Any person in violation of a provision of this article shall be subject to the fine identified in the violation schedule contained within § 86-6 of this chapter.
Mooring field designations. Certain waters of the Town shall be designated as mooring fields. Those waters authorized for the placement of permitted moorings shall be located in accordance with all policies of the Town's Harbor Management Plan, the policies and requirements of the Coastal Resources Management Council's guidelines for the development of municipal harbor management plans, and the CRMC's management procedures for siting mooring fields. All moorings shall be placed within the perimeters of each mooring field so that the scope of each mooring and vessel do not extend beyond the mooring field boundaries. Any revisions to the size, and/or location of these mooring field designations shall require the approval of the Town Council with advice from the Harbor Commission, and the Coastal Resources Management Council before the revisions may take effect.
Maximum number of moorings. Based on the findings of the harbor management plan, there shall be a maximum number of moorings in each mooring field.
Moorings associated with residential waterfront properties. Moorings used in conjunction with residential waterfront property may be placed in the coastal water and harbor areas of the Town in those waters immediately adjacent to the upland residential waterfront property with the exception of shellfish transplant areas. The mooring permit holder must comply with all mooring permit application requirements and receive a mooring permit from the Town as described herein, and the mooring must meet all mooring tackle standards and inspections as set forth in this chapter and any applicable regulations before such placement will be permitted. Up to four moorings may be placed in the general vicinity of each residential waterfront property in accordance with the definition for a riparian mooring and this subsection. All mooring placements, including temporary moorings, shall be in accordance with the Harbor Management Plan.
Mooring field siting standards. All designated mooring fields sited within the coastal waters and harbor areas of the Town shall be set back a minimum distance of 50 feet from all piers, floats and public launching ramps; and from riparian moorings and shoreline rights-of-way a distance which is sufficient to allow ingress and egress and to prevent interference with the exercise of private and public rights of access to the waterways.
All new and significantly expanded mooring fields shall be sited to ensure that tides and currents aid in flushing the mooring area.
All new and significantly expanded mooring areas shall be sited to avoid adverse effects on water quality.
Mooring areas shall be sited in a manner which does not substantially interfere with designated shellfish management areas, traditional fishing grounds, public recreational areas and conservation areas.
Mooring area shall be sited in a manner which does not significantly effect finfish and/or shellfish resources, wetlands, submerged aquatic vegetation and aquatic habitat.
Mooring areas shall be adequately serviced by pumpout facilities that are accessible, operational, and maintained.
Pumpout service shall be provided on a published scheduled basis for all moorings and dock slips.
Live aboard activity (such as that which occurs with destination type mooring fields and sheltered harbors) is prohibited in all SA waters. The Harbormaster shall make annual assessments in order to confirm that the use of moorings does not include live aboard activity.
All harbor activities shall be managed in accordance with the regulations, statements, and ordinances contained in the Town's Harbor Management Plan.
Mooring permit required. No mooring shall be located, or maintained, in the coastal waters and harbor areas of the Town until a permit has been issued for the use of such moorings by the Harbormaster.
Placement of moorings. The Harbormaster directs the placement of the moorings within the mooring field boundaries and the Harbormaster determines that mooring tackle conforms to the specifications and standards set forth in all applicable regulations and any conditions of the permit.
Transfer of mooring permits. No mooring permit shall be sold, assigned or otherwise transferred by a permit holder. Assignments of all mooring permits shall be made only by the Harbormaster's office.
Reassignment of mooring permits by Harbormaster's office. When an existing mooring permit becomes available, the owner shall notify the Harbormaster and arrange for the inspection of the mooring site within 30 days. The Harbormaster may immediately permit the space to the person next on the waiting list whose boat fits the mooring.
New moorings. Available spaces for new moorings shall be assigned by the Harbormaster to the person next on the waiting list whose boat fits the space.
Change of vessel. Mooring permit holders who plan a change in vessel on their mooring must file a new mooring permit application. Failure to comply with this regulation can result in forfeiture of the mooring.
Request for a mooring permit.
All requests for mooring permits shall be submitted to the Harbormaster via the e-permitting system provided by the Town.
An application shall be accompanied by the appropriate fee and shall be received by the Office of the Harbormaster.
A complete and accurate mooring permit application must be submitted before the Harbormaster can act to approve or deny such application.
The Harbormaster shall determine if a mooring permit can be issued only after all provisions of the Harbor Management Plan, this article and all applicable regulations are met; provided that mooring space is available.
Mooring tackle must be installed by a professional mooring service, and confirmation received by the Harbormaster within 15 days from the date of approval or said mooring permit shall be forfeited.
Permit renewals for all moorings shall occur annually. Applications for renewals of a valid mooring permit shall be submitted to the Harbormaster through the e-permitting system.
The Harbormaster shall open e-permitting for the renewal of permits by email notice before January 1st of each year to those persons who held valid mooring permits the previous year. Email notice shall be sent to the email address listed on their last e-permit application.
Online renewal, accompanied by the appropriate fee and a current copy of the permitted boat's registration and documentation, must be received by March 1. After March 1, a late fee of $50 will be applied for applications received.
It shall be the responsibility of the mooring permit holder to notify the Harbormaster of any change in information reported through e-permitting.
If a mooring permit holder does not receive a renewal notice through e-permitting, it is their responsibility to contact the Harbormaster's office.
Upon receipt of the complete renewal registration and fee, the Harbormaster's office shall forward to the permit holder the required mooring identification.
Relocation of existing permitted mooring.
All requests for relocation of existing permitted moorings must be submitted to the Harbormaster. Information for such a request must meet the requirements of the e-permitting system, as well as proof of a valid mooring permit issued for the previous or current year. The reasons for a mooring relocation must be clearly stated in the request.
Action on the relocation request will be taken by the Harbormaster based upon availability of space in the desired mooring field, the requirements of this chapter, and the type and size characteristics of the vessel.
Any request received by the Harbormaster that is not complete shall be returned to the applicant and no action will be taken on the request.
Failure to renew an existing valid mooring permit. Failure to renew an existing valid mooring permit in accordance with the provisions of these regulations shall result in the permitted owner's forfeiture of all his or her privileges in the previously permitted mooring space. Upon the written request of the Harbormaster, the permit holder shall immediately remove the mooring tackle from the mooring space. If the permit holder does not remove the mooring tackle within 30 days of the written request, the Harbormaster may remove the now abandoned mooring tackle at the permit holder's expense.
Forfeiture of mooring space. Any permit holder shall be deemed to have forfeited his or her mooring space by reason of any one of the following:
Failure to comply with any of the requirements of this chapter;
Removal of mooring and mooring tackle and notification to the Harbormaster that the mooring has been forfeited;
Failure to respond to the Harbormaster's notice that the mooring does not comply with the mooring tackle standards set forth in this chapter and all applicable regulations, or that the mooring has been displaced or moved from its permitted location without approval.
Failure to display the mooring identification on the mooring buoy and boat.
Failure to resurface, repair or replace mooring tackle within 60 days after being advised to do so by the Harbormaster.
Removal of mooring from forfeited mooring space. The Harbormaster shall notify the mooring owner advising of the reason for forfeiture as stated above. The mooring owner shall be given 10 business days to comply. If mooring has not been removed in the time frame, the Harbormaster's office shall cause the mooring to be removed at the owner's expense. If a boat is tied to the mooring, the boat will also be removed and stored at the owner's expense.
Available spaces. As of March 1 of each year, the Harbormaster shall determine the number of mooring permits available for mooring placement. The number of permits available shall equal the number of spaces authorized by this article, minus the sum of all acceptable mooring permit renewal applications. The available mooring permits shall be made available first to those persons whose names appear on the waiting list whose boat fits the mooring space.
Initial assignment of mooring permits. In accordance with Town Council resolution 18/19-118, adopted March 25, 2019, a mooring permit shall be issued for existing moorings and any relocated moorings that are verified by a professional mooring service to be capable of safely holding the vessel intended to be secured to the mooring tackle prior to the occupation of such mooring in accordance with the e-permitting procedures established by Council. Through this process of e-permitting, applicants will be identified as either residents or nonresidents and mooring permits will be distributed on a no greater than 3:1 basis (three residents for every one nonresident). The Harbormaster shall at all times maintain a list of all mooring permits assigned.
Waiting list. When no mooring permits are available for existing or relocated moorings, applicants shall be placed on a waiting list for a designated mooring field. The Harbormaster shall mail the forms for the annual waiting list renewal the first week in January. The annual waiting list fee must be received by March 1. If the annual fee is not received by the March 1 deadline the applicant will be removed from the waiting list. The Harbormaster shall submit an updated waiting list to the harbor commission and Town Council twice a year on or near April 15 and October 15. The waiting list shall remain available on the webpage for Harbormaster's office at all times. The waiting list shall show the names of the persons desiring mooring space, the date of application, and the area in which such space is.
Occupancy of mooring.
No vessel shall occupy a mooring other than the one for which it has been permitted. The Harbormaster shall have the authority to move or cause to be moved any vessel violating the provisions of this section, at the expense and risk of the vessel owner.
Temporary guest use. For temporary guest use of a mooring by a vessel other than the one permitted, for a period not exceeding seven days, the mooring owner, or his agent, must notify the Harbormaster upon the vessel's arrival at the mooring. Upon written request by the mooring owner, the Harbormaster may, for good cause, allow a temporary guest use of a mooring for a period greater than seven days.
Any mooring which is not used for one year shall be considered abandoned and must be removed by its owner from the mooring area. This period may be extended if extenuating circumstances are presented to the Harbormaster on a timely basis. If the owner fails to remove the mooring upon order of the Harbormaster, the owner will be billed for the cost of the mooring removal and storage if applicable.
It shall be a violation for any vessel to attach, use or occupy any mooring that fails to comply with any section of this chapter.
Preference to Westerly residents. In the assignment of initial mooring space and the reallocation of existing mooring space, Westerly residents shall be given priority over nonresidents. However, a nonresident shall not lose priority to a resident more than three times before such nonresident is given first priority to an appropriate mooring space unless the mooring field is within a federal navigation project that the Town of Westerly has agreed in writing to certain covenants thereto, then mooring allocations shall meet the Army Corps of Engineers requirement of open to all on a fair and equitable basis.
The rate charged for all mooring permits shall be in accordance with the fee schedule in § 121-1 of the Town Code.
The Harbormaster shall have the authority to remove or relocate any mooring in violation of an applicable provision of either Chapter 86 or the Harbor Management Plan.
Moorings in violation. The Harbormaster shall notify a mooring permit holder of a violation by certified mail. Any mooring permit holder whose mooring has been deemed in violation must contact the Harbormaster's office within 15 days of the violation notice. No one shall remove, take, discard or dispose of any violation sticker, violation decal or violation pennant from any mooring without the permission of the Westerly Harbormaster.
All applications for mooring permits shall be made through the e-permitting system maintained by the Town of Westerly and under the administration of the Harbormaster. Each applicant shall provide such information as requested by the Harbormaster, and in the least, the following information:
Name, address, telephone number (home and cell), and e-mail address (if applicable) of owner;
Vessel name, active registration number, hull identification number (HIN), length (feet), type, and color and documentation number of the boat to be on the mooring;
Proof of ownership of the vessel;
Emergency contact name and telephone;
Mooring classification, actual anchor weight, mooring type;
Appropriate registration fee;
Type of marine sanitation device, if any, and need for pumpout boat pennant (please note that all boats with type 3 MSDs are required to utilize the Town's mooring pumpout boat service and must have a pennant);
Area(s) where applicant would like to locate mooring, prioritized;
Proof of waterfront property ownership, if applicable, must include utility bill, plat map and driver's license; and
Proof of residency (driver's license).
The Town may, from time to time, update the e-permitting system.
Mooring gear and tackle used in the Town shall meet or exceed those specified in the current edition of Chapman's Piloting & Seamanship. The Harbormaster may approve informal variances to mooring tackle specifications, other than those minimum standards described herein, for specific cases if such specifications are inappropriate for the area in which a mooring will be located. The Harbormaster must file such variance with the Harbor Commission. Inspections and services are to be completed as defined in the Westerly Harbor Management Plan.