Newport council raises another set of boating fees

NEWPORT BEACH – Boat owners will have to pay more to dock at the city-owned Balboa Yacht Basin after the City Council voted Monday night to increase their rent.

By a unanimous vote, the council raised the rates at each of the 176 slips, 31 garages and three apartments at the marina near Balboa Island. 

As with some other city-owned property in the harbor, officials have adjusted the rent to more closely reflect the going market rate for similar property. Two weeks ago it raised the rates for pubic moorings, and it plans to assess other harbor users, council members said.

For a 40-foot slip at the yacht basin, rent will increase from $19 per foot of the boat per month, to about $30 per foot per month. Other sized slips vary in their rate. Garages will go from $200 per month to $325 per month, and the two-bedroom apartments will increase from either $1,700 per month or $2,000 per month, to $2,250 per month.

The increase will be phased in over three years to lessen the impact on the renters.

Rate increases across the harbor are needed to pay for expensive projects like dredging and the upcoming Marina Park development, city officials said.

Some boaters came to the special meeting Monday to protest.

“No young people can afford anymore to have a sail boat in Newport Beach,” said John Szalay, who has stored a sailboat there on-and-off for the past 30 years.

Rates may fluctuate, as they will be tied to an average of low- to medium-priced marinas in the harbor.

“It really just depends on what the market does,” said Councilman Steve Rosansky, who served on a committee that drafted the rate proposal.

The special session was convened to take care of business before the end of the year, according to city staff members. Next Tuesday the council has a regular meeting, but traditionally, the last meeting of the year is just ceremonial and the members do not conduct business.

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