Town of Highland, NY
Sullivan County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Highland by L.L. No. 9-2002. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Zoning — See Ch. 190.

§ 30-1 Title and authority.

This chapter is adopted pursuant to Article 9, § 130, Subsection 17, of the New York State Town Law, Regulation of Vessels, and the Municipal Home Rule Law. It shall be known and cited as the "Boating Law of the Town of Highland."

§ 30-2 Purpose and jurisdiction.

The intent of this chapter is to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the Town by establishing requirements for safe boating on all public waterways of the Town of Highland. The Town of Highland shall enforce the New York State Navigation Law to its full extent and additional regulations as hereinafter provided.

§ 30-3 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms have the definitions hereinafter given them:
Any mechanically propelled vessel, including personal watercraft.
[Amended 7-14-2009 by L.L. No. 4-2009]
An individual, society, club, firm, partnership, corporation or association of persons, the singular including the plural.
Any motorized craft, sat or stood upon, such as jet-skis, wave-runners, sea-dos, with the capability to transport one or more individuals across water at a rate of speed in excess of 20 miles per hour.
Any body of water, including but not limited to lakes, ponds, streams, rivers or brooks, which shall be wholly located within the boundaries of or adjoin the Town of Highland.
The inability, because of darkness, fog or other view factors, to obtain a clear view by eyesight at least 750 feet straight ahead or to the opposite shoreline if one is standing on shore, whichever shall be greater.
Any floating craft of three feet or more in length which is used for navigation in or on the water.
Anything with a rider (water skis, surfboards, knee boards, wake boards, discs, tubes or hydrofoils) being towed behind a powered vessel by means of a towrope or towline except another vessel.

§ 30-4 Restricted activities on public waterways of Town.

All operators of power vessels towing ski or aquaplane riders shall:
Keep at least 300 feet from shore, pier, bridge structure, abutment, other vessels or other persons in the water.
Have an observer at least 12 years of age physically on board. Mirrors or other substitute measures or visual apparatus shall not be acceptable.
[Amended 7-14-2009 by L.L. No. 4-2009]
Have a towline not exceeding 75 feet in length.
No water-skiing or aquaplaning shall be permitted between sunset and 8:00 a.m. or during times of restricted visibility.
All skiers shall wear a United States Coast Guard approved Type II, III or Type V hybrid personal flotation device.
[Amended 7-14-2009 by L.L. No. 4-2009]
Personal watercraft.
[Amended 7-14-2009 by L.L. No. 4-2009]
All operators of personal watercraft shall:
Not operate said apparatus in such a manner so as to become airborne or completely leave the water while crossing the wake of another vessel (wake-jumping).
Not operate in any manner or at any speed which is reckless, unsafe or hazardous to public safety, giving due regard to visibility, traffic density, state of wind, water and current, proximity of other craft, operators and water users, and proximity of navigational hazards.
Except when leaving or arriving at a docking area or pier, keep at least 300 feet from any marina, bridge, structure, dock, raft, float, other vessels or any enclosed swimming areas; though personal watercraft may travel together in a safe and reasonable fashion.
Keep at least 300 feet from swimmers or public and private beaches except for leaving or arriving at a marina, private dock, or shoreline, in which case the personal watercraft shall operate at a speed no greater than five miles per hour, without creating a wake, in a line which is perpendicular to the destination or departure.
No personal watercraft operation shall be allowed between sunset and 8:00 a.m. or during times of restricted visibility.
All operators and riders of personal watercraft shall wear a United States Coast Guard approved Type II, III or Type V hybrid personal flotation device.
Motorboats. No person shall operate a motorboat at above idle speed between sunset and 8:00 a.m. or during times of restricted visibility.
General regulations.
No cabin cruisers or watercraft exceeding 20 feet in length shall be permitted with the exception of deck, pontoon and sail boats which do not create significant wakes.
No person shall enclose a swimming area of more than 50 feet from the shore without permission from the Town of Highland.
Boats directly approaching each other shall pass to the right of each other, and sailboats shall always have the right-of-way.
All boats must include at least one life preserver meeting the standards contained herein for each person on the boat as well as a signaling device and fire extinguisher.
[Amended 7-14-2009 by L.L. No. 4-2009]
No motorboat or personal watercraft shall be operated using zigzag or donut pattern maneuvers.
Parasailing, where an individual is towed on skis by a motorboat or personal watercraft, with a parachute device attached to achieve air lift, is strictly prohibited.
[Amended 7-14-2009 by L.L. No. 4-2009]
Towing operations shall be strictly in accordance with the provisions of the New York State Navigation Law.
No plastic or vinyl rafts shall be allowed outside of designated swimming areas.

§ 30-5 Motorboat and personal watercraft rental businesses.

All motorboats and personal watercraft owned by rental businesses shall be officially registered with the State of New York and marked with six-inch-high identification insignia including the name of the rental company and number on both sides of the watercraft, except in those cases where the State of New York shall require a different standard.
No motorboat or personal watercraft shall be rented to a person who is less than 18 years of age. The owner of such rental business shall obtain identification from the would-be renter in the form of a driver's license or other alternate form of identification containing the name and address of the would-be renter. The license or alternate form of identification shall be held as a deposit by the owner of the rental business until the return of the personal watercraft or motorboat to the owner. Each owner of such rental business shall maintain a daily log of all rentals made by the rental business. No person other than a renter shall operate a rental motorboat or personal watercraft.
Personal watercraft and motorboats shall not be rented between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m., except for fishing boats operating with a motor of less than 10 horsepower and pontoon boats. Personal watercraft rented prior to 5:00 p.m. shall be off the water no later than 6:00 p.m.
The owner of each rental business shall provide information to the operator of any motorboat or person watercraft rented regarding the manner in which it is to be operated, which information shall be in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions and design. Such course of instruction shall also be fully consistent with the boating safety instruction requirements adopted by the State of New York for personal watercraft. After January 1, 2003, all persons renting personal watercraft shall be required to possess boating safety certificates. The owner of the rental business shall also obtain the signed consent of any operator of a motorboat or personal watercraft that he or she has reviewed and understands these written instructions. These instructions shall be provided on a laminated card permanently affixed to the motorboat or personal watercraft in a location which is easily visible to the operator and shall include a summary of the foregoing rules of operation as well as such other information as the Town Board of the Town of Highland shall from time to time specify by resolution. Failure to so instruct each renter of said requirements shall subject the owner of a rental business to a violation of this chapter.
Each rental business owner shall have a patrol boat available at all times a motorboat or personal watercraft is rented out.
All rental operations shall require a special use permit pursuant to the Town of Highland Zoning Law[1] and shall not be permitted to operate without first obtaining said permit regardless whether or not any building construction is involved. Any existing operations which were lawfully established pursuant to the Town of Highland Zoning Law prior to the enactment of this chapter shall comply with all operational aspects of this chapter within 30 days of the effective date as provided herein. All rental sites shall be located on shore and no rental business shall be permitted more than one location serving any water body.
Editor's Note: See Ch. 190, Zoning.
All operators of motor boats and personal watercraft owned by rental businesses shall be provided with and utilize personal flotation devices as required above. Such personal flotation devices shall be clearly marked in easily readable contrasting colors to identify the fact the equipment being operated is a rental.
After January 1, 2003, no personal watercra`ft using a two-cycle engine shall be permitted on the public waterways of the Town of Highland.

§ 30-6 Dumping of wastes prohibited.

In the interests of the public health, the prevention of disease, the elimination of pollution and the exclusion of contamination of the water and in order to protect and safeguard the sanitation of bathing, as well as the general health of the citizens, residents and visitors of the Town of Highland, no person shall dump or discard garbage, food wastes, offal or any other waste, refuse, or sewage materials into any of said waters.

§ 30-7 Enforcement.

The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Town of Highland Town Constable and/or other law enforcement agencies as shall be appointed by the Town of Highland Town Board.

§ 30-8 Violations.

Any violation of this chapter is hereby declared to be an offense and shall render the violator or, if applicable, the owner of the land or the lessee, tenant or occupant, if his responsibility is fixed by contractual agreement, liable to a fine not to exceed $250.
Each and every day that any such violation continues after notification that such violation exists shall constitute a separate offense. Such notice shall be written by the Code Enforcement Officer and shall be served either by certified mail or by an appearance citation to the court, of courts appropriate jurisdiction, including the court of the Town Justice.
Should there be a conflict or provision between this chapter and any other local or state rules, regulations, codes or laws the more restrictive shall apply.