KENNEBUNK — To keep activity on its coastal waters running smoothly, the Town of Kennebunk is drafting changes to the Kennebunk Harbor Ordinance in an effort to bring it into stronger compliance with a similar ordinance in neighboring Kennebunkport.

Kennebunk Town Manager Barry Tibbetts said the two ordinances contained discrepancies, mostly pertaining to mooring authorizations, which need to be ironed out. The goal, he said, is to prioritize the need for preserving commercial moorings and their locations.

“There were some inconsistencies,” said Tibbetts.

Revisions have been reviewed by Harbormaster Ray Billings, as well as Kennebunk River Committee Chairman Rick Roberts. The altered document has also been given the green light by the town’s attorney. The Town of Kennebunkport, meanwhile, is in the midst of revising its own ordinance.

The changes will be sent to a second reading on March 11, and a public hearing will be held on March 25 to receive community input. By the end of the process, said Tibbetts, the rules regarding harbor use will be dictated by identical language in each municipality, to provide consistency.

On Tuesday, Selectman Chairman Al Searles described the changes as “very minor.”

One change, according to the early draft, authorizes the harbor master to determine the total number of allowed moorings based on available mooring sites. A stipulation is that commercial moorings should comprise at least half of the total number of moorings sites on the river; if a commercial mooring becomes available, it may not be assigned for use as a recreational or transient mooring if that would cause the total number of commercial moorings to dip below the 50 percent mark. Also, with few exceptions, no vessel greater than 40 feet will be allowed a mooring space.

Another change to the ordinance specifically defines commercial fishing as “fishing in which the fish harvested, either in whole or in part, are intended to enter commerce … through sale, barter, or trade.”

The full ordinance, along with its proposed changes, is available for download at

— Staff Writer Jeff Lagasse can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 319 or [email protected]

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