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Town of Falmouth, Maine
271 Falmouth Road
Falmouth, ME 04105
town@town.falmouth.me.us
(207) 781-5253

 
Coastal Waters Ordinance
ARTICLE IV. COASTAL WATERS*
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*Cross references: Buildings and building regulations, Ch. 4; land subdivision, Ch. 7;
marine activities, structures and ways, Ch. 9; boat mooring, ยง 9-81 et seq.; mobile homes
and mobile home parks, Ch. 11; streets, sidewalks and other public places, Ch. 14; zoning
and site plans and flood prevention and protection regulations, Ch. 19.
State law references: Authority for harbor committees, 38 M.R.S.A. ยง 7.
__________
Sec. 9-90. General.
(a) Purpose: The Coastal Waters Ordinance is hereby established regulating marine
activities within the tidal waters of the Town of Falmouth, Maine, in order to ensure
safety to persons and property, to promote availability, preservation and use of valuable
public resources, and to create a fair and efficient framework for administration of same.
(b) Authority: This article is adopted pursuant to the authority granted by 38 M.R.S.A.
section 2 and 30-A MRSA section 3001.
(c) Applicability: The provisions of this article shall apply to all tidal waters located
within the boundaries of the Town of Falmouth, Maine.
(d) Repeal: All prior harbor regulations including those enacted in December 1977, as
amended, are hereby repealed.
(e) Severance: If any provision or clause of this article or application thereof to any
person or persons is held to be invalid, such invalidity shall not affect the validity of other
provisions or application, and to this end provisions of this article are declared to be
severable.
(f) Conflict: Nothing contained herein shall be construed to conflict with the lawful
jurisdiction of the United States government with respect to enforcement of navigation,
shipping or anchorage and associated laws of the State of Maine.
(Ord. of 3-25-2002, ยง 1; Ord. of 1-27-2003; Ord. of 11-27-2006)
Sec. 9-91. Definitions.
As used in this article IV, the following terms shall have the following meanings, except
when the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
Anchorage: All tidal waters within the boundaries of the Town of Falmouth.
Boat: Any floating object designed and used primarily for self-propelled navigation on
the water.
Boat yard: A place adjacent to tidal waters, where, as a business or gainful occupation,
boats are hauled, stored, repaired and/or constructed.
Channel/fairway: An area to be utilized for the safe passage of vessels as defined by
channel markers. No vessels will be moored or anchored within channel/fairway.
Commercial passenger boat: A boat which carries passengers for hire, on a charter or
scheduled service basis or both.
Floating business: A building constructed on a raft or hull that is represented as a place
of business.
Houseboats: A raft, hull, barge or vessel, designed primarily to be used as living
quarters, and providing living, sleeping, cooking and sanitary facilities, whether
temporarily or permanently.
Household: Those persons living in a single dwelling unit.
Marina: An all-tide waterfront facility, whose activities include sales, storage and
maintenance of boats, and which provides slips for permanent or transient berthing, sells
fuel and supplies for boats and provides vehicle parking.
Marine vendor: Any person, having no fixed place of business in the town, selling or
offering for sale or rent tangible commodities from the town wharf or any of the floats
attached thereto or from the parking area at the town wharf or from any boat tied up at the
town wharf, and where delivery is made at the time of the sale.
Marina mooring: Mooring assignment used by marinas and yacht clubs primarily for
rental to transient marine traffic.
Mooring: All means of securing a vessel to a particular location other than a pier or dock
and other than temporarily by anchor for a period of less than one week or by attaching to
the shore (including out-hauls). The term includes year-round and seasonal moorings.
Mooring service: A business engaged in installing and inspecting moorings and which
employs qualified mooring inspectors.
Insurance: The owner/operator of a mooring service which uses the town wharf shall
maintain liability insurance, workers' compensation and federal longshoreman act
insurance with policy limits of no less than one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) which
names the Town of Falmouth as an additional insured.
Non-resident: All persons not residents of the Town of Falmouth are classified as nonresident.
Non-resident commercial marine enterprise: A commercial marine enterprise without a
fixed place of business within the Town of Falmouth for at least one hundred eighty
(180) calendar days in the preceding calendar year.
Non-resident fisherman: A non-resident of the Town of Falmouth who derives a
majority of his/her annual income from lobstering, clamming or fishing or other marine
fishery.
Person: The word "person" as used herein shall include the singular and plural, and shall
also mean or include any firm or corporation, association, club, partnership or society.
Qualified mooring inspector: A person who satisfies the harbormaster that he/she is
qualified to inspect a mooring tackle as to condition and size. Qualifications shall be
judged by past experience in installing and inspecting moorings, familiarity with mooring
tackle, including the size and kind of mooring tackle needed for the safe mooring of
different size vessels.
Resident: Any person who occupies a dwelling for more than one hundred eighty (180)
days in a calendar year within the Town of Falmouth, a Falmouth real estate taxpayer or
registered voter in the Town of Falmouth.
Resident commercial marine enterprise: A business located in the town for more than
one hundred eighty (180) calendar days in the preceding calendar year and in business for
the purpose of sales, storage, service or maintenance of boats. To be considered a resident
commercial marine enterprise the business must prove:
(1) That a majority of its income is derived from the commercial marine enterprise, and
(2) That the business has separate business quarters defined by lease or contract.
Resident fisherman: A resident of the town who derives a majority of his/her annual
income from lobstering, fishing or clamming, or any other marine fishery and who has
obtained all necessary permits, licenses and approvals.
Resident/recreational mooring assignment: This category of mooring assignment is
limited to natural persons who are residents of the town.
Riparian: Littoral and/or riparian rights under state law are not affected by this article.
Any mooring assignment previously termed riparian will fall into its appropriate category
with the adoption of this article.
Skiffs, also known as dinghies: A light rowboat, of nine (9) feet or less in length.
Slip: A berthing space at floats or docks.
Town wharf: The wharf and floats located at end of town landing road in Falmouth.
Yacht club: A private association of persons organized to promote recreational boating.
(Ord. of 3-25-2002, ยง 1; Ord. of 1-27-2003; Ord. of 11-27-2006)
Sec. 9-92. Falmouth Harbor/Waterfront Committee.
(a) Purpose: The Falmouth Harbor/Waterfront Committee exists for the general
purpose of studying and evaluating public use and access to coastal waters; to advise the
town council on policy matters and proposed regulations concerning the town's coastal
waters; to oversee the maintenance and care of town owned waterfront facilities through
the harbormaster and in conjunction with state and federal authorities. The
harbor/waterfront committee sits as a board of appeals to hear an appeal from any person
aggrieved by any decision, act or failure to act by the harbormaster. The committee shall
regularly inform the town council, planning board, and such other boards, committees,
commissions, or officials of the town of its activities, as is appropriate. The
harbor/waterfront committee shall be consulted by the town council before any
moratorium on moorings is enacted.
(b) Organization:
(1) The Falmouth Harbor/Waterfront Committee shall consist of seven (7) members,
with one (1) resident representing handy boat, and one resident representing Portland
Yacht Club. All seven (7) members shall be appointed by the town council. Each
committee member shall be a resident of the Town of Falmouth and shall serve without
compensation.
(2) Neither a municipal officer nor his/her spouse may be a member of the committee.
(3) Any questions of whether a particular issue involves a conflict of interest sufficient
to disqualify a member from voting thereon shall be decided by a majority vote of the
members, except the member who is being challenged.
(4) The town council shall have the power to remove any member of the
harbor/waterfront committee for cause and shall have the power to replace appointees
who leave the committee. The chairman of the committee shall notify the town council
chairman of the forfeiture of office by a committee member.
(5) The term of office of a member shall be three (3) years.
(6) The committee shall annually in the month of October elect a chairman, vicechairman
and secretary from its membership and may create and fill such other offices as
it may determine. Officers shall serve one (1) year terms and shall be eligible for reelection.
(7) The committee shall conduct its meetings in accordance with Roberts Rules of Order
(10th edition).
(Ord. of 3-25-2002, ยง 1; Ord. of 1-27-2003; Ord. of 4-24-2006; Ord. of 11-27-2006)
Sec. 9-93. Harbormaster.
(a) The harbormaster shall enforce this article and the provisions of 38 M.R.S.A.
sections 1 through 6. The harbormaster may also enforce other state laws and Falmouth
ordinances when violations of those laws and ordinances occur within his/her sworn
jurisdictional authority. The harbormaster shall be the overseer of the town's moorings,
floats, gangways, wharves, and channels and ensure their proper maintenance is provided
for.
(b) The harbormaster shall regularly attend the harbor/waterfront committee meetings
and inform the committee of his/her activities as well as provide such available
information as may be requested by the committee for the execution of its duties.
(c) Upon completion of training and certification by the Maine Criminal Justice
Academy, the harbormaster and deputy shall have the authority granted by Title 38 of the
Maine Revised Statutes and the authority to carry a weapon and to make arrests.
(Ord. of 3-25-2002, ยง 1; Ord. of 1-27-2003; Ord. of 11-27-2006)
Sec. 9-94. Mooring assignments.
(a) Application: Persons with moorings in the anchorage of the town shall apply for
renewal of their mooring assignments each year. By January 1 of each year, the
harbormaster shall mail an application to each person who received a mooring
assignment the previous year and in fact used this assignment for its prescribed use, and
to other applicants who have asked to receive a mooring application. The applicant shall
return the completed application to the harbormaster before March 15 that year. Mooring
applications which are returned after that date will be assessed a one hundred dollar
($100.00) late fee. The burden of proof in determining residence, legitimacy of business
usage, principal use of a vessel or any issues of adequacy of design or construction, shall
be upon the applicant.
(b) Termination: All persons who had been assigned a mooring and whose mooring
assignment is to be terminated by the harbormaster for reasons of non-compliance with
this article or any other reason shall receive written notification from the harbormaster.
This notice shall state the fact of termination and the reason for termination, and inform
the applicant of his/her right to appeal the decision of the harbormaster to the
harbor/waterfront committee, as prescribed in section 9-100 below.
(c) Mooring assignment application: Each application shall contain the following:
(1) The applicant's name (or applicants' name in the event the mooring assignment is to
be held jointly by adult members of the same household), complete address, home
telephone number, place of employment and work telephone number, access point and
email address;
(2) The boat name, state or federal registration number, the vessel identification number,
the engine number, name and address of boat owner(s);
(3) The type of boat, i.e. sail, power, inboard or outboard;
(4) Length of boat and hull configuration i.e. deep keel, shallow draft;
(5) Name, address and telephone number of the mooring service who will set, service
and inspect the mooring;
(6) The signature of the applicant and date of application;
(7) Date of last mooring inspection;
(8) GPS bearings; and
(9) A copy of the current vessel registration, or federal documentation certificate.
The application shall be accompanied by the appropriate fee.
(d) Incomplete applications: Each application that fails to provide the above listed
information will be deemed incomplete. All applications must include the appropriate
fee. Those without the appropriate fee shall be deemed incomplete. Incomplete
applications shall be returned to the applicant without further action by the harbormaster.
Fraudulent application (which is to include misrepresentation of your access point) is
grounds for immediate termination of mooring assignment.
(e) Mooring fees:
(1) Residents per mooring . . . $50.00
(including 40 rental moorings--handy boat; 10 guest moorings--Portland Yacht Club)
(2) Non-residents . . . $250.00
All non-residents who have moorings in the anchorage and have paid the current fee will
be given a permit that will allow them one free launch and retrieval of their boat from the
boat ramp.
(3) Late fee assessed after March 15 . . . $100.00
(4) All outstanding fees or fines must be paid prior to the issuance of a current mooring
sticker.
(f) Mooring sticker: A valid mooring registration sticker must be affixed to the boat on
the starboard side following the state registration sticker.
(g) Boat ramp.
(1) Residents--Free with proof of residency.
(2) Non-residents--$10.00 per launch or a seasonal launch permit for $50.00 (kayaks
and jet skis included)
(3) Commercial launch haulers use--$250.00 yearly.
(4) Launching or removing a vessel that does not have a Falmouth mooring permit pays
$10.00 per linear foot.
(5) Failure to pay appropriate launch fees will result in a violation of this article.
Launch permits shall be available at the Falmouth Town Hall, the harbormasters office
and such other convenient locations as the harbormaster may determine. The
harbor/waterfront committee shall review fees once bi-annually and may make
recommendations for adjustments to the town council.
(h) Mooring assignment: All persons who received and used a mooring assignment in
the previous year, and whose mooring application was received in a complete and timely
fashion, will receive a mooring assignment for the current year before June 1 of that year.
The harbormaster and the harbor/waterfront committee will endeavor to maintain a
balance of not less than ten (10) percent non-resident mooring assignments. At all times
the following priority order shall be maintained:
(1) Resident fisherman;
(2) Resident/recreational;
(3) Commercial passenger boat;
(4) Resident commercial marine enterprise;
(5) Resident: additional mooring;
(6) Non-resident recreational;
(7) Rental moorings;
(8) Non-resident fisherman;
(9) Non-resident commercial marine enterprise;
(10) Non-resident; additional mooring.
(i) Waiting list: The harbormaster or town clerk's office shall maintain one
chronological waiting list with complete application information of all applicants who
have applied for but not received a mooring assignment. Persons desiring a place on the
waiting list may apply at any time by making out a mooring application form and filing it
with the harbormaster. The list shall be in eight sections, each section in chronological
order as to when the application was received with recreational applications being limited
to natural persons:
(1) Resident fisherman;
(2) Resident/recreational;
(3) Commercial passenger boat;
(4) Resident commercial marine enterprise;
(5) Non-resident fisherman;
(6) Non-resident commercial marine enterprise;
(7) Non-resident recreational;
(8) Resident; additional mooring;
(9) Non-resident; additional mooring;
(10) Rental moorings.
A copy of this waiting list, shall be posted in the town office and shall be provided to all
members of the harbor/waterfront committee, and made available for any commercial
marine enterprise or any others who request a copy.
(j) Numbers:
(1) Marinas shall be assigned a total of not more than forty (40) mooring assignments
each. These moorings shall be considered a rental mooring as approved by the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers.
(2) Yacht clubs in existence as of January 1, 1999 shall be allowed not more than ten
(10) mooring assignments each as approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
(k) Sole use: All mooring assignments (with the exception of Army Corps of Engineer
Permitted Marina and Yacht Club Moorings) shall be used exclusively for the personal
use of the applicant and solely for the boat listed in the application.
(l) Abandonment of assignments: The harbormaster shall deem abandoned any mooring
assignment unused/unpaid by the applicant for his/her vessel for a period of one (1)
season. Subsequent application for a mooring number assignment by that person must be
in accordance with the procedure outlined for new applications, including placement in
chronological sequence on the waiting list. Extension appeals will be considered on a
case by case basis by the harbor master.
(m) Placement. The harbormaster shall develop a plan for the placement of moorings in
the harbor, giving consideration to the size, hull type, construction, windage of boats, and
the location of the channel. He/she shall assign/reassign locations to each mooring and
ensure placement in the correct location. All moorings not located in the correct location
shall be moved by the owner at his/her own expense in accordance with the instructions
of the harbormaster. In the event of the failure of the owner to comply with these
instructions, the harbormaster shall move or remove the improperly located mooring and
the cost shall be borne by the owner of the relocated mooring. If this is determined to be a
hazard or safety issue, the owner must comply within forty-eight (48) hours.
(n) Mooring construction and placement: All mooring construction and placement, in
the anchorage must be approved by the harbormaster.
(o) All mooring buoys shall be white in color with a blue horizontal stripe and shall
have the current permit registration number and owners name in three (3) inch letters
painted above the water line in a contrasting color. A letter designation may be placed
upon the mooring buoys by marinas, boatyards, yacht clubs and commercial marine
enterprises to designate moorings owned by them.
(1) All new or replaced permanent moorings shall comply with the following minimum
specifications:
a. Each permanent mooring shall consist of a mushroom, granite block or helix, a
minimum one-half ( 1/2) inch heavy steel bottom chain attached to a minimum one-half (
1/2) inch top chain (a single chain is acceptable), mooring buoy and a pennant:
polypropelene use is not acceptable. Each mooring must have one (1) top and swivel; all
swivels and shackles must be to the appropriate size diameter.
b. All mooring blocks shall be constructed of solid granite with steel staples or eyebolt
extending completely through the block. Cement blocks, old engines and other
miscellaneous weighted objects are unacceptable as mooring anchors in the harbor.
c. The mooring scope shall be approximately two times the water depth at maximum
high water. Total scope shall include bottom chain and top chain and pennant to the bow
of the boat and pennant to the bow of the boat.
d. Recommended mooring guidelines:
TABLE INSET:
Under 15' power/sail 150 lb mushroom
15'--19' power/sail 200 lb mushroom
20'--27' power/sail 250 lb mushroom
28'--30' power/sail 300 lb mushroom
31'--33' power/sail 400 lb mushroom
34'--38' power/sail 500 lb mushroom
39'--45' power/sail 600 lb mushroom
46'--50' power/sail 1000 lb mushroom
51'--56' power/sail 1200 lb mushroom
56'--65' power/sail 1600 lb mushroom
Granite blocks will equal to four (4) times the weight of a mushroom anchor.
For the safety of his/her boat and that of adjacent boats mooring permit holders are
responsible for having their moorings set, inspected and making the required or necessary
adjustments or repairs.
e. Despite dimension standard established herein, any parts of mooring showing
excessive wear or any mooring or gear, which do not meet with the harbormaster's
approval, shall not be permitted.
f. All mooring buoys shall be white in color with a blue horizontal stripe and shall have
the current permit registration number and the owner's name in three-inch letters painted
above the water line in a contrasting color. A letter designation may be placed upon the
mooring buoys by marinas, boatyards, yacht clubs and commercial marine enterprises to
designate moorings owned by them.
g. All moorings shall be of appropriate size and designed for the largest size boat likely
to be placed thereon, and shall be of a construction approved by the harbormaster.
(2) Winter conditions.
a. Winter sparsmust be used to mark moorings and such spars shall be connected to
their moorings with non-floating rope (no wire cable permitted). Winter spars may not be
set before September 1 and must be installed by December 31 and removed by June 1
each year. By January 1 all moorings shall have mooring balls exchanged for a winter
spar. Winter spars remaining in the water after June 1 shall have their mooring removed
by the harbormaster at the expense of the owner and a one hundred dollar ($100.00) fine
will be imposed in accordance with subsection 9-105(c).
b. No watercraft (exception: working commercial vessels) will be permitted on mooring
between November 30 and March 30 inclusive. Any watercraft may be removed from the
water at the owner's expense after November 30.
(p) Setting: If the applicant who has received a mooring assignment sells, transfers, no
longer owns or otherwise loses the boat on that mooring during the course of a year,
he/she shall notify the harbormaster immediately. The mooring assignment shall not be
assigned or sold to the person purchasing that boat without prior approval of the
harbormaster.
(q) Inspection:
(1) An approved mooring service shall inspect and approve or be otherwise satisfied that
each mooring is in safe condition before it is placed in the anchorage.
(2) Moorings must be inspected every two (2) years by a qualified mooring inspector. A
list of qualified mooring inspectors may be obtained by contacting the harbormaster. The
harbormaster has the authority to require any necessary maintenance or replacement of
parts or the whole mooring, tackle and/or gear. Inspection forms shall be complete and
legible.
(3) The harbormaster shall maintain a file on each mooring listing the date of the last
inspection and the name of the person who last inspected it.
(r) Anchoring:
(1) No boat/barge shall anchor in the channel/fairway or in a manner so that the boat
shall lie, at any tide, in the confines of the channel/fairway.
(2) Boats at anchor may anchor only in those areas of the anchorage permitted by the
harbormaster and not to exceed fourteen (14) days.
(s) Other floating objects: No mooring in the harbor shall be utilized to secure any
floating object other than a single boat, mooring derrick, small boat storage float or
lobster raft. All floats/rafts shall have permits from the Army Corps of Engineers, and
shall be placed at the direction of the harbormaster.
Lobster rafts shall be allowed by Falmouth residents only, need to be permitted by the
Army Corps of Engineers, and shall be placed in the anchorage at the discretion of the
harbormaster within the confines of the jurisdiction. Any valid permitted lobster raft on
January 1, 2007 is grandfathered.
(t) Ownership: Nothing in this article creates an ownership interest in a mooring
assignment. If a holder of a resident/recreational or commercial mooring assignment dies,
the mooring assignment reverts to the next of kin.
(u) Residency status and fees: If a person who holds a valid mooring assignment
changes residency status, whether from resident to non-resident or from non-resident to
resident, he/she is expected to immediately notify the harbormaster. In the case of change
from resident to non-resident, the fee will increase the year following the residency
change. In the case of non-resident to resident, there will be no remission of fees.
(v) Number of moorings:
(1) Residents of the town shall be entitled to register two (2) moorings each year and
non-residents shall be entitled to register one (1) mooring each year.
(2) Notwithstanding (a) above, persons with moorings in the coastal waters of the town
on December 31, 1985, shall be entitled to register the same number of moorings under
this section as they had on December 31, 1985. The rights created by this subsection shall
be assignable.
(Ord. of 3-25-2002, ยง 1; Ord. of 1-27-2003; Ord. of 11-27-2006; Ord. of 12-18-2007;
Amd. of 12-22-2008)
Sec. 9-95. Use of town wharf and landings.
(a) Tying up: No vessel other than a permitted skiff shall be made fast to the town
wharf except for twenty (20) minutes as required for loading or unloading. There shall be
no overnight tie-ups. Exceptions may be made in emergencies only by permission of the
harbormaster. No vessel other than the harbormaster's patrol boat shall tie up to the town
wharf in the space marked for use by the harbormaster.
(b) Storage: Except as provided in subsection (g) below, personal property, including
but not limited to lobster traps, motor vehicles, cradles, boats and floats shall not be
stored on the town wharf or landing for more than thirty (30) minutes. Any designated
loading zone shall be used only for lobster traps, fishing gear and other items in transit.
(c) Usage: No person shall loiter, create a public nuisance, or partake of alcoholic
beverages on the town wharf or landing.
(d) Jumping and diving from the town wharf: Jumping, swimming and diving from, at
or near the town wharf is prohibited. Violators may be subject to a fine not to exceed
twenty-five dollars ($25.00). All fines shall be recovered to the use of the town on
complaint or by other appropriate action before a court of competent jurisdiction.
(e) Obstruction: It shall be unlawful to obstruct by any means whatsoever the free use
of the town wharf or landing or any other common landing place. Said areas shall be used
only for loading and unloading. Vessels shall not remain tied up at said structures for a
period longer than is reasonably necessary for this purpose, except by permission of the
harbormaster in case of emergency. The harbormaster shall remove or cause to be
removed, any unattended vessel obstructing free use of said areas after due effort has
been made to notify the master or owner of said vessel of the above violation. The vessel
shall be responsible for all costs associated with said action.
(f) Non-commercial/recreational skiffs: No skiffs, dinghies,or similar vessels shall be
allowed on top of the town wharf.Their owners shall maintain such vessels and the
owners shall be liablefor any damage occurring to the town property or other vessels.
Anysuch vessels maintained in the anchorage and using town facilities fora total [of] or
more than fourteen (14) days per annum shall be registered with the harbormaster by
notation on the application or a mooring permit and have the mooring space number and
the owner's name visibly displayed on the inside transom of said vessel. Skiffs may be
secured at the finger floats on the north side of the floats off the town wharf provided
they comply with all of the below conditions:
(1) Effective January 1, 2007 a valid skiff registration sticker must be affixed to any
skiff stored at the town wharf or any approved adjacent storage area. Not more than sixty
(60) resident skiff registration stickers and thirty (30) non-resident skiff registration
stickers shall be issued annually. The registration fee shall be fifty dollars ($50.00) for
residents and one hundred dollars ($100.00) for non-residents. Commercial fishermen
shall be exempt from this fee.
Registration stickers shall be available annually on a first come first serve basis the
second Saturday in April each year.
(2) Each skiff shall be marked with the owner's name and mooring number for purposes
of identification.
(3) No skiffs may be secured on the outer faces of the town floats or under the town
landing pier.
(4) All skiffs shall be properly secured and maintained. Skiffs shall not be secured with
chains or wire, nor padlocked to the float and will not be left overnight with an outboard
attached or fuel onboard.
(5) No skiff longer than nine (9) feet may be secured on the town floats.
(6) Skiffs in violation will be impounded and stored at owner's expense.
(7) The town may supply a fleet of municipal dinghies available for public use, in
accordance with rules to be established by the harbor master.
(g) Lobster traps: The maximum number of traps on floats is forty (40). Traps shall be
removed the same day that they are placed on the float and must not obstruct access to
floats. No traps or gear shall be permitted on docks or floats on Saturday or Sunday at
anytime during the year. No traps are allowed on docks or floats from July 1 until after
Labor Day on docks or floats. Traps and bait are not to be dragged down main dock.
(h) Use of public landing ramp and/or parking area at the town wharf:
(1) The public landing ramp is intended to be used primarily for noncommercial
launching of recreational boats.
(2) The town council may, by order, establish a fee schedule for use of the public
landing ramp or parking area or both by non-residents, commercial launchers and
venders, which fee schedule shall be kept on file in the town clerk's office. There shall be
no fee for resident noncommercial launchers.
a. Upon request by a resident and upon payment of the appropriate fee by non-residents,
commercial launchers and venders, the town clerk shall issue a permit authorizing the use
of the public landing ramp or parking area or both.
b. Persons launching boats shall have in their possession the required permit and shall
display the permit upon request of the harbormaster or his agent.
(3) There will be no parking of trailers in the lower parking lot at any time year round.
(4) The harbormaster shall have the authority to prohibit the use of the public landing
ramp and parking area if the harbormaster, in his sole discretion, deems that the activity
will interfere with the use of the landing for launching of recreational boats or if the
harbormaster deems that use to be unsafe or likely to cause damage to the public landing
ramp or parking area or both. Parking for residents only is permitted at the town landing
lower lot as well as the upper lot on Route 88. These resident vehicles must display a
current town sticker, which may be purchased for three dollars ($3.00) (good for three (3)
years) at the town hall or harbormaster's office upon presenting a current vehicle
registration. There is also handicap parking available in the lower and upper lots.
(5) In addition to other penalties set forth in this article, any person who violates this
section shall be responsible for the cost of repair or reconstruction should damage to the
public landing ramp or parking area or both result from the violation.
(Ord. of 3-25-2002, ยง 1; Ord. of 1-27-2003; Ord. of 11-27-2006; Ord. of 12-18-2007;
Amd. of 12-22-2008)
Sec. 9-96. Town landings.
The Falmouth Harbor/Waterfront Committee has responsibility for setting and
administering policy and the harbormaster has authority over these sites.
(Ord. of 3-25-2002, ยง 1; Ord. of 1-27-2003; Ord. of 11-27-2006)
Sec. 9-97. Operations.
No boat shall be operated within the anchorage at a speed in excess of five (5) knots, or
so as to cause excessive wake.
(Ord. of 3-25-2002, ยง 1; Ord. of 1-27-2003; Ord. of 11-27-2006)
Sec. 9-98. Disruptive conduct.
It shall be a violation of this article for any person to disrupt the safe and lawful activities,
or to threaten the public safety, in or around the docks, wharfs, floats or tidal waters of
the town.
(Ord. of 3-25-2002, ยง 1; Ord. of 1-27-2003; Ord. of 11-27-2006)
Sec. 9-99. Floats; anchorage; menaces to navigation.
The harbormaster is authorized to take whatever action is necessary and appropriate to
remove any menace to navigation within the waters of the town. This shall include, but is
not limited to, contracting for removal of the menace at the expense of the town, another
governmental entity, or the person responsible for the creation of the menace.
(Ord. of 3-25-2002, ยง 1; Ord. of 1-27-2003; Ord. of 11-27-2006)
Sec. 9-100. Appeals.
(a) Any and all persons aggrieved directly or indirectly by a decision, order, rule act or
failure to act of the harbormaster may appeal said decision, order, rule, act or failure to
act to the harbor/waterfront committee. In deciding any appeal, the committee shall hold
a hearing and approve, approve with modifications or conditions or disapprove the
decision, order, rule, act or failure to act from which the appeal is made.
(b) Such appeals shall be made in writing to the committee within five (5) calendar days
of the decision, order, rule, act or failure to act from which the appeal is taken. It must
state with specificity the decision, order, rule, act or failure to act from which the appeal
is taken and the reason for the appeal. The harbor/waterfront committee at its next regular
meeting shall consider the appeal.
(c) Any decision, order, rule, act or failure to act by the harbormaster concerning the
location of moorings or boats, as a result of which location there is immediate danger to
lives or property, shall not be stayed pending appeal.
(d) Any party may take an appeal from a decision of the harbor/waterfront committee
within thirty (30) days after the decision is rendered to the Superior Court in accordance
with the Maine Rules of Civil Procedure.
(Ord. of 3-25-2002, ยง 1; Ord. of 1-27-2003; Ord. of 11-27-2006)
Sec. 9-101. Wharf permits.
Any person who has at the date of enactment of this article, a legal wharf and/or dock
system, may expand that wharf and/or dock system only in accordance with the
following. An application consisting of scale drawings of the proposed project should be
made to the Falmouth Harbor/Waterfront Committee. The applicant shall appear at a
harbor/waterfront committee meeting to answer questions. The project must not
unreasonably interfere with customary or traditional public access ways to, or public trust
rights (fishing, fowling, and navigation) in, on, or over the submerged lands;
unreasonably interfere with fishing or other existing marine uses of the area;
unreasonably diminish the availability of services and facilities necessary for commercial
marine activities; or unreasonably interfere with ingress and egress of riparian owners.
The harbor/waterfront committee must approve any changes or amendments to the
original application before construction shall begin. Receipt of approval under this
section does not relieve the applicant from the responsibility of obtaining approval from
other town, state and federal agencies with jurisdiction over the proposed expansion.
(Ord. of 3-25-2002, ยง 1; Ord. of 1-27-2003; Ord. of 11-27-2006)
Sec. 9-102. Dumping of sewage prohibited.
No person may discharge, spill or permit to be discharged sewage, garbage, or other
pollutants from any boat into the tidal waters within the boundaries of the town or onto
the ice or banks thereof in such a manner that the same may fall or be washed into such
waters or in such a manner that the drainage there from may flow into such waters.
(Ord. of 3-25-2002, ยง 1; Ord. of 1-27-2003; Ord. of 11-27-2006)
Sec. 9-103. Licensing for commercial passenger boats using town wharf and floats.
(a) Purposes. The purposes of this section are to fairly allocate the scarce public
resources of berthing space and tie-up time at the Falmouth Town Wharf and to protect
the health, safety and welfare of users of the town wharf and passengers on commercial
passenger boats which may utilize the town wharf. The town wharf is public property
which the town manages for the benefit of all the residents of Falmouth and mooring
owners and it is not the intent of this article to create any private property rights or
interests in the use of that public property.
(b) Definition and interpretation. Terms used in this section shall have the same
meanings as terms, which are defined in section 9-91. In addition, the following terms
have the following meanings.
Commercial passenger boat means a boat, which carries passengers for hire, on a charter
or scheduled service basis or both.
New license means a license issued to an applicant who did not hold a valid license for a
commercial passenger boat of the same capacity category on October 31 next preceding
the date on in which the application is made.
Operator means the owner, lessee or other person with the legal right to possession and
control of a boat.
Parking means off-street parking, which complies with the requirements of the Falmouth
Zoning Ordinance.
Renewal license means a license issued to an applicant who held a valid license for a
commercial passenger boat of the same capacity category on October 31 next preceding
the date on which the application is made. The applicant must produce documentation
that he/she has transported commercial passengers within the Town of Falmouth within
the previous twelve (12) months.
(c) Regulations.
(1) License required: No commercial passenger boat shall use the town wharf without
first obtaining and maintaining a license under this article.
(2) Performance standards: Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this article,
commercial passenger boats using the town wharf shall comply with the following
standards:
a. Commercial passenger boats shall use only those portions of the town wharf which
has been designated for such use by the harbormaster;
b. No commercial passenger boat shall be tied up or berthed at the town wharf for
longer than thirty (30) minutes per hour or more than once per hour;
c. Boarding areas shall be kept clean and free of litter. Passengers shall be advised to
carry out what they carry in;
d. No signs advertising the service shall be allowed on public property with the
exception of a schedule of times and description of service posted on the public bulletin
board;
e. Amplified sound shall not exceed fifty-five (55) decibels during the day and forty-five
(45) decibels at night;
f. The operators of commercial passenger boats shall work together on scheduling their
services, so that the town wharf is used most efficiently;
g. The operators of commercial passenger boats shall be flexible and accommodate
other users of the town wharf; and
h. Each commercial passenger boat shall pass necessary U.S. Coast Guard inspection for
that vessel's type and class.
(3) Insurance: The operator of each commercial passenger boat which uses the town
wharf shall maintain liability insurance with policy limits of no less than one million
dollars ($1,000,000.00) which names the Town of Falmouth as an additional insured.
(d) Limits on size of boats, number of license, categories.
(1) Size limited: No license shall be issued for a commercial passenger boat, which
exceeds forty (40) feet in length, or twelve (12) feet in beam. The beam may increase to
sixteen (16) feet with the permission of the harbormaster.
(2) Large capacity vessel: a boat which is USCG licensed to transport more than six (6)
passengers.
(3) Small capacity vessel: a boat which is USCG licensed to transport a maximum of six
(6) passengers.
(4) Licenses per category: No more than six (6) licenses for commercial passenger boats
shall be issued or shall be in effect at any time.
(5) Waiting list: The harbormaster shall maintain a waiting list of all applicants who
have not been issued a commercial passenger license. A copy of the list shall be posted in
the office of the harbormaster. Applications shall be dated upon receipt at the town office
and shall be considered in chronological sequence (regardless of year received) in
accordance with the following priority:
a. Resident.
b. Non-resident.
(e) License fees. The annual fees for license under this section shall be:
(1) One hundred dollars ($100.00) for a commercial passenger boat.
(f) License application filing period. Application for licenses under this article must be
received in the office of the town clerk on a regular town office business day during the
following periods of each year:
(1) November 1 through March 1.
(g) Application requirements. Applications for a license under this section shall be
made by the operator of the commercial passenger boat in writing and under oath on a
form provided by the town clerk. The application shall contain the following information
and/or submissions:
(1) Name of the applicant;
(2) A brief description of the form of the applicant's business i.e., sole proprietor, sole
proprietor doing business under a trade name, corporation, limited liability company,
partnership, etc.;
(3) The applicant's residence address or local business address;
(4) The applicant's mailing address, designated by the applicant as the address where the
applicant will accept any notices served under this article;
(5) A photograph of the commercial passenger boat taken within sixty (60) days
immediately prior to the date of the filing of the application, which picture shall be two
(2) inches by two (2) inches at minimum;
(6) A brief description of the types of charter/passenger/for-hire activities to be
operated;
(7) A statement of the maximum number of passengers the applicant will transport in
the commercial passenger boat;
(8) A copy of certificate of insurance complying with the requirements of subsection
(c)(3);
(9) Copies of all United States Coast Guard licenses held by the operator;
(10) A copy of the most recent United States Coast Guard Inspection Certificate for the
commercial passenger boat if applicable;
(11) A statement that the applicant has not committed any violations of this article
within the year prior to the date of application; and
(12) A statement that the applicant has not, within the year prior to the date of
application, operated a commercial passenger boat in an unlawful manner or in any
manner so as to constitute a threat to the public health, safety or welfare.
From the date of filing the application until the expiration or surrender of any license
issued as a result of the application, the applicant is required to notify the clerk in writing
of any changes in any of the information contained in the application.
(h) Award of license of harbor/waterfront committee. The town clerk shall forward all
timely applications to the Falmouth Harbor/Waterfront Committee, which shall act on the
applications as follows:
(1) Resident applicants. At its first meeting after November 7 of each year, the
harbor/waterfront committee shall award available licenses to resident applicants who
qualify, first to applicants for renewal licenses, and then to applicants for new licenses,
awarded by drawing lots if there is more than one.
(2) Non-resident applicants. At its first meeting after November 15 of each year, if all
available licenses have not been awarded under subsection (h)(1) above, the
harbor/waterfront committee shall award the remaining license to non-resident applicants
who qualify, first to applicants for renewal licenses, and then to applicants for new
licenses, awarded by drawing lots if there is more than one (1).
(i) Qualifications for license. Before awarding a license under subsection (h), the
harbor/waterfront committee must find that the applicant qualifies by meeting the
following standards:
(1) The applicant has proven that he/she has either a mooring or other adequate berthing
for his/her vessel within the tidal waters of the town;
(2) The applicant has provided evidence of the insurance required by subsection (c)(3);
(3) The applicant has been issued all licenses required by the United States Coast Guard
for the operation of the commercial passenger boat;
(4) The applicant has not committed any violations of this article within the year prior to
the date of application;
(5) The applicant has not operated a commercial passenger boat in an unlawful manner
or in any manner so as to constitute a threat to the public health, safety or welfare.
(j) Issuance of license by clerk. After the harbor/waterfront committee has awarded the
licenses under subsection (h), the town clerk shall issue the licenses to the successful
applicants, to become valid on January 1 at 12:01 a.m.
(k) Term of licenses. All licenses issued under this section shall take effect on the date
of issuance by the town clerk under subsection (j) and shall expire on the following
December 31 at 11:59 p.m.
(l) Effect of licenses. Licenses issued under this section are valid only for the
commercial passenger boat and the operator identified on the application. Any change in
the status of any of those factors must be reviewed and approved by the harbor/waterfront
committee upon application made by the license holder.
(m) Revocation of licenses. The harbor/waterfront committee may revoke a license,
after hearing, for any of the following causes:
(1) Failure of the operator to comply with the qualification standards of subsection (i);
(2) Fraud, misrepresentation, or false statement contained in the application license;
(3) Fraud, misrepresentation, or false statement made in the course of carrying on the
operator's business or any commercial passenger boat;
(4) Any violation of this article;
(5) Conducting the commercial passenger boat business in any unlawful manner.
Before revoking a license, the Falmouth Harbor/Waterfront Committee shall provide the
operator with notice and the opportunity to be heard. The Falmouth Harbor/Waterfront
Committee shall give the operator written notice of the grounds for revocation and of the
date, time and place of the hearing, mailed to the operator at the mailing address
designated in the operator's license application at least seven (7) days before the
scheduled hearing date. If the operator chooses to waive a hearing, the operator may
surrender the license to the town clerk at any time prior to the scheduled hearing.
(n) Interim provisions for issuance of licenses. Notwithstanding the provisions of
subsections (f) and (h), license applications for licenses under this section shall be
accepted for a period of seven (7) days prior to the effective date of this section. On the
first town office business day after the effective date, the town clerk shall forward the
applications to the harbor/waterfront committee. At its first meeting after the effective
date, the harbor/waterfront committee shall award the licenses to qualified applicants in
each capacity category, first to resident applicants and then to non-resident applicants.
(Ord. of 3-25-2002, ยง 1; Ord. of 1-27-2003; Ord. of 11-27-2006)
Sec. 9-104. Commercial marine ventures.
All commercial marine activities (rafts, pens, lobster buyers, bait dealers, etc.) within the
tidal waters of the town require prior approval from the harbormaster subject to location,
navigational safety, area and compatibility and to alleviate any problems regarding
commercial or recreational fishing and/or navigation. Such structures associated with
marine activities shall be maintained in good and serviceable condition.
All commercial marine activities shall be in full compliance with town ordinances and
rules and regulations.
(Ord. of 3-25-2002, ยง 1; Ord. of 1-27-2003; Ord. of 11-27-2006)
Sec. 9-105. Penalties.
(a) Enforcement: It shall be the primary duty of the harbormaster to enforce the
provisions of this article. If the harbormaster shall find any provision of this article being
violated, he/she shall notify the person responsible for said violation, either verbally or in
writing, indicating the nature of the violation and ordering the action necessary to correct
it. The harbormaster shall maintain a written record of said notices. In the event that the
violation causes or threatens to cause property damage, then notification of the violation
shall be the fastest means available. In this case, if contact with the mooring or boat
owner or corrective action cannot be made within twenty-four (24) hours, the
harbormaster is authorized to take whatever corrective action is necessary, the expense
and risk for which shall be borne by the mooring or boat owner. If the mooring or boat
owner fails to satisfy all financial obligations arising out of this incident prior to January
1 of the succeeding year, he/she shall forfeit his/her mooring assignment until such
obligation is satisfied. This section shall not limit in any way the authority of the
harbormaster to act as provided in 38 M.R.S.A. section 1.
(b) Legal action: When the above action does not result in the abatement or correction
of the violation condition, the harbormaster is authorized to seek any all actions, legal or
equitable. In addition to seeking civil penalties, the town may enjoin any person from
violating or continuing to violate a provision of this article and may seek any other legal
or equitable remedies necessary to achieve compliance with the requirements of this
article. In any such action, which the town prevails, the town shall be awarded reasonable
attorney's fees and the cost of suit in addition to any other relief to which it may be
entitled.
(c) Civil penalty: Violation of any provision of this article shall be prosecuted and
relief, fees and penalties granted and assessed pursuant to the provisions of 30-A
M.R.S.A. section 4452.
(d) Failure to obey order of the harbormaster:
(1) Offense defined: As provided by 38 M.R.S.A. section 13, a person is guilty of failure
to obey an order of the harbormaster if the person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly
fails to obey any lawful order of the harbormaster.
(2) Penalty: Failure to obey an order of the harbormaster is a Class E Crime.
(e) Forfeiture: Moorings and skiffs abandoned by their owners shall be impounded by
the harbormaster. Said abandoned property shall be disposed of according to the
procedures outlined established by the harbormaster. Any mooring company whom
assists the town in removing said property may petition the harbormaster to obtain the
property if, after six (6) months, the owner fails to claim the property. Any skiff left tied
to the town float without proper identification or left sunk or awash for a period
exceeding forty-eight (48) hours shall be deemed abandoned for the purposes of this
section. The town shall not be liable for any damage sustained by an impounded skiff or
mooring.
(f) Removal of moorings: The harbormaster may remove any mooring with improper
number or without a number, or located in an improper place or improperly constructed,
if two (2) weeks after written notice to the owner thereof, said owner fails to correct the
problem. Notice shall be in writing and shall include the action to be taken by the owner
and the fact that the mooring is subject to removal, and that the owner is liable for a fine.
(g) Termination and suspension: The harbormaster shall suspend or terminate for a
period of one (1) year both the right to use the town wharf and the mooring assignment of
any mooring owner for non-compliance with this article, or failure to comply with any
order of the harbormaster given according to the provisions of this article. After one (1)
year, the applicant may reapply for a mooring assignment.
(Ord. of 3-25-2002, ยง 1; Ord. of 1-27-2003; Ord. of 11-27-2006)
Sec. 9-106. Houseboats.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this article to the contrary, houseboats are
prohibited from mooring or anchoring in the anchorage except at marinas which provide
the following:
(1) A permanent float, dock or slip from which the houseboat may be directly boarded
from land;
(2) Connection to a public water supply by means of an individual anti-backflow valve:
(3) A sewer connection to a public sewage system;
(4) A year-round, all weather supply of electricity;
(5) Parking as required by the codes and ordinances of the municipality where the
marina is located; and
(6) Compliance with the applicable land use codes.
(Ord. of 1-27-2003; Ord. of 11-27-2006)
Sec. 9-107. Aquaculture ventures.
All aquaculture ventures (mussel rafts, oyster farming, salmon pens etc.) must be brought
before the harbor/waterfront committee and the harbormaster, who shall hold a public
hearing on the proposed venture. No aquaculture venture involving the use of rafts, pens
or other structures in the anchorage may proceed without the approval of the
harbormaster. The harbormaster shall approve or deny the proposed venture based upon
the effects of the proposal on public safety and navigation. The harbormaster may require
that the person proposing the aquaculture venture to have all applicable state and federal
permits before the harbormaster grants his/her approval.
(Ord. of 1-27-2003; Ord. of 11-27-2006)
Sec. 9-108. Mooring services rules and regulations.
(a) No person shall install or inspect moorings or offer to install or inspect moorings for
hire within the anchorage without first registering the mooring service with the
harbormaster.
(b) Mooring services operating within the anchorage shall adhere to the following rules:
(1) Mooring buoys shall comply with the requirements of subsection 9-94(o)(1)(f)
before being set or re-set.
(2) A certificate of insurance indicating the coverages set forth in subsection 9-91 as
listed under the definition (mooring service) shall be provided to the harbormaster
annually.
(3) Approval of the harbormaster shall be obtained at least two (2) days prior to setting,
hauling out, relocating or adjusting any mooring. The service shall provide to the
harbormaster the location, by site and section, of such mooring before and after the action
for which approval is sought.
(4) Moorings for which the service is responsible shall be readjusted within two (2) days
after notification by the harbormaster.
(5) All new moorings being set must be registered and have had a complete mooring
inspection.
(6) Mooring services shall inspect moorings for which they are responsible at least once
every two (2) years. Failure to perform such inspections may result in rejection of any
mooring renewal application for that mooring; the harbormaster's causing the mooring to
be inspected at the owner's expense; and/or an order to remove the mooring tackle at the
owner's expense.
(c) Any mooring service which fails to comply with the rules in this section is subject to
having its privilege to operate in the anchorage suspended by the harbormaster.
(Ord. of 1-27-2003; Ord. of 11-27-2006)

 

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