Just as its first meeting in the city's new council chambers was set to begin at 7 p.m. across town Tuesday evening, instead of its scheduled time of 6:30 p.m., the Newport Beach City Council voted to increase fees for residential piers in the face of Christmas Boat Parade boycott threats and continuing outcry.
Councilwoman Leslie Daigle voted against the fee hikes, which raised fees for pier owners on state-owned, city-administered tidelands from a flat $100 annually, to 52.5 cents per square foot of usable dock space.
Councilman Ed Selich abstained from voting because he owns a residential dock. The vote was 5 to 1.
For likely the last time, harbor stakeholders packed into the old Newport Boulevard council chambers to protest the proposed rate increases, citing a litany of concerns ranging from alleged transparency law violations on the part of the council to questions about the method of determining a dock's square footage.