.

Group Takes City to Court Over Dock Fees

A group of Newport Beach residents are suing the city over an increase in residential dock rental fees.

Where the boat parade boycott failed, a group of Newport Beach residents are hoping a lawsuit will succeed in forcing the city to reverse course on dock rental fee increases.

As reported by the Orange County Register, a group of residents calling themselves the Newport Beach Dock Owners Association joined Stop the Dock Tax Chairman Bob McCaffrey in suing the city this month alleging city leaders violated the state’s open government law by holding informal meetings on the issue without proper public notice.

“We expect behavior like this in Castro's Cuba or the city of Bell, not in Newport Beach," the paper quoted a McCaffrey saying in a press release.

City Attorney Aaron Harp has called the suit groundless.

"The group was less than a quorum of the City Council, so the Brown Act doesn't apply," Harp told the Orange County Register. "We went back and took another look at it, given the allegations being made, and we don't see any violations."

In December the City Council approved the increase of residential dock rents from a flat $100 yearly fee to 52.5 cents per square foot.

The residential dock fee hikes, which prompted last year’s boycott of the Christmas boat parade passed in January with councilwoman Leslie Daigle dissenting and Councilman Ed Selich recusing himself from the vote. Along with the fee increase, homeowners can now rent out their docks, the $100 inspection fee was removed, new rent structures were implemented based on square footage of docks and an appeal process was established for homeowners who disagree with the city's calculation of square footage.

Over the next five years, the fee increases will be phased in. The fee increases apply to roughly 1,200 docks, and some residents could potentially face a rental fee as high as $2,000 annually, city officials have said.

Click here for the full Orange County Register story.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS

Do you think the fee increase is fair? Do you think the residents have a case against the city?

Stay Patched in! Like Newport Beach Patch on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter and Sign up for the daily email with links to the latest local news.

Kelly Sawyer "Animal Defender" February 14, 2013 at 12:17 AM
Suprise Suprise... Newport Beach also supports Convicted Cruelty Criminals in fraud of Constituents and Patrons to sell them "Animal Welfare Act" Violating Torture puppies for City Torture Tax..... see videos posted above... and to view the PDF's of City Staff Report For Newport Beach Animal Shelter where the City lied about our Shelter having a Criminal Abuse History to use Tax Payer money to fund known criminal abusers go to this article and look at the last two PDF"S... City Of Costa Mesa Formal Investigation of O.C. Humane Society Criminal Abuser owner also found guilty of embezzling over $10,000 in spay and neuter funds....Also lied about kill contracting... they contracted to kill in as few as 2 Days and solicit money from the citizens under non profit "Pick a Pet " Foundation that is not registered and is not helping any animals..... Because Animal Control Newport Beach is a private for Profit run by the NBPD who refuse to enforce state laws killing animals for criminal interest........INHUMANE FEDERAL TORTURE COUNCIL LOVES THEIR CRIMINALS AND ABUSE FOR PROFIT MONEY--- Article DIRTY DOG DEALING IN NEWPORT BEACH http://newportbeach.patch.com/blog_posts/blog-dirty-dog-dealing-in-newport-beach
Kelly Sawyer "Animal Defender" February 14, 2013 at 12:20 AM
Boat Tax may be an inconvenience, BUT ITS NOT REALLY FEDERAL TORTURE UNDER FRAUD OR NON-ENFORCEMENT OF MANDATORY LAWS KILLING LIVING BEINGS....GET SOME Perspective Citizens because Taxes FOR SHELTER MADE FINANCIAL SUPPORTER AND PARTNER OF DOCUMENTED CRIMINAL ANIMAL ABUSER THAT HAS SOLE POSSESSION OF OUR HOMELESS--- Newport Beach- THE NATION'S LARGEST 16 MILLION DOLLAR TROPHY DOG PARK TO CRIMINAL CANINE TORTURE AND SHELTER DEATH--- BRAVO!! CONSTITUENTS DENIED IN SUPPORT OF PUPPY MILLS AND CONVICTED CRIMINALS HARMING NEWPORT CHILDREN http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4fIpESlqjw
Clifford F. Baker February 14, 2013 at 10:45 PM
If city officials deem stuffing city coffers with yet more surplus monies as being an absolute necessity, perhaps it would be wise for them to initiate a compromise with dock owners and change the fee to a lesser amount per square foot. Not being privy to the exact amount that needs to be charged per square foot in order to generate more city income than is currently generated with the flat $100 per year flat fee, a numerical minimum amount that can be charged is impossible for me to propose. The lack of transparency on the part of city officials in this matter fuels, in my opinion, discord. If city officials would present in detail to the dock owners the reasons why the city chose the fee amount being charged and their projected uses for the monies generated,they could potentially defuse a volatile and money draining situation. After many years of having witnessed the foibles of human nature, I have come to conclude that, in general, those who make the rules make the money. With this fact in mind, I would suggest that the dock owners pressure, by what ever legal means available, the members of the city council who voted for the increase to explain their action. If they respond with anything even close to a conciseness that states they are not obligated to do so, I would seek to remove them from office as soon as is legally possible.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »