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Old 01-08-2020, 08:29 AM   #1
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Jacksonville, FL Proposed Anchoring Restrictions

Here’s our chance before it’s too late. Show up for the meeting our contact your representative if from Florida. The amendment is an add on to the legislation that prohibited over night anchoring in South Florida.

The January 2020 issue of the Riverside/Avondale/Ortega/Murray Hill “Resident” has the history on the proposed anchoring restrictions for the Ortega and Cedar Rivers (text attached). The amendment has not passed. I’ve been in contact with BoatUS, Government Affairs Group. They are aware of it and have been to Tallahassee lobbying against it. Their suggestion is to go to any local meetings and to contact our local representatives.

On January 15th at 9:30am there is a Jacksonville Waterway Commission meeting with the anchoring restrictions on the agenda. The more attendees the better. Anyone who wants to speak has to sign up at the hearing before the meeting. They’ll have 3 minutes to speak. Lena and/or I will be speaking.
January 15, 2020

Waterways Commission
City Hall - St. James Bldg.
1st Floor, Council Chamber
117 W. Duval Street

The Bills Text:

https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bil...Text/Filed/PDF

The Bills history:

https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2020/606

https://issuu.com/residentnews/docs/...t_january_2020
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Old 01-12-2020, 11:38 AM   #2
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I’ve been through there many times and always thought the derelicts and sunken wrecks were a real eyesore. And I always wondered why the homeowners there put up with it. In a perfect world they would have simply removed the wrecks and the abandoned boats and then enforced existing laws. But we all have seen that it ain’t a perfect world.
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:07 PM   #3
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But the answer is shutting down the area to overnight anchor outs? If they can’t enforce the laws that are on the books now, how are they going to enforce a new one?

Florida Statue 327.4107 clearly defines vessels “at risk of becoming derelict” and already prohibits them from anchoring or mooring. I‘ve never heard of that being used or enforced.

When the anti anchoring group that pushed for the law that passed in South Floirda, the deal was this is it, no amendments. Unfortunately that part never made it into the final bill. Now they want to amend that law. If it passes, I can see the anchoring restrictions start working their way down the coast.
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:28 PM   #4
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If you read the newspaper article, they are talking about selective enforcement: if you don’t look like a wreck and you don’t have a noisy construction generator or stay too long you should be OK.
They did an inspection and found that around 1/2 of the 23 boats were not the issue, they also said that the 21 days notice period was in effect a 6 month process to get an offender remover. It all was paid for by boater registration funds at $4000 to $7000 per boat removed.
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:57 PM   #5
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Here’s the amendment to the bill and further down is what it will look like if it passes and is inserted into Florida Statue 327.4108.

There is nothing in there about selective enforcement or the sunset clause that Rep Duggan talks about in the article. Call me skeptic but if the law passes who’s going to take a chance of anchoring in a State banned anchoring area?

1 A bill to be entitled
2 An act relating to anchoring limitation areas;
3 amending s. 327.4108, F.S.; designating specified
4 waterways as anchoring limitation areas; providing an
5 effective date.
6
7 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
8
9 Section 1. Paragraph (d) is added to subsection (1) of
10 section 327.4108, Florida Statutes, to read:
11 327.4108 Anchoring of vessels in anchoring limitation
12 areas.—
13 (1) The following densely populated urban areas, which have
14 narrow state waterways, residential docking facilities, and
15 significant recreational boating traffic, are designated as
16 anchoring limitation areas:
17 (d) The Ortega River and the Cedar River in Duval County.
18 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.

https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bil...Text/Filed/PDF

....327.4108 Anchoring of vessels in anchoring limitation areas.—
(1) The following densely populated urban areas, which have narrow state waterways, residential docking facilities, and significant recreational boating traffic, are designated as anchoring limitation areas:
(a) The section of Middle River lying between Northeast 21st Court and the Intracoastal Waterway in Broward County.
(b) Sunset Lake in Miami-Dade County.
(c) The sections of Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County lying between:
1. Rivo Alto Island and Di Lido Island.
2. San Marino Island and San Marco Island.
3. San Marco Island and Biscayne Island.
[(d) The Ortega River and the Cedar River in Duval County. HB 417, SB 606]
(2) To promote the public’s use and enjoyment of the designated waterway, except as provided in subsections (3) and (4), a person may not anchor a vessel at any time during the period between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise in an anchoring limitation area....
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Old 01-12-2020, 01:15 PM   #6
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Read the article: the people that are going to be making the calls to the enforcers talk about being selective about who they call them on. In other words it’s about being able to roust the bums or move out the homeless. It’s part of a great American tradition, a tool to keep the undesirables away from the privileged. Nothing new. In practice it will mean that if you have a nice boat and don’t take up residence you can stay the night as you pass through.

BTW just showing up at a meeting will not be very effective unless it is accompanied with sizable campaign contributions to the appropriate politicians. You may not like it, but that’s how things have worked for the past 200+ years. It’s the Golden Rule: those with the gold make the rules. Usually the purpose of public hearings is to mollify the public into thinking they had some input into decisions that were made earlier behind closed doors in smoke filled rooms.
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Old 01-12-2020, 01:15 PM   #7
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Good Luck this Wednesday. Please keep us updated.
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:23 PM   #8
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Good Luck this Wednesday. Please keep us updated.
Thanks. Will do.
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Old 01-13-2020, 04:57 AM   #9
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Thanks. Will do.
As a suggestion, if you're going to be against something at the meeting (the proposed changes), you will need overwhelming attendance to get attention of elected officials. Easier is to propose a sensible amendment. Work with your council-person ahead of time.

Madeira Beach, on the other side of Florida near St Pete, recently passed a similarly inspired ordinance that went into effect January 1 but has not been enforced....yet catalyst was a condo tower who had about 100 residents show up to a town council meeting. They will be the notification mechanism for enforcement - for those of a certain age, perhaps you may recall Mrs. Kravitz from "Bewitched"
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Old 01-13-2020, 08:32 AM   #10
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I think we have good support which should be reflected in the attendance. The marina in the middle of this, Ortega Landing, has 1400 followers on their Facebook page and posted in our support. This was shared by Jax Sail and Power Squadron, America's Boating Club of NE Florida, North Florida Boating Alliance, North Florida Boating Club and Jax Waterways within minutes of being posted. There have been other shares since then.

We have local local marine business owners going. Boaters, well... we’re trying but it is like herding cats sometimes but I’m optimistic. If you’re in the area please show up for the meeting.

Yesterday we sent letters to every Senator on the Natural Resources committee, Community Affairs committee, and the Rules committee.

To get organized, I have been in contact with David Kennedy, BoatUS Governement Affairs, who has been to Tallahassee specifically for this amendment. I have also been working with Bonnie Basham, a paid lobbyist based in Tallahassee. She is presenting arguments today. The Senate bill will be in committee this afternoon at 3:30.

Everyone should contact their senators and representatives about HB 417 and SB 606. This may be a local issue now, but it could start a trend and take away accessible water for responsible boaters.

January 15, 2020, 9:30 am
Waterways Commission
City Hall - St. James Bldg.
1st Floor, Council Chamber
‪117 W. Duval Street‬
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:13 PM   #11
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We just got back from the Waterways committee meeting. It was scary for awhile. Homeowners gave a slide show (mainly photos of derelict boats). The WW committee expressed dismay, saying they didn’t know how bad it was and moved to vote in support of the bill. We stood up and asked them to hear public comment before voting which they did. We had 10 +/- people speak against the bill. Must have been convincing because they did a 180 and voted 8-1 OPPOSING HB417/SB606 and asking Tallahassee to provide funding to control derelict vessels.

Still work to be done, but a good start.
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Old 01-15-2020, 02:22 PM   #12
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Well done you magnificent ten!
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:54 PM   #13
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Great news! Thanks to all who went to bat for us!

It's frightening that legislators can be so stupid and/or lazy. Presented with graphic evidence of a real problem, they were quick to vote for a law that didn't offer a solution to that problem.

This is how bad legislation happens. It's easy to "check the box" on some feel-good law and be done with it. It's far harder to find real solutions.
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Old 01-15-2020, 06:14 PM   #14
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Wow! Great job Larry!
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Old 01-15-2020, 06:17 PM   #15
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Larry, regret that I missed this thread until just now. Thanks for the updates and for the effective representation at the Waterways Commission.
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Old 01-15-2020, 07:46 PM   #16
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We just got back from the Waterways committee meeting. It was scary for awhile. Homeowners gave a slide show (mainly photos of derelict boats). The WW committee expressed dismay, saying they didn’t know how bad it was and moved to vote in support of the bill. We stood up and asked them to hear public comment before voting which they did. We had 10 +/- people speak against the bill. Must have been convincing because they did a 180 and voted 8-1 OPPOSING HB417/SB606 and asking Tallahassee to provide funding to control derelict vessels.

Still work to be done, but a good start.
Way to go, Larry. Was AGLCA represented in your group?
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Old 01-15-2020, 07:55 PM   #17
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Great news! Thanks to all who went to bat for us!

It's frightening that legislators can be so stupid and/or lazy. Presented with graphic evidence of a real problem, they were quick to vote for a law that didn't offer a solution to that problem.

This is how bad legislation happens. It's easy to "check the box" on some feel-good law and be done with it. It's far harder to find real solutions.
Yup, sausage-making for sure in the Sunshine State. More often than stupid or lazy, however, it’s ill-informed and sometimes bought-off . . . which is why it’s great that Larry & Co were there. I’ll still stick with Churchill, though: ”Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…”
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:06 PM   #18
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Awesome job Larry. The super heros.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:01 AM   #19
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Way to go, Larry. Was AGLCA represented in your group?
Two members were in with their red shirts. SSCA had an effective 3 minutes which is what each individual was allowed.
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:08 AM   #20
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Were not out of the woods yet. The legislative season just started. We need to let our legislators know how we feel.
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