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Seattle’s proposed regulations on liveaboards sharply criticized

James Hall
Three Sheets Northwest reports that proposed regulations would impact liveaboards in Seattle, including around 600 people living on about 300 boats at Shilshole Bay Marina.

The city of Seattle's revamped Shoreline Master Plan would limit the number of people living on boats to 25 percent of slips in any marina. The boating website Three Sheets Northwest reports the proposed regulation would dramatically reduce the number of liveaboards and place new requirements on the marinas they call home.

Additionally, house barges would be defined as vessels with self-propulsion and steering equipment.

The provisions, which have not yet been finalized, were met with sharp criticism from the Shilshole Liveaboard Association.

“We’ve had liveaboards on vessels since the mid-1800s in Seattle, and we believe (the proposed regulations) pose a threat to the continued availability of that lifestyle to others going forward,” SLA President Gail Luhn said.

The city lists three main priorities for the Shoreline Master Plan: preferred shoreline uses, public access and environmental protection. But Luhn said while marinas are identified as “ecologically impaired” in the city’s documentation in support of the proposals, there is no evidence in the materials supporting that assessment, nor any data demonstrating that liveaboards are negatively impacting the environment.

Read the complete story at Three Sheets Northwest.