Commercial Tidelands Permits and Leases

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Commercial use of City Tidelands within Newport Harbor is allowed with the issuance of an annual Commercial Tidelands Permit or under a Commercial Tidelands Lease Agreement.

Permit or Lease Documents

The choice between a Permit or Lease document is at the commercial tidelands user’s discretion. Please find samples of the annual Permit and Lease here:

To obtain a Permit or Lease, please complete and return one of the following forms:


To transfer a Permit or Lease, please follow the instructions found here:

Rental Rates

The annual rental rate for each commercial tidelands user is determined based on the type of activity(ies) occurring upon the tidelands, and the square footage dedicated for each activity.

The following rates are effective March 1, 2023 through February 28, 2025:

Commercial Use Category*

Annual Rental Rate
(Per SF)
3/1/23 - 2/29/24

Annual Rental Rate
(Per SF)
3/1/24 - 2/28/25

Large Commercial Marinas



Medium Commercial Marinas



Small Commercial Marinas






HOA Marinas/Docks for Non-members' Use
  > 30,000 SF  $1.42  $1.46
  13,000 SF to 30,000 SF  $1.08  $1.11
  < 13,000 SF  $0.93  $0.96
Yacht Club Guest Slips  $0.45  $0.46
Free Public Access Docks (not associated with a restaurant)  $      - $     -
Vessel Rental Facility (Boat Rentals) $0.93 $0.96
Sport Fishing Charters $0.93 $0.96
Restaurants' Guest Slips $0.45 $0.46
Vessel Charters $0.93 $0.96
Fuel Docks *  $0.93 $0.96
All Others $0.93 $0.96

* The Annual Rental Rate for commercial tidelands being used as Fuel Docks can be calculated one of three ways, per City Council Resolution No. 2018-09. The table above reflects the base rent only calculation option.

Beginning on March 1, 2019, annual rental rates may be adjusted on the first day of March each Permit/Lease year to reflect an increase in the cost of living, as indicated by the Consumer Price Index.  Additional information regarding rental rates can be found in City Council Resolution No. 2017-49 and No. 2018-09.

Permit/Lease Area & Appeal Process

Included in each Permit/Lease is an exhibit identifying the tidelands associated with each commercial user.

The commercial tidelands have been mapped using the City’s GIS system and the Permit/Lease area for each property can be viewed here:

If you would like to discuss the commercial use category or the square footage used to calculate your annual rent, please contact Chris Miller, Administrative Manager, at or 949-644-3043.


Insurance is required of Commercial Tidelands Permit holders (Permittees) and Commercial Tidelands Lease holders (Lessees); the most current requirements can be found here:

Each Permittee/Lessee is responsible for carrying insurance coverage required by the Permit/Lease, and providing proof of such insurance coverage to the City. Upon renewal each year, please submit the required insurance documentation to Lauren Wooding Whitlinger, Real Property Administrator, at or 949-644-3236.

Pollution Legal Liability Program

In 2017, after receiving feedback from Permittees/Lessees that pollution legal liability coverage, one type of insurance coverage required by the Permit/Lease, was difficult to obtain and cost prohibitive for some tidelands users, the City created a harbor-wide pollution legal liability policy program. 

The program has been renewed as of April 2023, and a new 3-year pollution legal liability policy has been purchased through Ironshore Insurance Services LLC, a subsidiary of Ironshore Holdings (US) Inc. Each Permittee/Lessee that elects to participate in the program is listed as an additional insured under the policy and is billed for their allocated share of the 3-year premium. Details of the new 2023-26 policy can be found below.

Permittees and Lessees must complete the following application form:

Policy information can be found here:

Additional Information


  Recent Meeting Notices and Meeting Information: 



 City Council Resolutions

City Council Resolution 2018-09  

City Council Resolution 2017-49


City Council Resolution 2013-88


City Council Resolution 2012-98


City Council Resolution 2012-97


City Council Resolution 2012-96


City Council Resolution 2012-92