Charlestown council holds hearings on harbor ordinances

Charlestown council holds hearings on harbor ordinances

CHARLESTOWN — The Town Council on Monday approved one ordinance tied to updates of Charlestown’s harbor management plan, but postponed action on another in order to clarify its wording.

“These are the two ordinances that implement the harbor management plan, which are required by the state Coastal Resources Management Council for them to then endorse the full plan,” council President Virginia Lee said. 

Council members said they wanted more time to work on the second ordinance, which regulates coastal ponds and moorings.

“It’s been a number of years since its been updated, along with the harbor management plan,” harbormaster Justin Vail said. The changes bring the town into compliance with requirements from the state Coastal Resources Management Council, he said. 

The changes also give more clear definition to the types of mooring permits and how they are issued, he said. 

For temporary moorings, it also allows family members or friends of owners to use a mooring for a short period of time. 

Monday's hearings were required before the ordinances could go before the CRMC for its approval. The council previously held public hearings on them in September and unanimously approved the final draft at that time.

Resident Victoria Wicks questioned whether fines proposed in the boats and waterways ordinance were due within 14 days from the date of the offense or from when the fine is levied.

“It might not give people many days to react,” she said. 

Town Solicitor Peter Ruggiero said the ordinance specifies fines are due within 14 days of the offense.

“They usually get the violation on the date of the offense,” he said. “They’re going to have the full 14 days.”

Also Monday, the council postponed a swearing-in for police officer Paul Gentile and honors for retiring Community Development Consortium Director Geoffrey Marchant, both of whom could not attend the meeting.


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