“This is not a final action,” McGinnis said. “It just gives me clear direction to develop a framework.”
Based on the recommendation approved by City Council on Monday night, the policy would limit boaters to spending no more than seven consecutive days along the seawall. There won't be a charge for it.
The move comes on the heels of a work session last month when City Council received two recommendations from the city's Harbor Board — one that would limit the mooring of boats to seven days and another for installing fender devices to protect boats along the wall.
McGinnis said limiting mooring to a week neither encourages nor discourages using the seawall for docking.
“The idea is to set a reasonable policy up," he said. “... You want to encourage people to use the marina whenever possible.”
McGinnis noted that the enforcement of the policy would likely be complaint-driven, as having city patrols could be costly.
The debate over a policy itself was driven by complaints of one specific boat that was left unattended for a long period of time this past summer.
“We’d never really had an issue with it until about last year,” McGinnis said. “Now, we’ll have a tool if we need it.”
While City Council unanimously supported the plan, Councilman Bob Monetza said he is concerned about treating each boater fairly. He said a boater could be moored there for a long time and not receive a complaint, while another could be there for a short time and be flagged with a complaint.
“We need to be fair for everyone, which is going to be a challenge with this type of system,” he said.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.