Falmouth to issue 20 new moorings at Town Landing

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FALMOUTH — There’s good news on the horizon for at least 20 of the 132 people on the  waiting list for a mooring at Town Landing.

The Town Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve changes to the Coastal Waters Ordinance that will allow 20 new applications for moorings at the public landing.

In addition, the amendment will also allow a “one in, one out” rule for new applications, which will allow the harbormaster to issue new permits when someone abandons or does not renew a mooring. The changes only affect the mooring area at Town Landing, not the areas accessible from the Portland Yacht Club or Handy Boat.

“There’s a ton of open area out there,” Harbormaster Alan Twombley said.

Twombley said the Town Landing could potentially fit 1,700 moorings if it was gridded out. With only approximately 350 people currently registered for a mooring, space in the water is not the issue.

But space in the parking lot is an issue. Twombley said this change to the ordinance will not change the amount of parking available for boaters.

“They’ll have to be creative. As one gentleman told me, mariners are very resourceful,” he said. “We’ll find a place to park.”

The additional moorings are not the only change to the ordinance. The council also unanimously approved an amendment that would prohibit small craft such as kayaks, canoes, and dinghies from being moored for extended periods of time.

“Any mooring that’s unused for the season is considered abandoned,” Twombley explained, “so people would call and ask if they could put a canoe or kayak out there to hold the space.”

He said that with the economy the way it is, people have sold their boats, but don’t want to abandon their moorings out of fear they won’t be able to replace them should they buy another boat. Now that the ordinance has been changed, the harbormaster will be able to tell people that they’re not allowed to hold spaces with small craft.

“It’s more than just not fair, it’s dangerous. One rainstorm and (small craft) could sink or get capsized. Then it becomes a hazard,” Twombley said.

In other business, there were no comments at a public hearing on a proposal to create an Economic Development Committee. The council will vote on the measure at its April 26 meeting.

Emily Parkhurst can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or eparkhurst@theforecaster.net