After months of public protest and debate, the Newport Beach City Council voted to hike residential dock fees Wednesday.
The residential dock fee hikes, which prompted last year’s boycott of the Christmas boat parade passed 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.
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. At previous council meetings, hundreds of homeowners protested the issue of dock rent hikes, but Tuesday night was a much smaller crowd with only a few people standing at the podium to oppose the changes.
Resident Bonnie McClellan said she feels the dock rentals will result in a loss of privacy while increasing problems with trash, parking, noise from parties and petty crimes.
"A lot of times people stay over night and they go potty, take showers and they wash the dishes, and all that water goes into the bay," McClellan said. "We just paid to have the pollution taken out of it, and I would hate to see that happen again."
Resident Wayne Zippi said he supports the homeowners being able to rent out their docks, calling it a property rights issue.
"We don't want to infringe on somebody else's rights, as far as all the problems that were brought up, that's why we have police," Zippi said.