[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of East Greenwich 6-22-1993 by Ord. No. 595 as Secs. 7-1 to 7-7 of the 1993 Code; amended in its entirety 2-9-2009 by Ord. No. 798. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Mooring fees — See § 93-1A(27).
STATE LAW REFERENCES
Harbors and harbor lines — See R.I.G.L. § 46-4-1 et seq.
Appointment of Harbormaster — See R.I.G.L. § 46-4-6.14.
The provisions of this chapter and any rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto shall be applicable to, and shall govern the use of, the cove, lands, waters and facilities under the jurisdiction of the East Greenwich Cove Management Commission. This chapter shall be subordinate to all existing federal and state statutes and regulations affecting the Town and is not intended to preempt any other valid law.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
- The principal, non-water-dependent use of a structure or vessel as a dwelling or home.
- To secure a vessel temporarily to the bottom of a water body by dropping an anchor or other ground tackle from a vessel.
- Any water areas reserved for unobstructed movement of vessels.
- COVE MANAGEMENT COMMISSION
- The local commission established under and carrying out the responsibilities authorized by Article II of Chapter 34, Boards, Committees and Commissions.
- COMMERCIAL MOORING
- The rental or lease of a mooring or the use of a mooring to conduct business by a registered commercial marine business.
- Any locally designated and/or maintained water areas reserved for unobstructed movement of vessels.
- GREENWICH COVE
- Those portions of East Greenwich water delineated as such on the official chart which is on file in the Town Clerk's office.
- Refers to that person appointed by the Town Manager with the approval of the Town Council.
- LAUNCHING RAMP
- Any man-made or natural facility used for the launching and retrieval of boats (Section 300.4 Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Program).
- Includes any dock, pier, wharf, float, floating businesses, or combination of such facilities that service five or more recreational boats as a commercial enterprise or in association with a club (Section 300.4 Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Program).
- To permanently secure a vessel to the bottom of a water body by the use of mooring tackle.
- Refers to that location duly permitted by the Town and registered to the applicant.
- MOORING TACKLE
- The hardware used to secure a vessel at a mooring and which is kept in place seasonally.
- Any individual, business or corporation which does not meet the definition of "resident."
- QUALIFIED MOORING INSPECTOR
- An individual or company who, to the satisfaction of the Harbormaster, is qualified to inspect mooring tackle as to condition and size.
- RECREATIONAL BOATING FACILITY
- Includes marinas, launching ramps, residential boating facilities, recreational wharves, piers and slips, floats or floating docks, and recreational mooring areas (Section 300.4 Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Program).
- Persons who are legal residents of East Greenwich or persons who own real estate in East Greenwich. For purposes of this section, simply having a post office box in East Greenwich does not qualify as an East Greenwich resident.
- RESTRICTED AREA
- Those portions of East Greenwich Cove which shall be designated as restricted from mooring or anchoring on the mooring chart.
- An easement or right to pass and repass across a parcel.
- Every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane on water, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water. Specifically excluded by this definition are floating homes.
The Harbormaster, under the direction of the Town Manager, shall have the authority to carry out harbor management directives and enforce all provisions of the harbor management plan, including this chapter. The Harbormaster may cite any alleged violations of this chapter.
The Harbormaster may assume the following duties:
Act as a staff resource as needed by the Cove Management Commission.
Be responsible for administration of any designated mooring areas.
Keep records of the location of all moorings, users and vessels within the designated harbor areas and other Town waters.
Consult with the Parks and Recreation Director on the mooring waiting list.
Enforce any ordinance or provision of the harbor management plan, ordinance or any state boating laws, as applicable.
The Harbormaster shall work at the direction of the Town Manager.
Liability. Persons using the public facilities and areas within the limits of Greenwich Cove shall assume all risk of personal injury and damage or loss to their property. The Town assumes no risk on account of accident, fire, theft, vandalism or acts of God.
Vessel speed. The operation of any vessel within Greenwich Cove shall proceed in a manner which protects all persons and property from wake. Operators of boats within Greenwich Cove shall comply with the state regulations on wake and boat speed, which establish a maximum speed for boats at five miles per hour, no wake.
Obstruction of channels, fairways and berthing spaces. No vessel shall be moored or anchored so as to interfere with the free and unobstructed use of the channels, fairways or berthing spaces within the area designated in § 128-1.
Swimming. Swimming is prohibited in all designated channels and fairways.
Fishing. Fishing from vessels and shell fishing is prohibited in all designated channels and fairways. The placement of pot floats and fish nets is prohibited in all channels and fairways.
Houseboats and floating businesses. Houseboats or floating businesses are prohibited from mooring or anchoring unless within the boundaries of a marina. Houseboats and floating businesses shall tie into marina or port holding-tank pump-out facilities where available.
Discharge of refuse. It shall be a violation of this chapter to willfully discharge any refuse or waste matter, petroleum product or by-product, paint, varnish, dead animals, fish, bait or debris into Greenwich Cove.
Marine toilets. No person shall operate a marine toilet at any time so as to cause or permit to pass or to be discharged into the waters of East Greenwich Cove any untreated sewage or other waste matter or contaminant of any kind. (Narragansett Bay is a no-discharge zone, per Rhode Island's No-Discharge Compliance Program.)
Use of Town dock.
[Amended 11-29-2018 by Ord. No 879]
The Town dock shall not be used on a continual basis for more than one hour.
The Town dock shall be limited to vessels up to 35 feet in length and up to six tons in weight. Any vessel that exceeds those length and weight limits may only use the Town dock with the express approval of the Harbormaster or his or her designee.
Abandoned vessels/harbor structures. No person shall deposit or abandon a vessel or structure upon a beach, a public right-of-way or in the waters of the Town. Any person violating this section shall be subject to a fine in accordance with the provisions in § 128-7. When any vessel or structure is deposited or abandoned in the waters of the Town, the Harbormaster is authorized and empowered to remove such vehicle or structure or cause such vehicle or structure to be removed.
Notice of removal of vessel/harbor structures. If the person who owns, has an interest in, or exercises any control over the vessel or structure, or otherwise is known, the Harbormaster shall give written notice by certified mail to such person to remove the vessel or structure within a specified time.
Removal of vessel/harbor structures. If the vessel or structure is not removed within the time specified in the notice and in a manner and to a place satisfactory to the Harbormaster, or if no such person is known to the Harbormaster upon whom the notice can be served, the Harbormaster may proceed to remove or cause the vessel or structure to be removed in a manner and to a place the Harbormaster shall deem best.
Liability. The owner or such other person of a vessel or structure removed by the Harbormaster in accordance with this chapter shall be liable to pay the cost and expenses of the removal and storage or to repay the cost and expenses when paid by the Town. The expenses may be recovered in an action brought by the Town Solicitor against the owner(s). If the owner(s) are unknown or the vessel or structure is unclaimed within 90 days of the removal, the Town may sell the vessel or structure. The proceeds from the sale shall be used to defray the costs of the Town incurred in the removal and storage of the vessel or structure and in the administration of this chapter.
Towing. The Harbormaster has the authority to direct that a vessel be towed pursuant to this chapter or any rules and regulations of the Town Council.
Rafting. Rafting on a single mooring will only be allowed if it does not interfere with adjacent single moorings or anchorages. Boats in a raft shall be manned at all times.
Placement of private and commercial moorings.
It shall be a violation of this chapter to place any mooring in the waters of the Town without a permit from the Harbormaster. No vessel moored or anchored within a mooring area shall extend beyond the mooring area perimeter into any designated channels, fairways, turning basins, or shoreside facilities.
No moorings shall be placed within 50 feet of any shoreside structure.
All moorings shall be set back at least 25 feet from the fairway and public rights-of-way.
No moorings or anchorages are permitted in designated areas adjacent to public rights-of-way.
No private or commercial moorings are permitted in designated federal navigation areas.
No swimming or waterskiing activities shall be allowed in mooring areas.
All private moorings (excluding riparian moorings) that have been permitted and placed outside the boundary of the Town's mooring area shall be relocated within the mooring area whenever the abandonment or removal of a mooring located within the mooring area provides a vacancy for such relocation.
Moorings are assigned by the East Greenwich Parks and Recreation Director after consultation with the Harbormaster.
The East Greenwich Parks and Recreation Department shall keep a detailed record of each mooring, its location, and the owner's name, home address, and business and home telephone numbers, date of application, name of boat, boat length, beam and draft, type of boat and type of head and holding tank to be attached thereto. The Parks and Recreation Department shall give a copy of the information to the Harbormaster. The Harbormaster shall keep a detailed record of each mooring and its physical location in the Cove.
The East Greenwich Parks and Recreation Department shall maintain in a public place a waiting list for mooring space and a list for assignment of mooring space, and both lists shall be updated annually.
Applications for all moorings shall be renewed annually.
Allocation of moorings.
After March 1 of each year, the Parks and Recreation Director and the Harbormaster shall determine the number of moorings available for new mooring space as the sum of all authorized mooring spaces for which acceptable applications for renewal were not received. In accordance with Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) Harbor Management Guidelines, moorings shall be allocated in a ratio of no greater than three East Greenwich residents to each nonresident. If at any time a mooring field is established or relocated to within a federal navigation project, then the mooring allocations shall meet the Army Corps of Engineers requirement of "open to all on a fair and equitable basis."
Only one mooring permit may be issued to a boat owner other than a commercial user. In order to ensure an adequate number of moorings to be available for individual permit applicants, no more than a total of 35 commercial mooring permits may be issued.
Consideration shall be given to water quality concerns, parking, boating safety and public access when determining the total number of mooring permits to be issued.
Original application for mooring permit. Application shall be made on mooring application forms provided by the Parks and Recreation Department and shall be filed with the Parks and Recreation Department. No mooring shall be located or maintained unless the owner has obtained a current mooring permit.
Mooring permit waiting list. A waiting list for mooring permits will be established and maintained by the East Greenwich Parks and Recreation Department. Chronological order of date of application will determine the waiting list. Persons on the waiting list who do not apply for a permit within 10 business days when notified that a mooring location appropriate to their boat size is available will be removed from the mooring waiting list.
Mooring permits valid for one year only. Mooring permits are valid for a period not to exceed one year, unless renewed as referenced in this chapter.
Application for mooring permits and renewals.
Applications for new or abandoned moorings may be made at any time.
Applications for mooring renewals must be submitted no later than March 1 of each succeeding year. No applications for renewals of mooring permits will be accepted after March 1. All valid permits, if not renewed, shall expire March 1 of the next year.
Failure to renew an existing mooring, properly permitted, by March 1 of any given year shall result in the registered owner's abandonment of all rights and interest in said mooring.
A new permittee will be granted a mooring permit without a boat for no more than one boating season.
A current permit holder must have a registered boat on file but may renew the permit for no more than one consecutive boating season without a registered boat.
Commercial mooring holders must submit documentation with the mooring application indicating that the business is a registered commercial business and provide proof of insurance naming the Town of East Greenwich as an additional insured.
Mooring registration fee. All applications shall be accompanied by the registration fee established by the Town Council. Registration fees shall not be refundable. Upon approval of a mooring permit, the full mooring fee shall be paid to the Parks and Recreation Department within 10 days.
Mooring permits nontransferable.
Permits issued under this chapter shall not be transferable.
An assigned mooring shall be used only by the boat registered to it. The boat using a residential or nonresidential mooring must be registered to the mooring permit holder. This restriction shall not apply to commercial moorings or recreational boating facilities/marinas. Exceptions to this shall be made at the Harbormaster's discretion.
Mooring location. All mooring locations will be approved and designated by the Harbormaster through the Mooring Committee. If a replacement vessel is significantly smaller, larger or of different draft or type, the Harbormaster shall have the right to relocate the vessel to another, more suitable mooring.
Transient moorings. Space for rental transient moorings is made available through the East Greenwich Yacht Club.
Appeal of permit denial. Appeals of permit denial or no action must be made to the Town Manager within 10 working days.
Any mooring on or maintained in Greenwich Cove which has not been issued a permit and/or does not comply with each and every specification set forth in this chapter shall be deemed an illegal mooring and shall be removed at the owner's expense. All existing moorings must be registered and approved and comply or they shall be removed.
Whenever any mooring is placed in or remains in Greenwich Cove in violation of this chapter, the Harbormaster shall cause the mooring to be removed.
The permit holders or other such persons concerned with moorings that have been removed by the Harbormaster shall be liable to pay the cost and expenses of such removal, or to repay the cost and expenses when paid out by the Town, and the cost and expenses may be recovered in an action brought by the Town against such persons.
Mooring tackle specifications. Utilization of proper mooring tackle is necessary to moor vessels adequately at their moorings. This chapter hereby establishes a minimum standard for tackle to moor vessels in Greenwich Cove. The Town assumes no liability for personal injury or property damage which results from the utilization of any tackle which meets or exceeds these recommendations.
Boat and/or mooring owners shall be liable for any damage caused by faulty, inadequate or improperly placed moorings.
It is the owner's responsibility to maintain the mooring and to have the tackle inspected by a qualified mooring inspector at least every three years. Certification of inspection will be kept on file with the Harbormaster.
Each mooring which has been approved as set forth shall be assigned a registration number. Each mooring buoy or float must be clearly visible and legibly marked with its assigned number. All mooring buoys shall be marked with a clearly legible number (three-inch minimum number height) assigned by the Parks and Recreation Department.
Mooring tackle should meet the following minimum standards:
The maximum length of the pennant should be 2 1/2 times the distance from the bow chock to the water, plus the distance from the bow chock to the mooring cleat or post.
All pennant lines running through a chock or any other object where chafing may occur should have adequate chafe guards.
The total scope of the chain should be 2 1/2 times the depth of the water at high tide. The bottom and top chain should each consist of approximately 50% of the scope.
All shackles, swivels and other hardware used in the mooring hookup should be proportional in size to the chain used.
All shackles should be properly sized.
It is recommended that the pennant be spliced or shackled into the bitter end of the top chain below the buoy so the strain is not carried by the buoy. The use of a second pennant and anchor in heavy weather is encouraged.
Only mushroom anchors will be acceptable on permanent moorings.
The minimum distance between any two moored vessels should be 1 1/4 times the total mooring scope, plus the length of the larger vessel.
The Harbormaster may approve installation of other types of moorings if they are deemed sufficient for the area in which they are located.
Winter mooring stakes shall be readily visible in a vertical position above the water at all times and shall be removed not later than June 1 of the next succeeding year. Winter stakes shall not be set until on or after October 1 of each calendar year.