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       On 13 March 1969, a letter from the Direction des Ports Maritimes et des Voies Navigables, depending on the Ministère de l'Equipement et du Logement at the time, addressed to the Prefect of the Var, defined the special status of the Cité Lacustre.(see below)

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       The entrance pass was opened in 1968. Strangely enough, this 1969 letter was not formalised and made known to the LSAs until several years later.

       In the 1960s, as yachting developed rapidly, it was necessary to build marinas as quickly as possible to accommodate all these boats. Such ports with their infrastructures, quays, harbour master's office, bollards with water and electricity, are expensive and the State, which foresaw an annual increase of 20% in the number of these boats, had to call on private capital which it attracted with the granting of particular rights on the public maritime domain: these are exclusive enjoyment rights on the amodiations such as defined in the circular of December 29, 1965:
"... It may be possible for the concessionaire to privately lease part of the substations to individuals who have participated in financing the works."...

       This circular was replaced by a new one dated 19 March 1981 which concomitantly modified the previous one since it stipulated that private individuals participating in the financing of a marina no longer obtained the exclusive enjoyment of a defined ring but the guarantee of a mooring right in an area of the port...

       PORT GRIMAUD was built with this very nice advertising slogan: "the boat in front of your house" with variations like "give your boat a home"
       PORT GRIMAUD was a lacustrine city with houses lining canals created on private land, forming an inland lake initially opening onto the Giscle. The quays were narrow (especially for the construction of PG1) but private and large enough to accommodate the new owners' boats.

The lake city was built on private land without being open to the sea.
So the canals were private and the moorings were private.

       Unfortunately, after a strong flood of the Giscle river in 1967 which flooded the construction site; the architect François Spoerry decided to open the lake to the sea which was done in June 68. The lake city fell under the circular of 65 (which therefore allows that the mooring site is inseparable from the house or building and that the quay is private) but under the concession regime...

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       It is in this context that the water plan concession was granted to :

- PORT-GRIMAUD I by the Société Civile Immobilière de PORT-GRIMAUD I by prefectural decree of 14 May 1975, for a period of 50 years, i.e. until 31 December 2025. The Association Syndicale des Propriétaire de PORT-GRIMAUD I took over the rights and obligations of the SCI de PG I
- PORT-GRIMAUD II by the Société Civile Immobilière de la BAIE DE SAINT-TROPEZ by prefectural decree of 18 November 1982, for a period of 43 years, i.e. until 31 December 2025. The Association Syndicale Libre de PORT-GRIMAUD II took over the rights of the SCI de la BAIE de SAINT-TROPEZ.
- PORT-GRIMAUD III by the Société de Navigation de PORT-GRIMAUD (SNPG) by prefectural decree of November 16, 1978, for a period of 50 years, that is until December 31, 2028.

       These acts provided that the maintenance of the seawalls was the responsibility of the concessionaires...

       The concession contract was modified by an amendment on 30 November 1987, in order to provide a framework for the creation, by the SNPG, of a COMMUNAL PORT with 64 moorings. The said communal port is operated directly by the Commune since 9 November 2009.

       Since the 1st January 1984 and the transfer of the competence in the matter of maritime ports assigned solely to pleasure boating, the Commune of GRIMAUD has assumed the rights and obligations of the State.

       Etrangement aucun contrat n'avait été signé entre l'Etat et chaque propriétaire pour l'utilisation des amarrages. En 2009, le Maire de Grimaud a demandé aux 3 entités de Port Grimaud d'établir des contrats d'amodiation pour chaque bateau avec de respecter la loi. Ces contrat devaient mentionnés que le quai est privé.

       These concessions were to end in 2025 for PG1, PG2 and 2028 for PG3. The 3 concessionaires – ASP of PG I, ASL of PG II and the SNPG – were responsible for allocating berths or moorings on their respective water bodies.

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Status of PORT GRIMAUD :

Statuts de Port Grimaud
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Boundaries of the concession :

       Here is the ground plan describing the boundaries of the concession :
Port Grimaud et le domaine maritime

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CGEDD report of November 2017 :

       In November 1917, the CONSEIL GENERAL de l'ENVIRONNEMENT et du DEVELOPPEMENT DURABLE (CGEDD) under the Ministry of DE LA TRANSITION ECOLOGIQUE ET SOLIDAIRE, drew up a report on the "End of lease contracts in marinas of marinas".
       In the list of the proposed recommendations, 2 of them are of interest to our lake city:
- "To the conceding authorities: not to envisage the alienation of water bodies, even if they are located on private property, when they are only accessible through this property and can therefore only be used by the riparian owner;
- To the conceding authorities: to deliver, if necessary, titles by mutual agreement as permitted by articles L 2122-1-3 1°) or 4°) of the general code of public property in the case of bodies of water situated at the right of private property, when they are only accessible through this property and can therefore only be used by the riparian owner"
       On page 7 of the document, it is specified: "The situation of port Grimaud turns out to be a little different since, from the beginning, the lake city, then the marina, after the direct communication with the sea, were entirely conceived to allow the residents to park their nautical vehicles in front of their house, their car remaining outside. But the density of the dwellings (more than 2500) is such that "only" 53% of the owners of PG1 are owners of a berth, 72% at PG2 and 30% at PG3.

       A legal link between the ownership of a residence and the use of a berth therefore exists in Port Grimaud and this link is the basis of the existence of our marinas.

       At PORT GRIMAUD, there are 1500 berths chartered or 78% of the total capacity of the port.
       As a member of the concessionary ASL, each owner contributes to the concession charges. These charges are included in the co-ownership charges.
       Only 63% of residences (houses and flats) have a tenancy.
       To fully understand the situation of Port Grimaud, read the Analysis of the 2011 report concerning PORT GRIMAUD as well as the Report established by the CGEDD.

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2022 :

       By deliberation n°2021/01/114 dated 28 September 2021, the Commune decided to terminate the concession contracts, in accordance with the provisions of article 44 of the Specifications of the said contracts and to merge all the basins into a single port, in order to allow a reorganisation of the port service.
       By resolution no. 2021/04/118 dated 9 November 2021, the Commune opted for the management of this single port as a public authority with sole financial autonomy.
       The termination and takeover by the public sector have been effective since 1 January 2022. However, they automatically entail the termination of all the lease contracts previously concluded, as provided for in both the concession contracts and the standard contract approved by the Commune.
       The Town Hall insists that the principle of the amodiation, which is the specificity of Port-Grimaud, be preserved, these amodiation contracts materialize the legal link between the ownership of a private residence (individual house or flat) and the enjoyment of an amodied post on the public domain.
       In fact, leasehold contracts no longer exist in French law, replaced by a 'right of use' or 'guarantee of use'. The Town Hall must now deal with the new rules applicable :
- "on the one hand, article R.5314-31 of the Transport Code provides that "the private use of berths intended for pleasure craft may not be granted for a period exceeding one year, renewable each year under the conditions defined by the competent authority […] ».
- on the other hand, article R.5314-1 of the same Code stipulates that: "[…] guarantees of use of berths or moorings may be granted for a maximum period of 35 years, in return for a participation in the financing of new port works constituting a dependency of the public domain of the State.
       The contract granting the above-mentioned guarantee of use must stipulate that the right attached to this guarantee can only be leased through the port manager or with his agreement

       Before being able to propose to each user, according to his particular situation, such or such a contract, the Commune must define a multiannual investment programme concerning the realisation of new harbour works which could justify a participation in the financing on the part of private individuals and to be able to propose a guarantee of use within the limit of 35 years.

       In the meantime, and in order to avoid breaking this legal link, the Town Hall has decided to propose to the current occupants a contract for the private provision of berths for the year 2022, the draft of which is annexed to the present deliberation.

To be continued...

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  the work of François SPOERRY...

© Yves Lhermitte 2022   Reproduction prohibited without permission...