellfishing within those tidal waterways.
B. 
Establishment as an enterprise. In accordance with the adoption of the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 44, Section 53F1/2 by the Town on May 7, 1991, the Department is considered to be an "Enterprise" within the meaning of that statute, and shall operate in accordance with the provisions and requirements of the same.
A. 
General powers and duties. The Harbormaster and any Assistant Harbormasters shall have all of the powers and designations that are applicable to those offices, to the maximum extent that is allowed under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and any regulations that are promulgated pursuant to the same; furthermore, they shall be subject to all of the duties of said offices, to the maximum extent that is required under said laws and regulations. The Harbormaster shall be responsible for the improvement, maintenance and management of, and the public access to, the tidal waterways of the Town, shall make and enforce rules and regulations to govern the use of, and the moorage and anchorage of vessels in, those tidal waterways, and shall supervise the Assistant Harbormasters and other Department personnel with respect to the same. Additionally, the Harbormaster shall be responsible for the improvement, maintenance and management of, and the public access to, the public landings, and the structures thereon, that are designated to the control of the Department by the Select Board, and for the enforcement of the rules and regulations that the Select Board promulgates regarding the operation and use of such public landings and structures, and shall supervise the Assistant Harbormasters and other Department personnel with respect to the same. Prior to promulgating any rules or regulations, the Harbormaster shall submit the same to the Commission for review and comment; provided that such review and comment must occur within 30 days of such submission and is not binding upon the Harbormaster.
B. 
Budget and collection of funds. The Harbormaster shall ensure that all appropriate receipts, revenues and funds for any licenses, permits and fees that are issued by the Department, are collected and deposited with the Town as required by statute, including, without limitation, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 44, Section 53F1/2. The Harbormaster also shall ensure that all fines that are collected by the Department pursuant to this By-Law, or any other by-law, rule, regulation or statute, are deposited in the General Fund of the Town, unless otherwise provided by law. Additionally, in accordance with the timetable this is provided in Section 53F1/2, the Harbormaster shall submit to the Select Board an estimate of the income for the ensuing fiscal year, and a proposed line item budget, for the Department. At least 30 days prior to such submission, the Harbormaster shall present the same to the Commission for review and comment; provided that such review and comment is not binding upon the Harbormaster.
A. 
Composition; terms of office. The Commission shall consist of seven volunteer members, who shall be residents of the Town of Dartmouth during the entirety of their terms, and who shall be appointed at large by the Select Board. With respect to any vacancy on the Commission, whether due to resignation, death, inability to act, or the expiration of a term, said Commission shall receive all applications for the position, shall review those applications, and shall forward the same to the Select Board with its recommendations. Except with respect to any unexpected resignation, death, or inability to act, such recommendations shall be provided to the Select Board at least one month prior to the expected date of the vacancy. Otherwise, such recommendations shall be provided to the Select Board as soon as possible, but not more than one month after the unexpected vacancy. All such recommendations shall be advisory only, and nonbinding upon the Select Board. Appointments to the Commission shall be for terms of three years with all appointments made hereunder staggered and so arranged so that the term of office of not less than two and not more than three members shall expire each successive year. In addition to the at-large appointments, the Commission may designate non-voting ex officio members on an ad-hoc basis to serve for such terms and purposes as may be desirable. The Harbormaster shall be an ex-oficio, non-voting member of the Commission, and shall serve as its Clerk.
B. 
Powers and duties. The Commission shall advise the Harbormaster, the Select Board and any other relevant Town officials and public bodies regarding policies for the tidal waterways of the Town and public landings that are designated to the control of the Department by the Select Board, and shall conduct reviews and studies of the same in furtherance of that purpose. On an annual basis, and prior to its submission to the Select Board, the Commission shall review the Harbormaster's estimate of the Department's income for the ensuing fiscal year and proposed line item budget, and shall make recommendations with respect thereto. The Commission shall, annually, or as otherwise requested, report to the Select Board, giving information regarding the status and conditions of the Town's tidal waterways and the public landings that are designated to the control of the Department by the Select Board, and any plans, proposals and costs for the development, management and regulation thereof. Prior to the promulgation of any rules or regulations by the Harbormaster, the Commission shall review the same and make recommendations with respect thereto; provided that such review and recommendation must be completed within 30 days of the submission to the Commission of the proposed rule or regulation. Nothing in this Subsection shall provide, or be construed as providing, to the Commission any control or management over the Harbormaster, Assistant Harbormasters or other personnel of the Department, or over the operations and budget of the Department.
The rules and regulations that are promulgated by the Harbormaster, pursuant to the statutory powers of that office, shall include the establishment of tidal waterways usage and mooring fees. The rules and regulations that are promulgated by the Select Board, pursuant to its statutory powers, for the use and operation of those public landings, and the structures thereon, that it designates to the control of the Department, shall include the establishment of parking permit and vessel launching fees. All such fees that are promulgated by the Harbormaster or the Select Board shall collected on behalf of, and shall be revenue of, the Department; provided, however, that nothing in this By-Law shall authorize, or be construed as authorizing, the promulgation of rules or regulations for the restriction of the parking of motor vehicles or trailers at any public landing, or for the imposition of fines for the violation of any such restriction. Any revenue from the enforcement of parking at any public landings by Department personnel who are so authorized by the Select Board pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 147, Section 10F, shall be deposited into the General Fund of the Town, and shall not be revenue of the Department. No rule or regulation of the Harbormaster or the Select Board that is promulgated pursuant to this Section shall contradict, or be duplicative of, any federal law or law of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, or any regulation that is promulgated pursuant to any of the same. In addition to any other publication requirements, whether statutory or in the Town Charter, the Harbormaster shall publish all local rules and regulations relating to the tidal waterways and public landings of the Town that are promulgated pursuant to this Section, and any revocation or amendment of the same, on the Department's website, and shall make copies of the same available upon request at the office of the Harbormaster.
A. 
Scope of enforcement pursuant to this by-law. This Section deals solely with the enforcement of this By-Law and the rules and regulations that are promulgated pursuant to the same. Nothing that is contained herein shall limit, or be construed as limiting, any civil or criminal enforcement authority or power that the Harbormaster or Assistant Harbormasters may have, or may come to have, under state or federal law, or any regulations that are promulgated pursuant to the same, including, without limitation, any powers of arrest and/or detention, summons for criminal process, termination of a voyage, towing of vessels, exclusion from any area or facility, and levying of fines.
B. 
Non-criminal disposition. Any violation of this By-Law, or the rules and regulations that are promulgated pursuant to the same, shall be enforced in accordance with the non-criminal procedures that are enumerated in Chapter 60, Article I, of these General By-Laws and Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 40, Section 21D. Any fines that are collected through said enforcement shall be deposited into the General Fund, and shall not be revenue of the Department.
C. 
Enforcing persons. As used in this By-Law, and any rules and regulations that are promulgated pursuant to the same, an "enforcing person" shall include the Harbormaster, any Assistant Harbormasters, and any other appointed or hired personnel of the Department besides the members of the Commission, as well as any law enforcement officer, including environmental law enforcement officer, of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and any police officer of the Town of Dartmouth.
D. 
Responsible parties. The owners and/or licensed captains of all vessels shall be responsible for the operation, dockage, anchorage and moorage of the same within the tidal waterways, and at the public landings, of the Town, and shall be subject to any and all fines and penalties for any violation of this By-Law, or the rules and regulations that are promulgated pursuant to the same, relating to such operation, dockage, anchorage and moorage, regardless of whether said owner or licensed captain personally undertakes the same. Nothing in this Subsection shall be construed to render any owner or licensed captain of a vessel liable or otherwise responsible for any third-party actions other than the operation, dockage, anchorage or moorage of said vessel.
E. 
Fines.
(1) 
Category I: first, second and additional offenses within a calendar year shall result in the following progressive fines: $25; $50; and $100.
(a) 
Regulations relating to inspection of moorings;
(b) 
Regulations relating to the display of identifying information, including permits, on vessels and moorings;
(c) 
Regulations relating to the use of waterways without a permit;
(d) 
Regulations relating to the use of winter stakes; and
(e) 
Regulations relating to launching of vessels by individuals.
(2) 
Category II: first, second and additional offenses within a calendar year shall result in the following progressive fines: $50; $100; and $200.
(a) 
Regulations relating to fishing and trapping;
(b) 
Regulations relating to littering;
(c) 
Regulations relating to the commercial use of public landings;
(d) 
Regulations relating to the use, transfer or sale of permits; and
(e) 
Regulations relating to mooring or docking at public facilities.
(3) 
Category III: first, second and additional offenses within a calendar year shall result in the following progressive fines: $100; $200; and $300.
(a) 
Regulations relating to noise;
(b) 
Regulations relating to the rafting of vessels;
(c) 
Regulations relating to anchoring;
(d) 
Regulations relating to the use of moorings;
(e) 
Regulations relating to docking at private facilities;
(f) 
Regulations relating to swimming; and
(g) 
Regulations relating to launching of vessels by a boatyard or other commercial operation.
(4) 
Category IV: first and additional offenses within a calendar year shall result in the following progressive fines: $200; and $300.
(a) 
Regulations relating to tampering with, altering or relocating a mooring;
(b) 
Regulations relating to the mooring or long-term anchoring of a vessel without a permit;
(c) 
Regulations relating to the transfer or sale of a mooring;
(d) 
Regulations relating to the abandonment of a vessel or structure; and
(e) 
Regulations relating to the adherence to the lawful orders of the Harbormaster or the designee thereof.
F. 
Continuing violations. For any continuing violation of this By-Law, or any rule or regulation that is promulgated pursuant to the same, each day of said violation shall be a separate offense, and shall be subject to a separate fine accordingly.
G. 
Other enforcement remedies. Nothing in this Section shall limit, or be construed as limiting, the power of the Harbormaster, or the designee thereof, to suspend or revoke a permit, or to tow, or cause to be towed, a vessel or structure, where such suspension, revocation or towage is provided by state or federal statute or regulation, or is expressly noted in any regulations that are promulgated pursuant to § 104-4.