Seawall limit set at 7 days

Grand Haven City Manager Pat McGinnis now has official directive to craft a seawall mooring policy that would be in place by summer.
Alex Doty
Jan 8, 2013

“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.

Comments

newspaperlawyer

So is their any charge for parking your boat along the seawall for 7 days??? Does the boat owner need to register his boat at the City Marina office when mooring along the seawall??? Maybe the parking enforcement officers can watch for these violations. Does the US Government have any authority over the parking of vessels along the seawall??? What is the cost for a violation... The penalty should be stiff for a violations. I think your sending the wrong message buy letting people park for extended periods of time. The idea is to let people eat and shop downtown for the day... The city should not let anyone park along the wall over night. The city marina has plenty of slips for overnight parking.

Sound Judgement

newspaperlawyer is obviously not a boater or reads thoroughly before commenting, has poor grammar and a very hostile attitude. Let the city council finish this before tearing them apart.

Boats are docked, the seawall is owned by the city, the framework for docking will not be formally enforced as of right now, and the city marina is at capacity sometimes and Grand Haven is a "Safe Harbor"...I'm just saying.

newspaperlawyer

Sound Judgement.... sounds like a tool... only questioning why they are being weak. Boaters park along the Seawall to mostly party... walk around on the boardwalk with open containers and act border lined disorderly. So I really encourage the City of Grand Haven to patrol this area. Certainly if they have personnel out chalking tires downtown during the early day, they must also have them to check on boats tied up on the seawalls. Its like parking a car in a city owned parking lot I believe. So Mr. "Sound Judgement" I'm so sorry you don't like my grammar... but I did graduate from the christian school... and yes I do have a boat... but with the water down,the channel narrow already, and boats rafted off the seawall on the weekend 3-4 deep... It becomes a safety issue for me and my family.

vanderman

You wrote "Boaters park along the Seawall to mostly party... walk around on the boardwalk with open containers and act border lined disorderly". Now, is that based on a statistical and measured study, or just your own opinion? As for boast rafted of 3 to four deep (true), but if great lakes freighters can somehow navigate this, then perhaps it is your boating and seamanship that is the issue. I have no issue with city personnel checking boats tied up. It IS possible to have a presence without seeming a police state. As for open containers (with alcohol, I presume) there already is a city ordinance for that. I bet you are still sore that alcohol/beer/wine can now be purchased on Sundays. My personal experience with the majority of boaters I have met tied up on the seawall is that they have been pleasant and often offered assistance to others who might be tying up to spend their money in a Grand Haven shop or restaurant.

LessThanAmused

To Quote.....So Mr. "Sound Judgement" I'm so sorry you don't like my grammar... but I did graduate from the christian school.

LOL! Based on your grammar and reading comphrehension skills I'm sure the local "christian" school, whichever one that might be, would be proud to claim you as one of their alma mater, particulary your old English teacher!

alma mater

vanderman

As a boater who slips his boat in a Grand Haven marina, the use of the seawall is one of the things that makes Grand Haven truly a nice place to spend time. I think a 7 day rule is quite reasonable. Often my wife and I take a cruise and end up on the seawall. We patronize the local establishments (retail shops as well as restaurants) enjoy a walk on the boardwalk and pier. Sometimes we tie the boat up on the seawall for the weekend (we don't need power or water hookup). Our children all enjoy watching the musical fountain and frankly, I don't always feel like driving the boat back to the marina at that time of night. Many weekends and days in the boating season, the City marina is full! During Coast Guard festival? Also full. As a taxpayer, I too have rights to use of public property. Newspaperlawyer obviously has issues with boaters. Register their boat? Really? Do you register your car when parking on a non-metered public street? Sounds pretty stupid to me. A stiff penalty for violations? I don't really think it is necessary. Make it in the form of a parking ticket....that's really what it is. Perhaps he (or she) should spend their time somewhere else. As for over nighting, it is VERY prudent of the city to allow this, otherwise, what happens if maybe a boater has had a few too many? Do we really want to encourage people to drive a boat under the influence? I'm sure the local law agencies think it better for people to stay put for the night.

LessThanAmused

To quote.....As for over nighting, it is VERY prudent of the city to allow this, otherwise, what happens if maybe a boater has had a few too many? Do we really want to encourage people to drive a boat under the influence? I'm sure the local law agencies think it better for people to stay put for the night.

Just playing the Devil's advocate as I neither drink, or own a boat....how fair do you think it is that a boat owner can get pie-eyed and then stumbled back to his moored boat and sleep it off till morning? Say you and I leave the Tip at the same time and you wander off to your boat while I have to find my way back to my car where I decide it would be prudent to crash in the back seat until morning rather than drive home. What are the odds that I'm not gonna end up in the city jail for being drunk in the backseat of my car while you, on the other hand, are home free and clear on your boat, even though we've both made basically the same choice?
I don't know if that's a completely fair comparison or not, maybe it's just a matter of being "out of sight, out of mind" as far as being caught goes. Maybe drunks on boats get held to a different standard than drunks in cars? I don't have that answer.
Seriously, the real issue here is the length of the visit. That's what started all this brouhaha. As long as you're not disturbing the peace, or abusing the privledge offered, I can't imagine that the average G.H. citizen would have an issue with your boat parked along the channel wall. Just be careful you don't get caught stumbling around between the Tip and making it to your boat, or you may end up downtown with the rest of the landlubbers instead of on your floating hotel!

MI_tourist

I used to boat in GH often and park my boat on the seawall to go into town to shop and enjoy a meal or visit other boaters from various ports that come for the same reason. I see this policy as fair when used for in exceptional cases. I do think the city takes advantage of boater during (coastguard festival) which is a recognition the city put on for the coastguard and is all about boating for 10 days. They charge to mourn a boat on the seawall but let thousands of people pitch a blanket in this same area for free? Start charging per blanket and see how popular this small town becomes. Don't get to greedy GH with the people that support you and many of the local business's which rely on summer vacationers to make their bottom line.

LessThanAmused

To quote...They charge to mourn (moor)? a boat on the seawall but let thousands of people pitch a blanket in this same area for free? Start charging per blanket and see how popular this small town becomes.

Again with the reading comphrehension...right there in the first paragraph, THERE WILL BE NO CHARGE.....not to mention what an idiotic comparison blankets to boats is as an argument. Boats and blankets do not share the same space.

Also for the record....the Coast Guard Festival isn't about "boating", it's a celebration about and for the men and women of the Coast Guard and the services and protections that they provide for us, past, present and future. A big community thank you for what they do. Sure, there are boats involved, but you're missing the point of the festival bigtime.

newspaperlawyer

NO comparison... Placing a blanket in a park to watch the festivities... OMG First of all it is the taxpayers that supports the biggest majority of tax base in this town. Its a handful of business owner who really benefit from the business... The Tip a few, The several Steve Loftis owned restaurants... The Gilmore Group... Portabello Restaurant.. are the big ones. So the vessels who do come to town and stay at the City Marina does pay for dock for the night... I don't believe you can park your vehicle in any city owned parking lot with paying for it... why should you park your boat along the seawall for seven days and not pay a fee for it either.. If the city is looking at building campsites on the old dump space to make money then why would we not collect a few for parking your boat along the so called city owner seawall. Get that parking meter officer down on the channel "chalking" the bow of the boat!!!!!! and make some money for the city... The residences in GH get bang enough taxes to support that downtown authority and get nothing in return ... like chuck holes or infrastructure issues.

migpilot

Hilarious.

rukidding

Less Than Amused, really disappointed that you neither own a boat or drink; thus the "less than amused". I do on the other hand own a boat and very much enjoy a good scotch, fine glass of wine, or a cold beer on occasion; when the timing is correct and with the appropriate people. Now to this article. I very much like that there is talk about putting up "fender devices" along the wall; most fenders fall in the concave portions of the wall and boats do get damaged. As for the 7 day discussion; really, Are You Kidding? I'm with "migpilot" on this one; Hilarious.

LessThanAmused

Well, if you don't like my little attempts at humor then lets address the only part of this that I do find offensive.
Why on earth would you (or any boater) think that the city should supply you with protection for your expensive toy? Seems to me any reasonably intelligent person would bring with them what they need to protect their personal posessions instead of expecting someone else to do it for them. Talk about the height of arrogance and entitlement! I don't expect the city to station a cop at my car when I park downtown to protect it from door dingers....what makes your situation any different? If you need protection to moor along the wall safely, then bring it with you, don't expect someone else to carry you!
That said it wouldn't surprise me a bit if the city does waste the money and time to placate a small group and at that point I'll just raise my white flag and move on along. Further debate would be pointless.

rukidding

Less Than Amused, to quote, "I don't know if that's a completely fair comparison or not, maybe it's just a matter of being "out of sight, out of mind" as far as being caught goes. Maybe drunks on boats get held to a different standard than drunks in cars? I don't have that answer."
I HAVE THE ANSWER!
The comparison is one that shouldn't have been made. A boat, especially ones equipped with a berth(s), bunks, beds, etc. is a dwelling place. This is a home away from home, like a hotel, motor home, etc. They have beds, heads, a galley, etc. and are in some instances much nicer than many entry level homes. I still don't know how this discussion about the length of stay on the sea wall progressed to character assassinations, English lessons, or the lack thereof by the Christian schools in the area. Then there is alcohol consumption, an advertisement for the Tip (got to love that one, from someone who doesn't drink), then on to comparisons of cars and boats, assumption of operating either while intoxicated, and finally the possibility of spending the night in jail. Hey Pat, see what you did?
I don't know where you can have this much fun for free; post away about anything on this site. Hey, lets talk about flip flops, bare toes, and ho's.

LessThanAmused

Ya know, we could play verbal ping pong for months, but really, it's just not much fun with someone so humor impaired. I realize there are different types of humor and what's funny to my twisted mind might not make a bit of sense to you and vice versa, but with some practice at honing your reading comprehension skills you might be able to branch out from Bevis and Butthead reruns and whacks in the nuts with a wiffle ball bat to understand and appreciate more esoteric types of humor.
I would agree that it's hard at times online to determine if something is suppose to be funny or not, I have difficulty with it myself...but I don't think it's that much of a stretch to read that I'm going to be the Devil's advocate and not realize I'm being facetious. That's why the 3rd paragraph starts out with the word Seriously....at that point I'm addressing the real issue after interjecting a little levity, such as it was...
As far as staying on topic goes, give me a break. You were the one as I recall that wanted to change the discussion of a mental health article to one on the benefits of medical pot and how to grow it.....hilarious right? Everyone wanders off topic at some point in time. There are times when I have something to say regarding the topic at hand and then there are other times when someone has said something that I find highly amusing that begs, to my mind anyhow, a response. Hence the Irony of my screen name. I'll bet that little tidbit was lost on you too eh? :-)
Now as far as the Tip goes...it's a city institution and last I knew they were still making some killer burritos so quit being so one dimensional about things. If you want we could meet there sometime....I'll buy ya a beer, you buy me a diet coke, we'll eat a burrito and discuss what's funny and what ain't.....in the meantime maybe you'd get a chuckle out of one of these links, or, maybe not.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e...

rukidding

Love it, absolutely love it; you ARE the bomb, and do go off.

rukidding

Oh, and I am absolutely one of Lewis Black's biggest fans; fast becoming one of yours too, you crack me up.

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