[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Yorktown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Parks and recreation facilities — See Ch. 213.
[Adopted 11-22-1991 as L.L. No. 35-1991]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Includes a jet ski or any other one or two person motorized watercraft.
- A natural person or a corporate person.
This article shall be known as the "Motorized Boating Law of the Town of Yorktown." It is an article regulating the operation and speed of motorized boats on the waterways of the Town of Yorktown.
This article is enacted pursuant to the Municipal Home Rule Law and any and all applicable laws, rules and regulations of the State of New York; nothing contained herein shall be deemed to conflict with any such laws, rules or regulations.
It is hereby found that the use of motorized boats on waterways within the Town of Yorktown presents a safety hazard to other users. The waterways where motorized boating currently takes place are also used for swimming, rafting, sailing and fishing from smaller boats and recreational boating from inflatable watercraft. The relatively small size of the subject waterways forces motorized boating to overlap with these other uses. From a safety perspective the fast speed and resultant wake associated with the large motorized boats is incompatible with these other uses.
Additionally, recent scientific studies indicate that motorized boating can adversely impact lake ecology. Potential ecological impacts include degradation of water quality, sediment quality alteration, shoreline impacts, fauna disturbance and impacts on fish, waterfowl and other aquatic wildlife. The extent of these impacts depend, in great part, upon the characteristics of the particular lake ecosystem.
The adverse impacts of motorized boating are increased in the relatively shallow and small water bodies and lakes of the Town of Yorktown. The lakes within the town are currently experiencing advanced eutrophication and serious pollution problems due, in large part, to the pressures of civilization. While nonpoint source pollution is a major cause of these problems, it is very difficult to control. On the other hand, motorized boating, which can retard lake management and cleanup efforts, can be effectively controlled.
The impact of motorized boating on lake ecology is directly related to the properties of the engine, i.e., size and speed. Boats equipped with larger motors can cause the resuspension and recycling of previously settled nutrients from the lake bottom or thermocline region. This can decrease the beneficial impact of chemical applications intended to improve water quality. Moreover, the interaction between larger motors and shallow water depth can cause high levels of turbidity, causing unacceptable water clarity. Additionally, substances discharged from motors can be toxic to fish and other aquatic organisms.
Based on the above, it is found that the negative influences of motorized boating on safety and lake ecology outweighs its recreational benefits.
It is declared to be the intent of the Town of Yorktown to regulate the use and operation of motorized boats on the lakes and waterways of the Town of Yorktown. The purpose of this regulation is to promote the public health, safety and general welfare and to protect the general ecology and water quality of these water bodies.
On all waterways where motorized boats are permitted, no boat shall be powered or operated with an engine greater than five horsepower. However, a motor up to 20 horsepower may be used for water quality testing or cleanup efforts pursuant to a comprehensive lake management program. Motorized boats shall be operated in a prudent manner so as not to interfere with the free and proper use of such waterways by others.
Motorized boat operators shall comply with all rules, regulations, laws and ordinances of any agency having jurisdiction thereover with respect to safety requirements while any motorized boat is actually being operated upon any waterway of the Town of Yorktown.
No motorized boat shall be operated upon any town waterway between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m inclusive.
The exhaust of every motorized boat operated on any waterway of the town shall be effectively muffled.
Any person convicted of having violated or disobeyed any provision of this article shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $500 and/or a term of imprisonment of not more than 15 days. Each consecutive day of the violation may be considered a separate offense.