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Seattle Houseboat Owners Getting That Sinking Feeling

On Friday, October 26, a Seattle city council committee will discuss proposed new regulations over what constitutes a boat and what constitutes a house, a distinction that has many of the roughly 500 South Lake Union houseboat owners looking for their paddles.

In response to the Washington Department of Ecology's order for cities to update their guidelines in differentiated water-based crafts and businesses, Seattle is considering enforcing rules that have previously gone unenforced, affecting approximately 150 houseboat owners who may be forced to leave South Lake Union and may severely limit the amount of floating homes that can be added in the future.

The rules being proposed could also include making it illegal to have windows used for homes on a boat, to use 2x4s to build rooms on liveaboards and would require a water storage tank on vessels for all "graywater."

The proposal has changed multiple times on its way to the city council committee and though many think it won't pass, there are specific aspects that are expected to have traction.
· New rules could sink many Seattle houseboats [King 5]
Sean Keeley