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Councilors approve updates to Coastal Waters and Harbor Ordinance

The Town Council on April 8, 2019 approved updates to the Coastal Waters and Harbor Ordinance.

The updates were recommended in the 2018 report of the Harbors Committee, which met in 2017-18 to review issues relating to town harbors. The council's ordinance subcommittee reviewed the proposals over three meetings and voted unanimously to recommend them to the full council

Revisions include adding references to, and definitions for, "Houseboat," "Out Haul," and "Transient Vessel," and expanding the definition of Commercial Vessel to include those used for aquaculture and supportive services.

Design standards for out hauls, a system that allows a dinghy or boat to be hauled to or from a mooring using lines secured at the shore, were provided for informational purposes only because the harbormaster has the authority to promulgate design standards.

Implementing the recommendations of the Harbors Committee, including crafting a coastal access plan and improving access for watercraft in the Kettle Cove/Crescent Beach area, are among Town Council goals for 2019.

In a related matter, Town Manager Matthew Sturgis reported on April 8 that the town is seeking a shore-and-harbor planning grant to help fund facilities and improvements for public and working shore access. Funding would not be allowed for construction and would require a 25-percent match, Sturgis said. More details and a formal request for application will be presented in May.