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City of Norwalk, CT
Fairfield County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City of Norwalk Common Council: Art. I, 11-10-1992; Art. II, 11-24-1992. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Inland wetlands and watercourses — See Ch. 60A.
Norwalk Harbor — See Ch. 69.
Norwalk Maritime Center Authority — See Ch. 70.
[Adopted 11-10-1992]
A. 
In order to provide for adequate access for recreational and commercial vessels, for the safety of persons and property and for the optimum use of Norwalk Harbor 2, the Norwalk Harbormaster must approve the location of all moorings, including individual-private moorings and commercial moorings, as defined by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, within Norwalk Harbor. The Harbormaster shall issue a permit for each approved mooring location or area.
B. 
It shall be a violation of the Norwalk Code for any person to place any individual-private or commercial mooring in Norwalk Harbor without a permit from the Harbormaster.
C. 
The location of all commercial moorings must be approved by the Department of Environmental Protection and the Corps of Engineers. Permits issued by the Harbormaster for these commercial moorings shall be issued in coordination with commercial mooring permits issued by the Department of Environmental Protection and the United States Army Corps of Engineers.
D. 
No provision contained in this Article shall limit the power of the Norwalk Harbormaster to station and remove vessels as provided in Sections 15-8, 15-9 and 22a-113r of the Connecticut General Statutes.
This Article is prepared and adopted in accordance with § 69-22 of the Norwalk Code and Sections 22a-113k through 22a-113t of the Connecticut General Statutes and in furtherance of the provisions of the Norwalk Harbor Management Plan as adopted by the City of Norwalk and approved by the State of Connecticut. In those instances where there may be conflicts between this Article and the provisions of the Harbor Management Plan, these rules and regulations shall take precedence.
For the purpose of this Article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
NORWALK HARBOR
That part of Norwalk Harbor consisting of the inner and outer harbors subject to the jurisdiction of the Norwalk Harbor Management Commission as defined in the Harbor Management Plan. Excluded from this definition is the Five Mile River Harbor which is under the jurisdiction of the Five Mile River Commission.
A. 
The Harbormaster shall keep a detailed record of each mooring, its location and the owner's name, home address, evening and daytime telephone numbers, the date the mooring was set and the name, length, registration number or documentation and type of vessel to be attached thereto.
B. 
The information shall be maintained in such a manner that information can easily be obtained with regard to any individual mooring, vessel or owner and also with regard to all moorings within a particular harbor location.
C. 
The Harbormaster shall maintain in the Norwalk City Hall a waiting list for mooring space in Norwalk Harbor, as necessary, and a list of current assignments of mooring spaces, and both lists shall be updated annually.
A. 
In allocating mooring locations, the Harbormaster shall give first priority to those persons applying for the renewal of permits granted in the preceding year, second priority to relocation requests in order of application and third priority to new applicants in order of application.
B. 
In allocating mooring locations, the Harbormaster shall, to the extent possible, assign priority for mooring allocations to riparian or littoral property owners who apply for moorings offshore of their property. When considering the assignment of mooring locations to riparian or littoral property owners, the Harbormaster may limit the priority granted to owners who have established or are planning to establish docks, piers or other structures providing access to navigable water.
C. 
In allocating mooring locations, the Harbormaster shall, to the extent possible, assign priority for mooring locations to licensed commercial fishermen. Up to 10% of the available mooring space in mooring areas not designated as commercial mooring areas in permits issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection may be reserved for the use of licensed commercial fishermen.
D. 
In allocating mooring locations, the Harbormaster shall give consideration to size, draft, type and use of vessels.
E. 
In allocating mooring locations in accordance with this Article, the Harbormaster shall not discriminate on the basis of city residence or any other factor.
F. 
Mooring permits shall be issued by the Harbormaster only to those applicants owning a vessel properly registered in accordance with the laws of the State of Connecticut.
G. 
Within the limits of size and type of vessels, available mooring locations shall be offered to the senior applicant on the mooring waiting list, subject to the requirements of this Article. If an available mooring location is not suitable to accommodate the senior applicant's vessel or specific needs, it shall be offered to the next senior qualified applicant. The senior applicant shall retain his place on the waiting list in this case. The Harbormaster shall continue efforts to provide a suitable mooring for the senior applicant. If the senior applicant refuses a mooring which is suitable for his or her vessel in the opinion of the Harbormaster, that applicant shall be moved to the bottom of the waiting list. In order to obtain the most effective utilization of existing mooring facilities, lists of applicants shall be maintained to include date of application and type or size of vessel. These lists will be available for public inspection at the Norwalk City Hall.
H. 
In the interest of ensuring safe, efficient and equitable use of Norwalk Harbor, the Harbormaster may, at his discretion, limit the number of mooring locations that can be assigned to any one individual, household, corporation or other group. Only one mooring space shall be allocated to any one vessel.
A. 
Any person, association, corporation or other group may apply for a mooring permit by completing in full the application provided for that purpose and submitting the completed application to the Harbormaster at any time.
B. 
The Harbormaster shall make use of a mooring permit application form that allows for the collection of information on the vessel and the vessel's owner/operator as requested by the Connecticut Department of Transportation as well as any additional information considered necessary by the Harbormaster and the Harbor Management Commission.
C. 
If the mooring permit application is approved, the Harbormaster shall send a copy of the approved permit to the applicant, and one copy shall be retained for the Harbormaster's records.
In accordance with state regulations, all mooring permits shall be valid for a period not to exceed one year, unless renewed in accordance with the provisions of this Article. All mooring permits shall expire on the 31st day of December following the date of issuance.
A. 
All mooring permits shall expire on December 31 and should be renewed by January 31 of the following calendar year. A grace period lasting until the last calendar day of February is allowed. After this grace period, applications received for renewal of mooring permits shall be treated in the same manner as new applications. At least 30 days before the January 31 renewal date, notice of such date shall be published in a newspaper having circulation in the city.
B. 
The Harbormaster shall be responsible for administration of all mooring permit renewals.
C. 
For vessels located in a controlled mooring field of at least 50 vessels subject to valid federal and state commercial mooring permits and/or operated under common management, a preliminary mooring list must be submitted by March 31. This list must be accompanied by a fee equal to 1/2 the amount of the prior year's total fee for the entire mooring field. The final mooring list with all information necessary to complete an application for each vessel in the field shall be submitted by April 30 with the balance of the fees due.
[Added 11-9-1993]
A. 
Any person, association, corporation or other group receiving a new or renewed permit for a mooring location in Norwalk Harbor shall pay an appropriate annual fee as established by the Norwalk Common Council from time to time as authorized by Section 22a-113s of the Connecticut General Statutes.
B. 
When the Harbormaster determines that a suitable mooring location exists for an applicant for a new or renewed mooring permit, the applicant will be notified and must pay the appropriate annual fee, payable to the City of Norwalk before the permit shall be issued. This fee shall be nonrefundable.
C. 
All fees collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited into the Norwalk Harbor Management Fund, as authorized by Section 22a-113s of the Connecticut General Statutes, and used exclusively for the maintenance and improvement of Norwalk Harbor for the public and for expenses for personnel and equipment directly related to the function of the Harbor Management Commission and the Harbormaster or Deputy Harbormaster. Any funds expended pursuant to this section shall follow procurement guidelines for the City of Norwalk.
A. 
Mooring permits shall not be transferable. Whenever the holder of a mooring permit transfers the title or interest in or otherwise parts with possession of the vessel identified in the mooring permit to another person by any arrangement whatsoever, the new vessel possessor, transferee or owner shall have no vested right to use the mooring space covered by the mooring permit.
B. 
The holder of a mooring permit may, upon written application to and approval by the Harbormaster, retain the mooring space assigned under the mooring permit for a replacement vessel, provided that that vessel is owned by the holder of the permit and is moved onto the mooring within 60 days (unless the period is extended by the Harbormaster because of special circumstances). If the 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.
A. 
When a permit is issued for a mooring, the Harbormaster shall assign a specific location for that mooring. No mooring shall be placed or maintained in any part of Norwalk Harbor until the location of that mooring has been approved by the Harbormaster.
B. 
Moorings shall under no circumstances be located within navigation channels or fairways or otherwise interfere with the safe and free use of navigation channels and fairways.
C. 
In accordance with Connecticut General Statutes, Section 26-157a(e), no mooring shall be placed on any oyster bed without the permission of the owner or lessee of such bed.
D. 
Moorings located within designated anchorages identified in the Harbor Management Plan should be placed in accordance with specific mooring plans designed to proved safe and efficient mooring of vessels.
A. 
The Harbor Management Commission may designate transient mooring and anchoring areas for the exclusive, short-term use [not to exceed seven consecutive days] of recreational vessels. This space shall be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
B. 
The Harbormaster may require any person anchoring in the harbor to display for inspection the anchors, chains and other equipment used at such anchoring for soundness of condition.
A. 
Any permitted mooring not used for a period of one year may be considered abandoned and subject to removal or relocation. Any mooring not authorized by a current permit from the Harbormaster may be considered as abandoned and subject to removal at any time. No mooring may be left unused for more than one calendar year without written permission of the Harbor Management Commission.
B. 
Any registered owner who owns mooring tackle and is abandoning his or her mooring space may offer to sell the tackle occupying such space to the next person assigned that space. Failure of the registered owner to remove such tackle shall constitute the abandonment thereof, and such tackle may be removed by the Harbormaster at the expense of such registered owner.
A. 
The Harbormaster shall require that all new moorings, anchors, chains and other equipment used in connection with moorings in Norwalk Harbor be submitted to the Harbormaster or to an inspector designated by the Harbormaster or Harbor Management Commission for inspection to determine soundness of condition and compliance with minimum guidelines established by the Harbor Management Commission.
B. 
It is required that all mooring tackle be inspected for soundness of condition no less than once every two calendar years. The Harbormaster may require any person who holds a mooring permit in Norwalk Harbor to display for inspection the anchor, chains and other mooring equipment for soundness of condition. Each mooring shall be subject to inspection by the Harbormaster, or by an inspection service acceptable to the Harbormaster, at the discretion of the Harbormaster. A list of mooring inspection services shall be made available to the mooring permit holder by the Harbormaster. An official inspection form provided by the Harbormaster shall be filed by the mooring owner with the Harbormaster once every two years.
C. 
The Harbormaster shall maintain a record of each inspection for a period of three years. If, as the result of such inspection, it shall be determined that any chain, shackle, swivel or other piece of mooring tackle has become unsafe or otherwise inadequate, such chain, shackle, swivel or other piece of mooring tackle shall be replaced accordingly. Failure to make such replacement shall be grounds for revocation of the mooring permit by the Harbormaster.
A. 
The owner of any vessel moored or anchored within Norwalk Harbor shall be responsible for causing such vessel to be tied, secured or anchored with proper care and equipment and in such manner as may be required to prevent breakaway and resulting damage and shall thereafter provide for periodic inspection of mooring or anchoring equipment as the Harbormaster deems necessary.
B. 
All mooring tackle shall comply with minimum standards established by the Harbor Management Commission and adjusted, as necessary, by the Harbormaster. The holders of all mooring permits shall recognize that requirements for mooring tackle will vary in different locations and that some locations and conditions may require mooring tackle that exceeds the minimum standards.
C. 
The minimum standards for mooring tackle shall be provided by the Harbormaster to each person, corporation, organization or group applying for a mooring permit.
The Harbormaster may, from time to time, establish and amend reasonable standards for the marking of mooring buoys and provide marking tags to be attached to all approved moorings in Norwalk Harbor. Notice of standards and requirements for marking approved moorings shall be provided in writing to all approved mooring permit holders.
A. 
The Harbormaster may require any mooring or vessel to be removed to a new location whenever, in his judgment, the safety of any other vessel or optimum use of the mooring area so requires.
B. 
If directions given by the Harbormaster with respect to removing unauthorized moorings, changing the location of existing moorings for the purpose of ensuring safety and optimum use of the mooring area or replacing mooring tackle determined to be inadequate are not taken by the owner, if known, within 14 days after notification, or, if not known, after notice has been posted for that period on the vessel or mooring, the Harbormaster may cause such moorings to be removed or changed or may drop the same to the bottom of the Harbor. The expense of such mooring removal or relocation and any liability arising from injury to person or property incurred thereby shall be the responsibility of the mooring permit holder.
C. 
Nothing above shall prevent the Harbormaster or his designee from taking measures with or without notice if, in the judgment of the Harbormaster, it is necessary in order to provide for the safety of persons or property.
In order to provide safe navigation in all parts of Norwalk Harbor, the Harbor Management Commission, with the advice of the Harbormaster, is empowered to designate the location of channels or fairways within which approved moorings shall not be located and to make changes in such designation when conditions or needs require.
A. 
The requirements of this Article pertaining to a specific mooring area and/or vessel may be modified by the Harbormaster if, in the judgment of the Harbormaster, such modification is necessary to provide for the safety of persons or property or if the imposition of the requirements would result in an unreasonable hardship on the person or persons so affected.
B. 
In order to most effectively respond to any emergency as may be caused by a severe storm or other natural or man-made conditions, the Harbormaster is empowered to suspend the requirements of this Article and/or impose additional requirements in the interest of public safety.
A. 
This Article has been adopted and approved in accordance with Section 22a-113r of the Connecticut General Statutes and § 69-22 of the Norwalk Code. In accordance with § 69-22D of the Norwalk Code, any person who shall violate any provision of this Article shall be fined not more than $90. Each day such violation continues after the time for correction of the violation has been given in any written order shall constitute a continuing violation and shall be subject to a fine of $90 per day for each day said violation continues.
B. 
Fines levied for violations of this Article, as authorized by the Norwalk Code, shall be collected by the City of Norwalk and deposited into the Norwalk Harbor Management Fund.
The Harbormaster shall have the authority to revoke a mooring permit if the permit holder fails to maintain the moored vessel in a seaworthy condition or fails to comply with any permit condition or provision of this Article.
A. 
Any party aggrieved by any decision pertaining to the application of this Article may request the Harbor Management Commission to review that decision with respect to this Article and with respect to the goals, objectives, policies and guidelines established in the Norwalk Harbor Management Plan. The Harbor Management Commission must respond with decision or action within 60 days of receipt of request for review.
B. 
While state law requires the state-appointed Norwalk Harbormaster to act in a manner consistent with the Norwalk Harbor Management Plan, city ordinances, rules and regulations cannot alter the Harbormaster's duties and powers which include primary authority regarding mooring assignments. As a result, the Harbor Management Commission may not override the Harbormaster's mooring assignments, as long as such assignments are consistent with the Harbor Management Plan and this Article. (Note: This Subsection B was included as a footnote in the December 18, 1991, draft of this Article).
A. 
Use of proper mooring tackle is necessary to safely secure moored vessels in Norwalk Harbor. Each person mooring a vessel in the harbor may be responsible for any damage (to their own vessel or to any other vessel or property) caused by the failure of their mooring tackle. Water depth and bottom conditions, as well as storms, wind drag, current drag, wave action, tidal height and surge, seabed conditions and the principles of good seamanship, must be considered when selecting proper tackle.
B. 
To help mooring permit holders choose the proper tackle, the Harbor Management Commission has adopted minimum standards for single-point and fore-and-aft moorings. These standards may be adjusted by the Harbormaster as necessary, but unless there are any compelling reasons to relax the standards as they would apply to a particular vessel or location, all mooring tackle placed in Norwalk Harbor must meet these minimum requirements. The standards will be periodically reviewed by the Harbor Management Commission and updated as necessary.
C. 
Requirements for mooring tackle will vary in different parts of the harbor depending on bottom conditions, exposure to Long Island Sound and other factors. In some instances, it may be necessary to exceed the minimum standards to ensure safety. Please consult with the Harbormaster before choosing your tackle. All mooring tackle is subject to inspection by the Harbormaster before it is placed in the water, and all tackle must thereafter be inspected at least once every two years to check the soundness of its condition.
D. 
No standards or inspection requirements, however, can ensure vessel security under all possible conditions, particularly severe storm conditions with associated wind and wave hazards. As a result, the City of Norwalk, the Harbor Management Commission and the Harbormaster assume no responsibility for personal injury or property damage that may result from the use of any mooring tackle that either meets or exceeds the minimum standards.
E. 
Remember that a permit from the Harbormaster is required for the placement of all moorings in the harbor. Those applying for new permits or desiring to renew permits must do so in accordance with the Harbor Management Commission's Rules and Regulations for Mooring and Anchoring Vessels in Norwalk Harbor.
A. 
Mooring tackle should meet the following minimum standards:
Boat Length
(feet)
Mushroom Anchor
(pounds)1
Bottom Chain
(inches)
Top or Chain
(inches)
Nylon Pennant
(inches)
Nylon Bridal
(inches)
Under 16
75
3/8
3/8
3/4
1/2
16 to 19
150
3/8
3/8
3/4
1/2
20 to 22
200
1/2
1/2
3/4
1/2
23 to 25
250
1/2
1/2
7/8
1/2
26 to 30
300
5/8
1/2
1/2
5/8
31 to 35
400
5/8
1/2
1
5/8
36 to 40
500
3/4
5/8 to 3/4
1 1/4 — 1 1/2
3/4
41 to 50
600
3/4
5/8 to 3/4
1 1/4 — 1 1/2
3/4
51 to 65
750
1 5/8 to 3/4
1 1/2
7/8
NOTES:
1
Mushroom anchor weight must be doubled for hard-bottom areas.
B. 
The maximum length of the bridle 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.
C. 
All bridle lines running through a chock or any other object where chafing may occur should have adequate chafe guards.
D. 
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.
E. 
All shackles, swivels and other hardware used in the mooring hookup should be proportional in size to the chain used.
F. 
It is recommended that two bridles be used or shackled into the bitter end of the nylon pennant or top chain below the buoy so the strain is not carried by the buoy. A second pennant and anchor should be used in heavy weather.
G. 
Only mushroom anchors should be used for permanent moorings.
H. 
The pickup buoy shall be of a type and size to be determined by the Harbor Management Commission. The pickup buoy shall be lettered with the mooring registration number, or a marking tag provided by the Harbormaster shall be attached.
I. 
Sacrificial metals are recommended for attachment to both ends of chain.
A. 
Mooring tackle should meet the following minimum requirements:
Boat Length
(feet)
Each Bottom Paired Anchor
(pounds)1
Bottom Chain
(inches)
Top Chain
(inches)
Nylon Bridle
(inches)
Under 16
75
3/8
3/8
1/2
16 to 19
100
3/8
3/8
1/2
20 to 22
150
1/2
1/2
1/2
23 to 25
200
1/2
1/2
5/8
26 to 30
300
5/8
1/2
3/4
31 to 35
350
5/8
1/2
3/4
36 to 40
400
3/4
5/8
1
41 to 50
500
3/4
5/8 to 3/4
1
NOTES:
1
The stern anchor may be down-sized at the discretion of the Harbormaster.
B. 
The maximum length of the bridle should be two times the distance from the bow chock to the water plus the distance from the bow chock to the mooring cleat or post.
C. 
All bridle lines running through a chock or any other object where chafing may occur should have adequate chafe guards.
D. 
The total length of the chain should be 2 1/2 times the depth of the water at high tide.
E. 
All shackels, swivels and other hardware used in the mooring hookup should be proportionate in size to the chain used.
F. 
It is recommended that two bridles be used or shackled into the bitter end of the nylon pennant or top chain below the buoy so the strain is not carried by the buoy. A second pennant and anchor should be used in heavy weather.
G. 
Only mushroom anchors should be used for permanent moorings.
H. 
The pickup buoy shall be of a type and size to be determined by the Harbor Management Commission. The pickup buoy shall be lettered with the mooring registration number, or a marking tag provided by the Harbormaster shall be attached.
I. 
Sacrificial metals are recommended for attachment to both ends of chain.
[Adopted 11-24-1992]
A. 
The following fees shall be required for all mooring permits issued by the Norwalk Harbor Master:
Boat Length
(feet)
Annual Mooring Permit Fee
20.0 or less
$20
20.1 or longer, up to and including 30.0
$35
30.1 or longer
$50
B. 
The length used to determine the fee shall be the length stated on the State of Connecticut certificate of number or certificate of decal for the vessel assigned to the mooring. Fees are nonrefundable.
C. 
Nonprofit organizations shall be charged only an administrative fee of $5 each, for up to six moorings, which must be for vessels registered with the state for the reduced fee available to nonprofit organizations (as authorized under Chapter 268, § 15-144b, of the Connecticut General Statutes.
[Added 11-9-1993]
A. 
Any applicant for a mooring permit who does not hold a current mooring permit for the vessel listed on the application shall pay an initial permit fee of $20 in addition to the annual mooring permit fee specified above. This fee is also nonrefundable.
B. 
The initial permit fee is not required for a new vessel which replaces an old one listed on a previous mooring permit held by the applicant if the Harbormaster determines that the new vessel may be moored in approximately the same location.
C. 
The initial permit fee shall be waived for applicants whose vessels will be located in a controlled mooring field of at least 50 vessels subject to valid federal and state commercial mooring permits and/or operated under common management.
A. 
The above listed fees shall be effective for 1993 and all subsequent years until modified or repealed.
B. 
See § 66A-9 of Article I of this chapter for mooring and anchoring vessels as adopted by the Norwalk Harbor Management Commission and approved by the Norwalk Common Council for procedures and additional information.