Port of Port Townsend considers moorage exemptions

Effort to preserve maritime heritage

PORT TOWNSEND — Vessels with local historic significance could remain in Port of Port Townsend marinas regardless of their ownership, according to a proposed amendment to the port’s rules and regulations.

Port commissioners were presented with a draft on April 24 of a new rule that would make an exception to the moorage transfer limitations currently in place for certain vessels that reflect the area’s maritime industry and heritage.

Executive Director Eron Berg said he was looking to the three commissioners for direction and suggestions on the proposed modifications and additions.

“This is a significant rule change,” Berg said. “It’s not just a tweak, but a fundamental shift to the way the marina operates in terms of moorage and transfer of use. It’s targeted for Port Townsend and the composition of our marina.”

The benefit of receiving iconic vessel designation would be a new owner’s ability to retain its assigned moorage and thus keep the vessel on the waterfront. The moorage would terminate if the vessel leaves the marina through sale or destruction.

The draft defined “iconic vessels” as those that have a current or historical connection to Port Townsend or Jefferson County boat designers, builders, captains, races, crew or tradespeople; be sea-worthy, well-maintained or in active restoration; have had a moorage license for at least 10 years; and be approved by a five-member committee appointed to assess if they meet the criteria.

Commissioners were generally in favor of maintaining the particular character of the marinas by keeping vessels with a local connection in them, but they probed the details of the draft and requested changes.

Commissioner Carol Hasse said she wanted to see more clear and simple criteria for what constitutes an iconic vessel with the possibility of expanding it at a later time.

“If you’re licensee who owns a wooden boat or a vessel that was built in Port Townsend, it wouldn’t matter necessarily how long you were in the marina but that you had a permanent slip,” Hasse said.

Berg said the port wants to make clear that gaining iconic vessel status is not mandatory; owners would have to opt into the process.

“This is an option that the owner has to ask for,” he said.

Commissioner Pete Hanke asked what the financial impact of changing the moorage rule would be. Berg said fees would remain stable so it would have little effect on the port’s bottom line.

Commissioners asked for revisions to the draft to include changing “iconic” to “heritage”; eliminating the necessity of a committee; cutting in half the permanent license requirement to five years; and using Hasse’s recommended criteria.

The revised draft would be distributed to moorage licensees for their feedback, Berg said. The first formal reading will take place at the May 8 commission meeting with the goal of finalizing the rule in late May.

________

Reporter Paula Hunt can be reached by email at paula.hunt@ peninsulanews.us.

More in News

Helen and Greg Starr, executors of James Minsky’s estate, cut the ribbon for LtCol James Minsky Place on May 17 with Cheri Tinker, executive director of Sarge’s Veteran Support, right, and Sarge’s board president Lorri Gilchrist, and city council members Harmony Rutter and Rachel Anderson. The facility will permanently house six disabled and/or elderly veterans in Sequim. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Minsky Place opens to support elderly, disabled veterans

Sarge’s Veteran Support seeks five veterans for permanent housing

Public comment opens on Dabob Bay

State, county look to move lands into conservation

Clallam renews pact with investigative unit

Agencies are currently investigating shooting outside PA bank

Motrocyclist airlifted to Harborview after wreck

A San Antonio man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center… Continue reading

WomenSpirit Coalition staff members include, from left, Michelle Williams, Dee Koester, Diane Good (in back), Cheryl Neskahi Coan, Erin Lopez Neskahi and Laura Fierro. (Elijah Sussman/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
WomenSpirit Coalition steps into new phase

Multi-service indigenous support organization to host open house

Members of the Mount Olympus Detachment 897 of the Marine Corps League give a 21-gun salute at a Memorial Day ceremony at Mt. Angeles Memorial Park in Port Angeles on Monday. The ceremony was hosted by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6787 of Carlsborg and was one of many Memorial Day events held in Clallam and Jefferson counties. (Peter Segall/Peninsula News)
Solemn ceremonies honor America's war dead

Flowers, wreaths decorate gravesites across Peninsula

Peninsula College, teachers agree on contract

Three-year deal to raise faculty salaries

Clallam County pledges $1.5 million toward preserving two farms

Commitment would provide conservation easement on properties

Cub Scout Pack 4479 laid about 200 flags on graves of veterans at the Catholic Cemetery and the front portion of Laurel Grove Cemetery in Port Townsend to honor veterans who have died. Jim Little from Troop 1479 instructed the Cub Scouts prior to dispersing them to post the colors at graves that were either marked with a star by the VFW or an inscription that indicates past military service. (Lolo Sherwood)
Honoring veterans

Cub Scout Pack 4479 laid about 200 flags on graves of veterans… Continue reading

tsr
Piping plan could be reinstated

Votes reaffirm Sequim board members

Sequim police propose updated noise control ordinance

Public hearing set June 10 at civic center

Members of the Captain Joseph House Foundation gather in October to celebrate the gifting of a Gold Star Monument marker in front of the Captain Joseph House in Port Angeles. (Courtesy photo)
Captain Joseph House to host Memorial Day ceremony

Respite home provides space for Gold Star Families