[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Cumberland 10-10-1989; amended in its entirety 10-28-2019. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Purpose. The Coastal Waters Ordinance is established to regulate marine activities within the coastal and tidal waters of the Town, to ensure the safety of persons and property, promote availability and the safety of valuable public resources, and to create a fair and efficient framework for the administration of the same.
Authority. This chapter is adopted pursuant to the authority granted by Title 38, Chapter 1, of the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated, as amended, and pursuant to the Town's home rule authority under the Constitution of Maine, Article VIII, Part 2, and 30-A M.R.S.A. § 3002, as amended.
Applicability. The provisions of this chapter apply to all coastal and tidal waters located within the boundaries of the Town.
Conflict. Nothing contained herein may be construed to conflict with the lawful jurisdiction of the United States government with respect to the enforcement of navigation, shipping, or anchorage and associated laws of the United States or any laws or regulations of the State of Maine.
As used in this chapter, the following terms mean:
- APPROVED MOORING SERVICE
- A mooring service, including sole proprietorships and other persons, which has provided an in-force certificate of insurance to the Harbormaster verifying that the mooring service has a minimum of $1,000,000 of commercial general liability and lists the Town as an additional insured.
- A personal watercraft that is subject to the same rules as a kayak in this chapter.
- COASTAL AND TIDAL WATERS PLAN (PLAN)
- A plan adopted by the Town Council designating the coastal and tidal waters of the Town and describing and showing the locations of mooring areas and channels for the passage of watercraft. This Plan may include mooring plans.
- COMMERCIAL WATERCRAFT
- Any type of watercraft used in a business or trade.
- DERELICT OR ABANDONED WATERCRAFT
- A watercraft that is given up by its master or owner with the intent to never again claim a right or interest in it.
- A punt, skiff, tender or similar watercraft, 12 feet or less in length, used solely as transportation to or from a watercraft on a mooring.
- A small, narrow personal watercraft which is pointed at both ends and propelled solely by paddle.
- A fixed anchor to which a watercraft can be made fast.
- MOORING PLAN
- A plan adopted by the Town Council as part of the Coastal and Tidal Waters Plan designating specific locations for moorings within a mooring area and establishing limits on the numbers of moorings allowed within a mooring area.
- MOORING SERVICE
- A business engaged in installing and inspecting moorings using qualified mooring inspectors.
- A large buoyant board used for recreation that is generally propelled by a standing rider using a paddle. A paddleboard is deemed to be a personal watercraft and subject to the same rules as a kayak in this chapter.
- A. For persons taking title to shorefront property on or after January 1, 1987, a lot the area of which is the larger of the minimum buildable lot size in the Town or 20,000 square feet, but in either case including 100 feet of shoreline frontage; or
- B. For persons who owned shore rights of at least 100 feet of frontage prior to January 1, 1987, a lot of any size.
- PERMIT YEAR
- The permit year is from January 1 through December 31.
- Includes the singular and plural, and including any individual, firm or corporation, association, club, partnership or society.
- PERSONAL WATERCRAFT
- A canoe, kayak or paddleboard.
- QUALIFIED MOORING INSPECTOR
- An approved mooring service that satisfies the Harbormaster as to its qualifications to inspect the condition and size of a mooring. Qualifications will be judged by past experience in installing and inspecting moorings, and familiarity with moorings to include the size and kind of tackle needed for the safe mooring of different size vessels.
- RECORDS MANAGEMENT
- The sections of the Maine State Archive Manual pertaining to records generated or controlled by the Town.
- REGISTERED DINGHY
- A dinghy owned or used by either a mooring holder in the Broad Cove Reserve mooring field or a transient mooring renter.
- A property owner or any person who occupies a dwelling within the Town for more than 180 days.
- RIPARIAN OWNER
- A person who owns the shore rights to a parcel of land abutting the coastal or tidal waters of the Town.
- The Town of Cumberland, Maine.
- Any type of vessel, boat, barge, float or craft, other than a seaplane or personal watercraft, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water.
Establishing policy. The Cumberland Coastal Waters Commission exists for the general purpose of evaluating public usage of and access to the coastal and tidal waters under the jurisdiction of the Town and planning for the future use of those waters; to advise the Town Council on policy matters and proposed regulations concerning the Town's coastal and tidal waters; to plan and implement improvements in conjunction with state and federal authorities; to supervise the enforcement of Town rules and regulations by the Harbormaster; and to sit as a board of appeals to hear appeals as provided by this chapter from any person aggrieved by a decision, act, or failure to act of the Harbormaster. The Commission may recommend to the Town Council a mooring plan for any area in which moorings are allowed under this chapter. The Commission will regularly inform the Town Council and other boards, committees, or officials of the Town of its activities.
The Coastal Waters Commission consists of at least five members appointed by the Town Council. Each Commissioner must be a resident of the Town and will serve without compensation.
Neither a Town Councilor nor their spouse may be a member of the Commission.
Any question of whether a particular issue involves a conflict of interest sufficient to disqualify a member from voting on that issue will be decided by a majority vote of the members, excluding the member who is being challenged; in the event of a tie vote on the question of whether a member should be disqualified from voting on the issue, the member will be disqualified from voting on the issue.
The Town Council may dismiss a member of the Commission for cause before the member's term expires. A Commissioner will forfeit membership on the Commission for failure to attend three consecutive regular meetings of the Commission without being excused by the Commission. The Chairman of the Commission will notify the Town Council Chairman of the forfeiture of office.
The term of office of a member is three years, except the initial appointments which are as follows: two members for three-year terms, two members for two-year terms, and one member for a one-year term.
The Commission will annually elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman from its membership and may create and fill such other offices as it may determine. Officers will serve one-year terms and are eligible for reelection.
The Chairman will call meetings of the Commission. The Chairman will also call meetings of the Commission when requested to do so by a majority of the members or by the Town Council. A quorum of the Commission necessary to conduct an official Commission meeting consists of at least three members. The Chairman will preside at all meetings of the Commission and will be the official spokesman of the Commission. In the absence of the Chairman, the Vice Chairman will assume these duties.
The Commission must maintain a permanent record of all Commission meetings and all correspondence. The Commission is responsible for maintaining those records which are required as a part of the various proceedings which may be brought before the Commission. All records to be maintained or prepared by the Commission are public records and must be filed in the Town Clerk's office and may be inspected at reasonable times.
In any appeal under § 48-11, the following procedures apply:
The Commission may receive any oral or documentary evidence but will provide as a matter of policy for the exclusion of irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence. Every party has the right to present their case or defense by oral or documentary evidence, to submit rebuttal evidence and to conduct any cross-examination required for a full and true disclosure of the facts;
The transcript of testimony, if any, and exhibits, together with all papers and requests filed in the proceeding, constitutes the record. All decisions become a part of the record and must include a statement of findings and conclusions, as well as the reasons or basis therefor, upon all the material issues of fact, law, or discretion presented in the appropriate order, relief or denial of relief. Notice of any decision will be mailed or hand-delivered to the petitioner, any representative or agent, and the Town Council within seven days of the Commission's decision;
The Commission may reconsider any decision reached under this section within 30 days of its decision. The Commission may conduct additional hearings and receive additional evidence and testimony as provided in this section; and
The Harbormaster will be appointed by the Town Manager annually. The Harbormaster's duties and responsibilities are as prescribed by 38 M.R.S.A. § 1 et seq. and by the provisions of this chapter. The Town Council may establish the Harbormaster's compensation, and the Harbormaster may be removed for cause in accordance with 38 M.R.S.A. § 1.
The Harbormaster will regularly attend the meetings of the Coastal Waters Commission and inform the Commission of their activities as well as provide such information as may be requested by the Commission in the execution of its duties.
Other than registered dinghies, all watercraft which tie up to the Broad Cove Reserve floats must be tied to the south or east side of the floats. No person may tie up any watercraft to Town public facilities for more than 30 minutes except with special prior permission from the Harbormaster. The penalty for violating the time limit is prescribed in § 84-12E.
No dinghy may tie up to any Town facility such as a wharf or float without permission of the Harbormaster, except for those owned or used by a mooring holder as described below. All dinghies will be tied with rope from bow to float, not parallel to the float.
Any dinghy owned or used by a holder in the Town mooring field must be tied to the north or west side of Broad Cove Reserve floats in an area designated for dinghy dockage. Each dinghy must be clearly marked so that the mooring registration number and owner's name are clearly visible from the floats in letters at least two inches high. Dinghies may be outfitted with an outboard motor of 10 hp or less. A Town-issued registration sticker must be clearly displayed on the outside front third of the dinghy.
No watercraft exceeding 12 feet in length or equipped with an outboard motor exceeding 10 hp may tie up to the north or west side of the Broad Cove Reserve floats. All motors must be stored in the raised position when tied to the floats. The penalty for inappropriately tying to the floats is as prescribed in § 84-12E.
General. The Town may provide facilities at Broad Cove Reserve for the storage of personal watercraft. Such storage, if provided, will be governed by the following:
Personal watercraft storage space will be awarded to only residents by an annual lottery managed by the Clerk's office. The lottery will be held on the first Thursday of April of each year. Notification must be made by the last Thursday of March of each year to the Clerk's office, by use of the required process, of the applicant's desire to be included in the lottery. No more than two individuals from the same household will be eligible to apply for or be awarded storage space. Personal watercraft storage space is nontransferable and may not be rented or otherwise assigned.
No more than two personal watercraft will be stored in each storage space.
Applicants awarded storage space must pay the annual fee as specified in § 84-12H. An applicant who does not pay the annual fee within 30 days will forfeit the storage space, and the space will be awarded to the next applicant on the list.
Personal watercraft stored at Town facilities are required to display a current registration sticker along the port side of the kayak or canoe, or port side or top front of the paddleboard.
Maximum length for a personal watercraft stored at Town facilities is 20 feet.
Personal watercraft owners are responsible for removal by October 1. Failure to timely remove the personal watercraft will result in the inability to rent during the next calendar year.
Each owner will ensure that the personal watercraft is reasonably secured and locked in its assigned rack space and will not pose a risk to others.
Each owner will ensure their rack space is clean and tidy at all times. No property other than two personal watercraft will be stored in the assigned rack space.
Personal watercraft stored at Town facilities are stored at the owner's risk. The Town accepts no responsibility for loss of or damages to any personal watercraft.
General. No person may place or establish a mooring in the coastal and tidal waters of the Town except within designated mooring areas as described in and shown on the Coastal and Tidal Waters Plan; provided, however, that:
A riparian owner who is the master or owner of a watercraft may be assigned a mooring fronting their land even though the mooring is not within a mooring area shown on the Plan, so long as the mooring does not encroach upon the natural channel or channels established in the Coastal and Tidal Waters Plan and provided that the riparian owner annually registers the mooring as provided in Subsection B of this section.
A riparian owner using a mooring or moorings fronting their land but not located within the mooring areas shown and described in the Plan of the Town as of the effective date of this chapter and Plan may be allowed to continue to use up to three such moorings at the same location, so long as the moorings do not encroach upon the natural channel or channels established in the Plan and provided the riparian owner informs the Harbormaster of the mooring location within one year from the effective date of this chapter and annually registers the moorings as provided by Subsection B of this section.
A property owner with a right-of-way (ROW) to the water is accorded the same rights and restrictions accorded to a riparian owner under Subsection A(1) and (2) above, except that the mooring(s) may be placed as conveniently as possible in front of the ROW and must not interfere with the reasonable placement or moorings allowed for riparian owners. Furthermore, should space be insufficient to meet demands, the number of moorings allowed for a ROW property owner in front of the ROW may be reduced to one.
The Town may permit a contractor to establish up to two moorings within the mooring field. These moorings are reserved for the contractor's exclusive use from January 1 until June 1 and from October 1 until December 31 for the purpose of tending Town and privately owned floats and moorings. From June 1 until September 30, the Town may use the floats as rental or transient moorings. The annual mooring fee is waived for these floats. The daily rental fee is established at § 84-12C.
Assignment and location of moorings.
No person may moor a watercraft in any part of the coastal and tidal waters of the Town without first annually registering the watercraft and obtaining a mooring assignment specifying the location of the mooring.
No owner or master of any watercraft may permit their watercraft to be docked or moored in such a manner as to obstruct the free passage of other watercraft going to or from any wharf, pier, or other mooring in the Town.
Any mooring assignment in the coastal and tidal waters of the Town is governed by the following guidelines:
Application for a mooring must be made by March 15 of each year unless an applicant shows good cause why they could not apply by that date (as, for example, a person who acquires a boat or becomes a resident after March 15). A mooring assignment will be valid until December 31. Any renewal application made after March 15 will be subject to a late fee established by the Town Council and listed in § 84-12G. A person previously holding a mooring permit in the Broad Cove mooring field who fails to renew the mooring by March 15 loses the right to renew and must apply for a new mooring.
If a person with an assigned mooring changes watercraft during the permit year, they must submit information regarding the change to the Harbormaster through approved means for review. If the characteristics of the mooring (block, chain, pennant) must be modified to accommodate the new watercraft, the notification should be made in advance of the change. If the mooring location needs to change, the notification and Harbormaster approval MUST precede any change. No new fees will be charged. The Harbormaster should be consulted if there are any questions.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, any person using a mooring located within the mooring areas shown and described in the Plan of the Town as of the effective date of this chapter and Plan will be allowed to continue to use that mooring at the same location, so long as the mooring does not encroach upon the natural channel or channels established in the Plan, and provided that such person informs the Harbormaster of the location of the mooring within one year from the effective date of this chapter and annually registers the mooring as provided by this Subsection B.
In the event more mooring applications for the Broad Cove Reserve mooring field are received than there are available spaces, the Harbormaster may maintain a waiting list of all applicants who have not been assigned a mooring. Further, if a plan is amended and that revised plan provides for fewer moorings, the moorings available under the revised plan must be assigned to persons who had registered moorings at the time of amendment of the plan under this allocation system, except as otherwise provided by this chapter. Persons may add their names to the waiting list using the required process. This procedure must be posted in the Town Hall, and the waiting list must be a public document under the Freedom of Access Law. The waiting list must be maintained in chronological order of application, and any vacant space must be assigned to the first person on the waiting list, in accordance with the following priorities:
A riparian owner who is the owner or master of a watercraft and who is applying for a mooring assignment must receive the first vacancy available, and the mooring must be located fronting their property, provided that such location does not encroach upon the natural channel or channels established by the Plan. No more than one mooring may be assigned to any shorefront parcel of land under this priority, but this limitation may not prevent a riparian owner from receiving additional mooring assignments under this allocation system.
A homeowners' association member who has recorded rights to the shore through a deed, subdivision plan, or homeowners' association document.
A property owner with a ROW to the water is accorded the same rights and restrictions accorded to a riparian owner, except that the mooring(s) may be placed as conveniently as possible in front of the ROW and must not interfere with the reasonable placement of moorings allowed for riparian owners.
Any other resident or property owner of the Town.
Any person who does not meet the requirements of Subsection B(4)(a) through (d) above; however, if a waiting list is created, the next vacant space must be assigned to the first nonresident on the waiting list in accordance with the following priority:
If the principal use of the vessel is noncommercial and less than 10% of the assigned moorings in the mooring area are currently assigned to persons fitting this description, then to the first such person on the waiting list.
If the principal use of the vessel is commercial and less than 10% of the assigned moorings in the mooring area are currently assigned to persons fitting this description, then to the first such person on the waiting list.
If both nonresident noncommercial and nonresident commercial assignments are below 10% of the moorings and there are both types of applicants on the waiting list, the available space must be assigned to the first applicant in the category that is farthest below 10%.
The Harbormaster must maintain a record of each mooring assignment, including the location of assignment as well as the application information required by this chapter. These records must be retained as required by the state's records management process.
Mooring assignments are not transferable, and assignments must not be rented unless approved by the Harbormaster.
The Town reserves the right to reassign moorings each year to better use available space.
Moorings. Moorings must consist of appropriately sized mushroom anchors, granite blocks, or helix moorings, connected to a surface buoy by a chain of appropriate size and length for the vessel, depth of water, and exposure to weather. Concrete blocks, engine blocks, and other "objects of convenience" are not allowed. The surface float must consist of a white mooring ball on which the name of the watercraft owner or master and mooring registration number is painted with at least three-inch-tall letters and numbers in a contrasting color. A pennant of suitable diameter and length completes the mooring assembly. Guidance for selecting the sizes of materials can be obtained from the Town website or from approved mooring services listed on the Town website.
An approved mooring service must inspect and be satisfied that each mooring is in safe condition before it is placed in the mooring area.
Each mooring must be inspected every two years by a qualified mooring inspector. A list of qualified mooring inspectors may be obtained by contacting the Harbormaster. Inspection results must be reported to the Harbormaster within five working days and all deficiencies repaired within 30 days of the inspection.
The Harbormaster will, in accordance with Maine Revised Statutes, Chapter 5, Section 95-B, Local Government Records, maintain a file on each mooring, including the dates of inspection and the approved mooring service that inspected it.
Winter spars. Winter spars cannot be installed before September 15 and must be attached by December 1 each year. They must be removed and replaced with the white ball by June 1.
Removal of moorings. An owner who discontinues the use of a mooring is responsible for removing the mooring from the marine environment. The Town has the right to remove and dispose of any mooring, including unsafe, abandoned, unregistered, improperly identified and objects of convenience moorings at the owner's expense. The penalty for failing to remove and dispose of any mooring is described in § 84-12F. Disposition of any proceeds from removed moorings is governed by State Abandoned Property Law.
An applicant receiving a mooring assignment within Broad Cove Reserve, effective on or after May 1, 2017, must install the mooring. Should a mooring not be installed by July 1, the applicant forfeits the mooring and may apply again in three years. A fee must be paid to cover the administrative expense of managing the reassignment process. The reassignment fee is specified in § 84-12D.
Mooring services rules and regulations.
No person may install or inspect moorings or offer to install or inspect moorings for hire within the coastal and tidal waters of the Town without first qualifying the mooring service with the Harbormaster.
Mooring services operating within the mooring area must adhere to the following rules:
A certificate of insurance indicating the coverages detailed in § 48-2 (approved mooring service), must be provided to the Harbormaster annually.
Approval of the Harbormaster must be obtained at least two working days prior to setting, hauling out, relocating or adjusting any mooring. The mooring service must provide the Harbormaster with the location by GPS coordinates before and after the action for which approval is sought.
Moorings for which the service is responsible must be adjusted within two days after notification by the Harbormaster.
All new moorings must be registered and pass a complete mooring inspection prior to use.
Each mooring service must inspect the moorings it services at least once every two years.
No person may bring into or maintain in the coastal and tidal waters of the Town any derelict watercraft:
That had not been home-ported at a Town mooring immediately prior to such damaged state. The sole exception will be for crew safety. Upon arrival, the Harbormaster must be immediately notified of the watercraft's seaworthy status.
For salvage or abandon any watercraft in the coastal and tidal waters of the Town.
The Harbormaster must notify the master or owner of a derelict or abandoned watercraft, that the watercraft must be removed within seven days. If the master or owner has not removed it within that time, the Harbormaster is authorized to remove the watercraft at the master's or owner's expense. However, in the event the Harbormaster determines the watercraft causes or threatens to cause property damage, pollution, or is a hazard to navigation, then removal must be by the fastest means available. The Harbormaster is authorized to remove the watercraft at the master's or owner's expense.
If any watercraft is polluting, hazardous to navigation, or in danger of sinking, the Harbormaster may authorize a private contractor to mitigate the damage to or from the watercraft at the owner's or master's expense.
The owner or master must pay all reasonable costs associated with mitigating loss or damages from a derelict, abandoned or sinking watercraft within 60 days of invoicing. Failure to make full and timely payment will result in the immediate loss of all mooring privileges and continued loss for two years after the debt is paid in full.
The Harbormaster is to enforce the provisions of this chapter and of Title 38, Chapter 1, of the Maine Revised Statutes Annotated, as amended. If the Harbormaster finds any provisions of this chapter or statute being violated, the Harbormaster must notify the person responsible for said violation, either verbally or in writing, indicating the nature of the violation or ordering the action necessary to correct it. The Harbormaster must maintain a written record of such notices. In the event the violation causes or threatens to cause property damage, then notification of the violation must be by the fastest means available. In this case, if contact with the mooring or boat owner or corrective action cannot be made within 24 hours after such notice, the Harbormaster is authorized to take whatever corrective action is necessary, the expense and risk for which will be borne by the boat owner.
Violation of any provisions of this chapter is a civil violation. This chapter is enforceable by the Harbormaster or any law enforcement officer of the Town, County of Cumberland, or State of Maine with jurisdiction in the Town. This chapter will be enforced through a civil action in the District Court, and the Town may seek one or more of the following: injunctive relief, money damages not exceeding the sum of $200 for each violation along with attorney fees and costs pursuant to 30-A M.R.S.A. § 4452, as amended. Each day a violation exists constitutes a separate violation.
The Harbormaster must terminate the mooring assignments of any person who violates this chapter two or more times within a permit year.
A person may elect to pay a waiver fee of the minimum penalty specified in § 84-12 in lieu of appearing in court to answer the citation. Such payment must be received by the office of the Town Clerk no later than five business days prior to the assigned court date. Upon receipt of such payment by the Town Clerk, the Harbormaster shall cause the citation to be dismissed.
Any persons aggrieved directly or indirectly by an action or failure to act of the Harbormaster may appeal such action or failure to act to the Coastal Waters Commission. In deciding any appeal, the Commission may hear and approve, with modifications or conditions, or disapprove the action or failure from which the appeal is made.
Such appeals must be made in writing to the Coastal Waters Commission within five calendar days of the action or failure to act from which the appeal is taken. The application must state with specificity the action or failure to act from which the appeal is taken and the reason for the appeal. The appeal will be considered by the Coastal Waters Commission at its next regular meeting.
Any action or failure to act by the Harbormaster concerning the location of moorings or boats, as a result of which location there is immediate danger to lives or property, will not be stayed pending appeal.