December 26, 2013

City passes new moorings law

PLATTSBURGH — Despite pleas to postpone the vote, City of Plattsburgh councilors approved a new moorings law.

The law outlines the city’s right to place boat moorings in certain areas off shore from city-owned land on the Lake Champlain waterfront.

Basically, the law allows for an imaginary line to be drawn perpendicular from the boundaries of city land out to 1,500 feet over the lake.

The city will be allowed to place moorings in those designated areas and charge boaters for their use.

“This does not deal with any other aspect of waterfront development,” Councilor and Mayor-elect James Calnon (I-Ward 4), said at a recent Common Council meeting.

“This is so there is a clear understanding of what the water rights are and so the development rights are well-defined.”


The law was proposed as the city moves forward in developing a marina-based venture on the waterfront at Dock Street Landing.

The city is seeking proposals from developers to operate a marine-based business there, with Jan. 16 as the deadline for plans to be submitted.

The city received plans earlier this year from Navtours, a local and Canadian-based company that operates boat tours on the lake, and Plattsburgh Boat Basin, which operates a marina and the Naked Turtle Restaurant next to Dock Street Landing.

The city opted to negotiate with Navtours, but a final decision will not be made until formal proposals are submitted.


Arthur “Sonny” Spiegel, an owner of Plattsburgh Boat Basin and the Naked Turtle, asked councilors at the meeting if they would consider postponing a vote on the moorings law “until more research can be done into the ramifications of this law.

“We are the only marina in the city, and it is obvious this law is intended solely for us, and yet we’ve never been asked about how it would affect us.”

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