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Old 18-07-2011, 08:46   #1
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Seattle Anchoring Law Legal ?

After reading many of the Florida problems I started to more seriously think about the Seattle anchoring laws and whether they might be beyond legal bounds.

From Seattle Municipal code:
Seattle Municipal Code

Recreational anchorage is authorized only pursuant to subsection F of this section. In aid of commerce and navigation anchorage for vessels or obstructions is authorized in the following described waters:

Subsection F describes a bay on Lake Washington
as the only legal place for a recreational boat to anchor in Seattle.

I started wading through this Sea Grant publication about Florida to try to get a better handle on how the Federal laws on not restricting commerce and navigation apply to anchoring and recreational vessels.

http://www.flseagrant.org/images/PDF..._full_web3.pdf

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Old 18-07-2011, 09:14   #2
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Re: Seattle anchoring law legal?

I really can't think of a place on the salt water around the city of Seattle where any recorational boat would really want to anchor for long, without lots of tidel current or commercial vessals using waterways like 5 to 7 ft wakes from ferrys and cruse boats constantly. I know Florida does't have as deep of water or as much tide change and the water is cold in Seattle, so the temtation of anchoring near Seattle is less, most of the summer season in Seattle ( when ever summer is ? ) folks want to go away from towns and cities. The bays in Fla that folks like to anchor in would be dry at low tide if they were in Seattle, I'm sure if Seattle had only 3 ft tides they too would have anchoring problems.
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Old 18-07-2011, 09:29   #3
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Re: Seattle anchoring law legal?

In actuality, Florida didn;t have problems, the local municipalities did by violating state law.
It will come down to what Washington state law is...
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Old 18-07-2011, 09:48   #4
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Re: Seattle anchoring law legal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by webejammin View Post
I really can't think of a place on the salt water around the city of Seattle where any recorational boat would really want to anchor for long, without lots of tidel current or commercial vessals using waterways like 5 to 7 ft wakes from ferrys and cruse boats constantly. I know Florida does't have as deep of water or as much tide change and the water is cold in Seattle, so the temtation of anchoring near Seattle is less, most of the summer season in Seattle ( when ever summer is ? ) folks want to go away from towns and cities. The bays in Fla that folks like to anchor in would be dry at low tide if they were in Seattle, I'm sure if Seattle had only 3 ft tides they too would have anchoring problems.
So as long as the area has no interest to you it's OK to make laws restricting access to everyone even if it might be illegal to do so?

Cruising also happens on Lake Washington and people anchor legally in areas of the lake not controlled by Seattle. Some cities on the lake have laws similar to Seattle's and others don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unicorn Dreams View Post
In actuality, Florida didn;t have problems, the local municipalities did by violating state law.
It will come down to what Washington state law is...
I thought that Federal level laws were what were cited as making municipality laws in violation.

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Old 18-07-2011, 09:59   #5
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Re: Seattle anchoring law legal?

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Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
So as long as the area has no interest to you it's OK to make laws restricting access to everyone even if it might be illegal to do so?
No I'm not saying that.
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Old 18-07-2011, 10:48   #6
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Re: Seattle Anchoring Law Legal ?

It appears the city of Seattle does not have jurisdiction of the entire Washington lake. Do the city ordinance of Belevue and other units have simular laws?

The ordinance also states exceptions can be made if the chief of police is contacted and he determines with the master of the vessel that no obstruction to commercial shipping will exist. The law also states the chief of police can temporarely place vessel into an unused slip.

The big problem with the Florida anchoring laws is they were trying to force transients into paying mooring fields, and marinas. It has been awhile since I lived in Seattle, but that doesn't sound like the case there.

Is there a specific incident that caused you trouble? The conflict in Florida started when municipal police issued citations, and threatened vessel seizure for boats that were otherwise legally anchored in an unabtrusive and out of the way area.

In the city of Houston which has simular laws and restrictions there are only two areas where one could physically anchor in practice. 1. The shipping basin and port of Houston, 2. A bayou that threads through downtown.

I have anchored in the bayou, but to do so requires permission in advance, signed in triplicate, with full background check, as to get to the bayou one has to go through the shipping basin, and several security zones, there is no charge to file the paperwork. The restrictions; as onerous as they sound, simply state the real practical facts, and as such do not take away any rights you would otherwise have.

This may be a "boaters rights" issue, but I'll need a lot more information. 1. Are the off limits areas not otherwise prohibited, (IE commercial traffic, or security zones?). 2. Were you cited or otherwise "hassled" for anchoring somewhere a prudent mariner would shoose to anchor, (IE not in channel or cable, or otherwise unsafe area?).

If so let us know, just because it's not bikini weather dosn't mean you are not allowed to boat.
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Old 18-07-2011, 12:17   #7
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Re: Seattle Anchoring Law Legal ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by capn_billl View Post
It appears the city of Seattle does not have jurisdiction of the entire Washington lake. Do the city ordinance of Belevue and other units have simular laws?
The jurisdictions of Kenmore & Kirkland allow temporary daylight anchoring in 2 specific areas of Lake Washington, just as Seattle does at Andrews Bay. The following are all of the legal anchorages on Lake Washington:

  • Coulon Park in Renton
  • Cozy Cove
  • Juanita Bay
  • Kirkland Marina
  • Meydenbauer Bay
  • Yarrow Bay
Most waterways on & near lake Washington are spcifically held by entities acting as an environmental treasurer with public and private efforts underway to restore habitat, protect wildlife and encourage nature to flourish within a large city. Any efforts to expand anchorage zones would have to clear "enviromental Hurdles" which simply aren't a realistic expectation in this city. It would be akin to trying to get permission to open strip bars in residential neighborhoods somewhere in the deep south and their having free BBQ's on sunday mornings. The religious zealots in Alabama would never let that happen and the enviro zealots in Seattle wouldn't allow the relaxing of enviro standards which are sacrosanct in this particular area.




Quote:
Originally Posted by capn_billl View Post
This may be a "boaters rights" issue, but I'll need a lot more information. 1. Are the off limits areas not otherwise prohibited, (IE commercial traffic, or security zones?). 2. Were you cited or otherwise "hassled" for anchoring somewhere a prudent mariner would shoose to anchor, (IE not in channel or cable, or otherwise unsafe area?).
Seattle is surrounded by water and there is heavy traffic on it's numerous waterways. There is almost no undeveloped waterfront property, so anchoring would generally put you smack dab in someones backyard. On Lake Washington specifically, those backyards belong to some of the nations wealthiest citizens and, as a practical matter, no amount of arguing to the contrary is going to see them lose a battle if it were to ever come.

If the city wanted to, they could perhaps allow anchoring on Lake Washington in a very few select areas maybe monday thru thursday during daylight hours in the autumn and winter. But even that would necessitate vigilant monitoring and there simply aren't very many places on Lake Washington that are suitable for anchoring which aren't a credible nuisance to property owners. The likes of Bill Gates aren't going to sit idly by whilst you're anchored nearby.

The area out of downtown both south and west has heavy commercial AND recreational traffic and is subject to rather extreme daily tidal changes. There really isn't anywhere within the Seattle citiy limits where there is light boating traffic which would be suitable for anchoring that is not in adjacent to private property. Unlike traditional coastal environments on an ocean or lake, any anchorage in Seattle will find you surrounded a full 360 degress by city residents within 2 miles of you. Imagine folks being allowed to set up tents & camp for a few days in a city park, These just aren't the type of activities allowed in the middle of a major metropolis (excepting Honolulu, but that's a whole 'nother story)
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Old 18-07-2011, 13:16   #8
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Re: Seattle Anchoring Law Legal ?

Many of the places you list as allowing anchoring are in the backyards of rich people. While you might not win, just because they are rich doesn't make it right if Seattle closed off anchoring due to them.

When people put down an anchor to eat lunch or rest from skiing , if the police come by they will ask you to pull it up.

Perhaps environmentalism is trumped by football. 7 days a year 1 mile in diameter Union Bay is filled with anchored boats.

Yes there isn't much on the salt water side to attract overnight anchoring, but there's a couple of places that might be interesting. Alki has places that aren't in channels, hindering traffic, unless you count the tour boats chugging along the beach.


Kenmore allows anchoring for up to 3 days.

From: PL_frm





8.20.060Temporary anchorage or moorage.







Any vessel or watercraft may anchor or moor without being subject to the permit requirements of KMC 8.20.050 and 8.20.070; provided, that the vessel or watercraft does not remain within a one-mile radius of the original anchorage or moorage for a period longer than 72 hours out of any 120-hour period. [Ord. 98-0035 1(C) (KCC 12.46.060).]


John

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussiesuede View Post
The jurisdictions of Kenmore & Kirkland allow temporary daylight anchoring in 2 specific areas of Lake Washington, just as Seattle does at Andrews Bay. The following are all of the legal anchorages on Lake Washington:

  • Coulon Park in Renton
  • Cozy Cove
  • Juanita Bay
  • Kirkland Marina
  • Meydenbauer Bay
  • Yarrow Bay
Most waterways on & near lake Washington are spcifically held by entities acting as an environmental treasurer with public and private efforts underway to restore habitat, protect wildlife and encourage nature to flourish within a large city. Any efforts to expand anchorage zones would have to clear "enviromental Hurdles" which simply aren't a realistic expectation in this city. It would be akin to trying to get permission to open strip bars in residential neighborhoods somewhere in the deep south and their having free BBQ's on sunday mornings. The religious zealots in Alabama would never let that happen and the enviro zealots in Seattle wouldn't allow the relaxing of enviro standards which are sacrosanct in this particular area.






Seattle is surrounded by water and there is heavy traffic on it's numerous waterways. There is almost no undeveloped waterfront property, so anchoring would generally put you smack dab in someones backyard. On Lake Washington specifically, those backyards belong to some of the nations wealthiest citizens and, as a practical matter, no amount of arguing to the contrary is going to see them lose a battle if it were to ever come.

If the city wanted to, they could perhaps allow anchoring on Lake Washington in a very few select areas maybe monday thru thursday during daylight hours in the autumn and winter. But even that would necessitate vigilant monitoring and there simply aren't very many places on Lake Washington that are suitable for anchoring which aren't a credible nuisance to property owners. The likes of Bill Gates aren't going to sit idly by whilst you're anchored nearby.

The area out of downtown both south and west has heavy commercial AND recreational traffic and is subject to rather extreme daily tidal changes. There really isn't anywhere within the Seattle citiy limits where there is light boating traffic which would be suitable for anchoring that is not in adjacent to private property. Unlike traditional coastal environments on an ocean or lake, any anchorage in Seattle will find you surrounded a full 360 degress by city residents within 2 miles of you. Imagine folks being allowed to set up tents & camp for a few days in a city park, These just aren't the type of activities allowed in the middle of a major metropolis (excepting Honolulu, but that's a whole 'nother story)
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Old 18-07-2011, 14:23   #9
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Re: Seattle Anchoring Law Legal ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussiesuede View Post
Most waterways on & near lake Washington are spcifically held by entities acting as an environmental treasurer with public and private efforts underway to restore habitat, protect wildlife and encourage nature to flourish within a large city. Any efforts to expand anchorage zones would have to clear "enviromental Hurdles".
)
Having just been spanked twice in a row for politically biased comments, I won't say much, except good luck.

Maybe if there was a particular spot you wanted to anchor, you could get a petition started to add that spot to the list? State of Washington has a very generous votor plebicite constitution. Enough signees and it gets on the ballot.
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Old 23-07-2011, 06:37   #10
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Re: Seattle Anchoring Law Legal ?

are signs posted saying no anchoring?
If I owned that property, I might put one out there, perhaps several signs.
Nothing worse than coming out to the backyard and seeing some offending boat anchored in your water. I think people must feel they own the water and rights not to see unwanted boats anchored. Land owners also think those people may come ashore on my land or make loud noises, raft up with other party boats, get drunk, be a nuisance. And you will see people moving around on the boats, just an unwanted presence, an intrusion from a private land point of view.
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Old 23-07-2011, 10:49   #11
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Re: Seattle Anchoring Law Legal ?

Some of the biggest problems around Seattle comes from floating houses that have very little navication and settle in for the long term not just overnight. I'm sure noise from generators and sound systems and personal watercraft that desturb folks on land rich or poor. but this comes down to the GOLDEN RULE ( those with the gold makes the rules )
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Old 25-07-2011, 06:14   #12
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Re: Seattle anchoring law legal?

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Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
I thought that Federal level laws were what were cited as making municipality laws in violation.
Here in Florida, federal law becomes an issue in only a very few, specific places--federally protected waters around the Everglades, for instance. Most of the debate and controversy has to do with local municipalities that are ignoring, or violating, state law. Hence, in your situation, it is probably going to be a matter of state vs. local laws.
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Old 23-02-2012, 21:00   #13
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Re: Seattle Anchoring Law Legal ?

I read this thread with sadness... Its a shame that people think rich folks like Bill Gates own the water in Lake Washington. Last time I checked his property line ended at the shoreline.

How about anchoring off public property shorelines?
Hey I would be for that!!

Sand Point, St Edwards, Union Bay by the arboretum all have HUGE waterfronts that don't impact the wealthy's monopoly on the view and are not directly in high traffic waterways.

As a very avid boater I believe this city is much too tightly wound in many respects and its choking the recreational boating industry around here. With gas prices only going up it sure would be nice if we could drop a hook in the lake once in a while and a few more choices other than Andrews Bay would sure be welcome from my view.

It really is sad... More laws, permits, registrations, training, insurance, now the rich's cherished views, etc... with gas prices only going up guess this is a lost cause anyway.

Recreational Boating >>>> headed straight for extinction.
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Old 24-02-2012, 09:29   #14
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Re: Seattle Anchoring Law Legal ?

Seattle tells boaters to "move along" but during the WTO riots, the mayor gave the demonstrators FREE PIZZA.

Go figger.
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Old 24-02-2012, 10:20   #15
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Re: Seattle Anchoring Law Legal ?

After living aboard both sail and power boats in San Diego for many years, I thought the CA laws were restrictive until we tried to move our 50+foot power boat to Seattle to allow my wife to attend college up there. The lack of moorage availability, red tape and rude, negative response we received to our inquiries certainly made it clear we were not only unwelcome to the Seattle area but that non-boaters who controlled the law making and enforcement held an extreme bias against those who chose to live on the water.
As a result, we have no interest in ever visiting the state or even passing through whether travelling by boat or car.
I view the issue of one where those with little or no experience, love of or interest in sharing the wonders of the ocean make and enforce laws that are detrimental to all who use the water for pleaure or earning a living.
As a result, I sold our boat, put and oar over my shoulder and walked inland until someone asked me what it was and that was where we settled. Capt Phil
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