New regs threaten Seattle floating home lifestyle

SEATTLE — Some houseboat residents and people who live aboard boats and barges in Seattle feel their lifestyle may be in danger.

The city is in the process of updating its shoreline management program for the first time since 1987.

The Department of Planning and Development says new houseboats will be prohibited because the city is running out of undeveloped shoreline.

The Seattle Times reported that as many as 150 current floating residences are illegal and may be subject to new enforcement. Those would include floating homes and barges that are not connected to sewer lines. Living aboard a boat is illegal if it’s not seaworthy.

House barges were banned in 1990 in Seattle, but 34 were grandfathered in and required to pump out sewage and water from showers and washing machines.

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