Boaters could drop anchor northwest of Lido Isle this summer if the Newport Beach City Council decides on Tuesday to follow the Harbor Commission’s suggestion of creating a temporary anchorage.
This is the second time in the last year that the city has tried out the 4.85-acre anchorage, following a 10-week trial from August to October 2015. If approved, it would be in addition to the east anchorage between Lido Isle and Bay Island.
Harbor Resources Manager Chris Miller said raft-ups, the tradition of tying boats together for social gatherings, would not be permitted in the temporary anchorage. When raft-ups are held in the east anchorage, it can be difficult for solo boats to find a place to drop anchor. This proposal would provide those boaters with another place to go, he said.
The Harbor Commission suggested that the temporary anchorage run from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
John Marshall, a former commodore of the South Shore Yacht Club, said he was disappointed to learn that no raft-ups would be allows in the temporary west anchorage.
“It’s a community event for people our age,” he said. “It’s an older crowd so the years of being really crazy and nuts are long gone.”
To alleviate concerns from residents on Lido Isle’s west side about noise generated by the temporary anchorage, the city is prohibiting amplified music, loud parties, and generators after 9 p.m.
The Harbor Commission asked for the Orange County Harbor Patrol to collect data on the time and resources needed to manage the anchorage, how many boaters use it, the home ports of the boats in the anchorage, and complaints from nearby residents.
“I’m still not a fan of this project, but if we’re going to collect data I’d like them to be sincere,” said Commissioner Joe Stapleton.
Commissioner Bill Kenney asked Lt. Mark Alsobrook of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department about its ability to board vessels in the temporary anchorage and drop dye tablets their toilets to test for the discharge of sewage into the bay.
Alsobrook said deputies can dye test with an owner’s consent.
“Generally the majority of boaters who do things the right way have no problem with boarding,” Lt. Mark Alsobrook.
Kenney reminded the commission that boaters are not allowed to discharge their sewage within Newport Harbor.
“I’d certainly recommend that we make a recommendation that [the City Council] change the harbor code for [requiring] any vessel in the harbor to be dye tested,” Kenney said.