August 2013.


Buffer zone has dock owners seeing red

Some ask why they have to pay for the space when they may not even own a boat. Others wonder about potential liability.

By Beau Nicolette

4:46 PM PDT, August 16, 2013

Newport Harbor residents raised concerns about having to pay for a 10-foot buffer around their docks during a meeting Thursday on how to implement a multiyear plan to increase dock fees.

The workshop at the OASIS Senior Center was not meant to challenge the fees but to gather input for the Newport Beach City Council.

The council in December approved increasing docking fees for residential piers on state-owned, city-administered tidelands from a flat $100 annually to 52.5 cents per square foot of usable dock space.

But the issue on the minds of many in the audience Thursday was the buffer.



Thursday, August 15, 2013
3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
OASIS Senior Center
Classroom #1
801 Narcissus
Corona Del Mar 

It has been eight months since the city levied the Dock Tax.  The city is taking public input on the Dock Tax and its implementation at this informational meeting.  I will be attending to make the case that the Dock Tax permit has stripped us of our property right, causing one homeowner to already lose over $800,000 in value during the sale of his waterfront home.  Please attend and make your opinion known.


The city council of Newport Beach has done a wonderful job of convincing the public that the Bay Front owners have not paid our fair share of harbor costs.   Consider the taxes we already pay that should be credited to the Tidelands Fund:

  1. Property tax on the increased value the Dock creates [Dock’s increase value up to $1 million].  The city receives 17% of this increase in property tax payments because a Dock exists.
  2. Boat taxes.  There are 9,000 registered pleasure boats in Newport Harbor, including the boat(s) tied up to your Dock.  Each is assessed an unsecured property tax bill.  The City receives a 17% of the unsecured property tax.
  3. Possessory Interest Tax.  Some are on long-term leases that trigger “Possessory Interest Tax” – a tax similar to property tax.  The City receives a percentage of this tax.
  4. Annual permit fee.  We’re not sure what we received for paying this fee, but we paid it for decades.

The City’s budget does not reflect any of these revenues in the Tidelands Fund.

To claim we don’t pay our fair share is absurd.  This is an outrageously false statement due to the City’s lack of homework on the issue.


I love Newport! City officials, not so much


There is no way around it: I love Newport Beach.

I love surfing in Newport Beach. I love meeting with my friends and smoking cigars in Newport Beach. And I love living in Newport Beach.

Blessed with options, in my adult life I’ve lived in Huntington Beach, Corona del Mar, Santa Ana Heights, Haleiwa and Manoa, Hawaii, Costa Mesa, Irvine, and then finally back in Newport Beach in 2003, where I’ve chosen to make my home, hopefully permanently.

So when I hear it said that I’m someone who hates Newport Beach and keeps criticizing Newport Beach, I cannot help but shake my head.

Mayor Curry, in his July 12 commentary in The Current, for instance, made note of “writers” (the dismissive quotation marks are his) who “regularly attack our city.”
So, I “write” this column to clear something up: I do not attack our city. I love Newport Beach.