Powers and Duties of LB Board of Harbor Commissioners
Source: LB City Charter


The exclusive control and management of the Harbor Department is hereby vested in the Board of Harbor Commissioners, which shall be composed of five (5) members.


(a) To sue and defend in the name of the City in all actions and proceedings pertaining to any matters within the jurisdiction of the Commission.

(b) To provide for the needs of commerce, navigation, recreation and fishery in the Harbor District; to plan, promote, develop, construct, re-construct, alter, repair, maintain, equip, and operate all properties including, but not limited to, the piers, wharves, seawalls, docks, basins, channels, slips, landings, warehouses, floating and other plants or works, and all other publicly owned facilities or appliances incident to the operation of the Harbor District, both inside and outside the Harbor District; to dredge and reclaim land, to construct, equip and operate terminal trackage with connections between docks, piers and other Harbor District properties and connect the same with mainline tracks; to provide services including, but not limited to, tugs, dredges, fireboats, barges, cold storage plants; to establish, equip and operate all other facilities or aids incident to the development, protection and operation of the Harbor District, and to modify plans from time to time as the requirements of commerce, navigation, recreation or fishery may demand, and as the Commission may deem proper and desirable in its judgment.

(c) To direct, control, and supervise the Harbor District, including all the waterfront properties, and lands adjacent thereto, or under water, structures thereon, and approaches thereto, storage facilities and other utilities, and all rights and interests belonging thereto, which are now or may hereafter be owned or possessed by the City, both inside and outside of the Harbor District, except such lands or parts, thereof, for so long as the same may be used for or in connection with the drilling for, developing, producing, extracting, processing, taking or removing, storing and disposing of oil, gas and other hydrocarbon substances by the City provided that with respect to such portions of said lands used therefor as are tide and submerged lands, whether filled or unfilled, or that are held subject to the tideland trust, that the Commission has determined by resolution, that said lands or parts thereof, are not required, and with reasonable certainty will not be required, for a period not to exceed thirty-five (35) years, for the promotion or development of commerce, navigation. recreation, or fishery.

(d) To control and have jurisdiction of that part of the City hereinafter defined as the "Harbor District", as said district was bounded and described on the first day of February, 1979, except as to those lands, or parts thereof, within said district as may be used for or in connection with the drilling for, developing, producing, extracting, processing, taking or removing, storing and disposing of oil, gas and other hydrocarbon substances by the City as provided herein; and to make and enforce in the Harbor District general rules and regulations, to the extent that may be necessary or requisite for port purposes and harbor development, and in carrying out the powers elsewhere vested in the Commission; provided, however, that with the approval of the City Council, the Commission may with the prior approval of the electors, relinquish to the City Council control of portions of the Harbor District. Upon request of the Commission, the City Council may, by ordinance, also with the prior approval of the electors, change the boundaries of the Harbor District.

(e) To require owners of water terminal properties and facilities within the Harbor District to keep said properties and facilities in proper condition and repair and to maintain them with special reference to the safety of persons and property and the reduction, of fire hazard or nuisances. The Commission shall have the right to inspect such terminal facilities at reasonable times.

(f) To regulate and control all public service and public utilities operated in connection with, or for the promotion and accommodation of commerce, navigation, recreation or fishery in the Harbor District; to fix the proper license fees to be paid to the City by any person, firm or corporation operating any such public service or utility; and to fix and regulate the rates or tolls to be charged or collected for services furnished by any such public service or utility. The Commission shall have the right, at all reasonable times, to have access to, and, in person, or by its duty authorized representatives, to examine the books, papers, maps and records showing the affairs, transactions, property and financial condition of such persons, firms or corporations, and to require reports respecting said matters from such persons, firms or corporations at such times and in such form as the Commission may prescribe. The amounts of the license fees to be paid to the City by any such person, firm or corporation, operating any such public service or utility and the rates or tolls to be charged and collected for service furnished or supplied by such public service or utility shall be fixed by the Commission by ordinance.

(g) To regulate the speed, berthing, anchoring, towing, loading, unloading and mooring of vessels within the Harbor District.

(h) To provide for handling, storage and reconditioning of all commodities; to sell or otherwise dispose of personal property within its possession or ownership.

(i) To issue receipts, negotiable or otherwise, for property or merchandise, in its charge or possession, and to act as agent in sales and other contracts.

(j) To fix all rates, dockage, rentals, tolls, pilotage, wharfage, and charges for the use and occupation of the public facilities or appliances of the port, and for services rendered by the Harbor Department, and to provide for the collection thereof.

(k) To use, for loading and unloading cargo, with the right to collect tolls, dockage and other terminal charges thereon, such portions of the streets of the City ending or fronting upon the water areas of the harbor of said City, as may be used for said purposes.

(l) To lend its aid to secure the improvements of navigable tidal waters, within or adjacent to the Harbor District where, in its opinion, such improvements are economically justifiable, and in the general carrying out of its powers to cooperate with the City, with neighboring cities, other ports, the State of California, or the United States Government; and to appear before state, federal and other public legislative and administrative authorities.

(m) To manage the business of the port and promote the maritime and commercial interests by proper advertisement of its advantages, and by the solicitation of business, within or without the Harbor District, within the State of California or other states or in foreign countries, through such employees and agencies as it may deem expedient.

(n) To acquire in the name of the City by purchase, condemnation, gift, lease, or otherwise take over and hold all lands, property, property rights, leases, or easements, and personal property of every kind, necessary or convenient for the development and operation of the Harbor District, or for the carrying out of the powers herein granted to the Commission.

Whenever the Commission determines that any lands owned by the City within its jurisdiction have become unnecessary for port purposes or harbor development, it may by ordinance, transfer such land to the control of the control of the City Council, free from all restrictions, other than trust restrictions, if any.

(o) To enter into contracts, agreements, leases, or stipulations, germane to the scope of its powers and duties.

(p) To let all work by contract or order it done by day labor, as the Commission may determine.

(q) To create bureaus and divisions of the Harbor Department. To employ and appoint an Executive Director who shall be Chief Executive of the Harbor Department and who shall exercise the management of all affairs and activities placed under the jurisdiction of the Commission, and an Assistant Executive Director, each of whom shall hold such position during the pleasure of the Commission. To appoint and employ such other officers and employees as may be necessary in the efficient and economical carrying out of its functions. To prescribe and fix the duties, authority and compensation of all appointees hereunder and to require such officers and employees to give a bond in such an amount as the Commission may require for the faithful performance of their duties. All officers and positions of employment in the permanent service of the Commission shall be created by resolution.

(r) To confer upon and delegate to the Executive Director such powers and duties as the Commission shall deem appropriate.

(s) To expend all funds necessary to carry out the powers and duties herein expressed.

(t) To adopt and enforce such ordinances, orders, regulations and practices as are necessary for the proper administration and discharge of its duties and powers, or for the management and government of the Harbor District and its facilities.

(u) To prescribe fines, forfeitures and penalties for the violation of any provision of this Article, or of any ordinance of the Harbor Commission, but no penalty shall exceed Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) fine, or six (6) months imprisonment, or both.

(v) To do and perform any and all other acts and things which may be necessary and proper to carry out the general powers of the City, or any of the provisions of this Article, and to exercise all powers not in conflict with the Constitution of the State, or with this Charter, germane to the scope of its powers, purposes and duties.


The City Council, subject to the approval of the Commission, may by ordinance confer upon and delegate to the Commission from time to time, such additional powers and duties which may be vested in it, and which it may deem necessary or convenient to carry out the general purposes of such Commission.