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Residents' question: Is it a dinghy plan?

July 29, 2003

June Casagrande

A plan to build racks to store dinghies may not be the panacea that

city officials had hoped. After some residents registered their

objections to the city's proposal to build the racks and to change

the time periods for docking dinghies at some public piers, Harbor

Department officials have decided to hold a public meeting to gather

as much input as possible before deciding whether to proceed with

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their plan.

"We're pleased that we've been getting public comments," said

Chris Miller of the city's Harbor Resources Division. "We want to

approach this systematically and with public outreach."

A handful of residents showed up at the Harbor Commission meeting

earlier this month to oppose the city plan. Some said that the

storage racks would create unsightly clutter. Others said they could

create safety risks for children who play there. Others, including

Central Newport Beach Community Assn. President Tom Hyans, said that

the city's plan will result in more trash and pollution.

"The city doesn't take responsibility for the stuff they have

now," Hyans said, adding that he personally cleaned up the area

around the city's existing dinghy storage facility on the bay at 18th

Street.

City officials say they want to take these and all other concerns

into consideration in hopes of making it easier for mooring holders

to get to their boats offshore.

The plan now being floated to deal with this problem is to build

15 racks at eight public locations to hold up to 76 dinghies. The

four- and six-unit racks would be at the Fernando Street beach and

pier, the 15th Street beach and pier, the 16th Street beach, the 19th

street beach and pier and at the Lido Bridge public beach area. The

dinghy storage spaces would be available only to mooring permit

holders and the $14-a-month rental would cover the cost of building

and maintaining the stations.

The plan would also let dinghies rest at some public docks for up

to two hours instead of the 20-minute time limit established in most

places. This would give mooring permit holders more time to use their

boats and to take advantage of on-shore amenities.

* JUNE CASAGRANDE covers Newport Beach and John Wayne Airport. She

may be reached at (949) 574-4232 or by e-mail at

june.casagrande@latimes.com.

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