Catalina running out of dock space?

No room in the bay? Harbor Master J.J. Poindexter told the City Council this week that the docks were full last weekend when five yacht clubs paid a call on Catalina. Courtesy photo

If early activities on Catalina Island are any indication, it’s going to be a long, busy, summer.

In his routine reporting appearance before the Avalon City Council, Harbor Master J.J. Poindexter said the bay was absolutely full over the past weekend. “We had five yacht clubs come over,” he said.

“We just don’t have enough room,” said Poindexter.

Mayor Anni Marshall asked Poindexter about having a special dock for dinghy’s, asking Poindexter if a dock specifically built for the smaller, inflatable boats was manageable. “We can just can’t seem to get enough dinghy dock space,” she said.

“Anything is manageable,” he said, “but it’s all about the benjamins,” referring to funding.

All five docks were “jam packed,” relayed Poindexter. While Poindexter said he had no specific “stats” on rigid vs. dinghies, he said as many as 80 percent of the yachts do have inflatable craft. Regulating them could become an “enforcement nightmare.”

One thing that helps, he said, is a policy that no matter the craft, they have to clear the docks by 3 a.m., so that every morning they get a fresh shot at dock space.

Also on Tuesday, the council:

• Heard Capt. John Hocking say the L.A. Sheriff’s substation has invited Special Olympians to the island May 16th and the public is invited to meet the athletes. Also, he said donations are being accepted with 100 percent of the money collected going to Special Olympics.

• Learned that Val Schaffer, of Catalina Island, will receive Older Americans recognition May 17.

• Thanked past Special Olympian Ryan Montgomery for his participation in the games and for his amazing new program helping island kids learn to create with a Lego club. Montgomery works with kids and Legos on the Wrigley stage on Sundays, said Dan Huncke, Community Services Director.

• Agreed to issue public notices to let the public know there will soon be three vacancies on the planning commission that will need to be filled.

• Heard new Council Member Pam Albers thank the city staff for efficiently working to become oriented on the Council. She clarified some post-election remarks that she thinks the city should consider some properties when they become available, not all, to alleviate the housing shortage.

• Listens to a briefing from city official Devin Thompson regarding an ongoing review of medical cannabis regulations and fees. Pam Albers asked staff to keep careful notes of their costs as they determine fees. Thompson said they will be careful not to overcharge applicants but also careful not to shortchange the city.

• Heard resident Paula Patterson say the island now has three pet friendly hotels. She suggested better stats might help keep the ‘pet friendly vibe’ growing.

• Listened to a report from public works director Bob Greenlaw, who explained why the department has adopted a “very aggressive” schedule for the five corners intersection.

He explained the pitfalls and the process and, telling the Council that he hoped to deliver the project by fiscal year 2019 or 2020.

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