Dear Margaret Glowacki,

Please add these comments to the official record of comments regarding the Final Recommendations for the Shoreline Management Plan.

These comments are directed primarily at those proposed regulations affecting Live-aboards in the Shoreline Management Area. As President of Lake Union Liveaboard Association representing approximately 140 members, these comments are provided to support those members and to encourage the continuation of the liveaboard community.

Comment period too short.
In reviewing the Final Recommendations, we found that there are SIGNIFICANT differences between Draft #2 and the Final Recommendations. While we are cautiously encouraged by some of the changes in the Final Recommendations, we found very quickly that there was a lot of confusion regarding this large, complicated document.  With the large number of changes, we feel that there has definitely not been enough time allotted for the community at large to review and analyze this document and to formulate a response.  We have 2 recommendations in this regard;

  1. Extend the comment period until August 15th. This will permit organizations like LULA, SLA, and LUA to have enough time to review the document, discuss, formulate responses, and provide considered feedback that would accompany the document when submitted to the Mayor and City Council.
  2. Provide a Plain Language version, or a document similar to the CAM-229 that would clearly indicate the effect of these proposals on the liveaboard community.

New Liveaboard Regulations / Recreational Vessel definition are inappropriate
The proposals regulating liveaboard use on recreational vessel contains constraints (to define a recreational vessel) that seem inappropriate and irrelevant to the stated purpose of the Shoreline Management Act. These regulations again seem to target a particular SHAPE of vessel, rather than address the use of the vessel. By creating these regulations, DPD has indicated that if you stick to a particular SHAPE, you are golden. This is contradictory to the stated purpose of the Shoreline Master Program.  For example, liveaboards that contribute a certain amount, through their liveaboard activities, toward the environmental impact, would continue to contribute the same to the environmental impact on a vessel that meets the stated criteria. Therefore, having the new criteria simply means a different SHAPED vessel contributing the same environmental impact.  Once again, the SHAPE of the vessel is restricted, but the activity is not.

Examples of these constraints, which have zero affect on the impact to the environment are:

  1. Decks fore & Aft for Line Handling. This will make a number of Sea Going recreational vessels non-compliant for the purpose of living aboard. The ability to handle lines does NOT require FORWARD and AFT decks. For example, our vessel “The KevLin” has very good line handling capability, but does NOT have an aft deck. We instead have Paddle Wheels on the aft of our boat, but we ARE none-the-less, truly and factually, a recreational vessel.  Having a deck fore and aft is not a determining factor of a vessel being “recreational.”
  2. Symmetrical Embarkation points.  These are unnecessary for vessel safety, have no relevance to defining a recreational vessel, and contribute NOTHING to environmental impact. Frequently Yachts are designed WITHOUT symmetrical embarkation points. Did you mean to say “Embarkation points on both port and starboard sides?”  Again, Symmetrical Embarkation points are not a determining factor of a vessel being “recreational.”
  3. Symmetric Mooring Hardware. Again, I think this should be worded differently – something like “mooring hardware sufficient for mooring on either the port or starboard side.” Frequently mooring hardware is not symmetric as a result of gangways, gates, windows, doors, etc., but the lack of symmetry does not affect the safety, nor does it have any bearing on whether a vessel is recreational.
  4. Whether the delivery voyage from place of purchase to moorage location was made without assistance. This phrase is very dangerous if interpreted strictly.  Requiring vessels to be delivered without assistance could cause serious safety issues. Marinas are frequently precarious places, and MOST vessels require some assistance in their delivery. This can come in a number of forms. Vessels manufactured in China may be delivered by Cargo Ship, which certainly constitutes “assistance.” On a more basic level, most vessels are delivered with Deck Hands, and often with guide boats to assist during tricky maneuvering in crowded marinas. Without this “assistance” vessels are at risk of damaging other vessels, and possibly endangering life & limb. In addition, many insurance companies will not insure the owner to deliver their own vessel. Once again, this action has no bearing on whether or not a vessel is “Recreational”
  5. The vessel complies with the Sail Area-Length Ratio (SALR). This clause was most certainly added to target a specific shape of vessel.  If the determination of a recreational vessel is based on it’s shape, this is completely new to the vessel industry.  As far as I know, no manufacturer has ever used “SHAPE” to determine if a vessel is recreational. While SALR has everything to do with “SHAPE”, it has nothing to do with;
    1. determining if a vessel is Recreational
    2. determining the Safety of a vessel
    3. determining the Environmental Impact of a vessel

Based on the SALR, a vessel that is 100 ft long, 10 ft high, and 2 ft wide, would be permitted as a liveaboard, while a vessel that is 40 ft long, 20 ft high, and 20 ft wide, would not be permitted as a liveaboard.

The SALR is NOT a ratio that is used by Naval Architects to determine stability. This is an arbitrary measurement that has no correlation to safety, environmental impact, or determining if a vessel is recreational. This clause was created to eliminate certain shapes of vessels, and is NOT a valid indicator of a vessel being designed as “Recreational”. Given these facts, this clause is discrimination on the basis of SHAPE and SHAPE alone and should be completely stricken.

Thank you for considering these comments.  Please include these comments to the Mayor and the City Council, with the understanding that these comments have been created in haste and the full Final Recommendations have NOT been completely reviewed. We reserve the right to submit further comments, directly to the Mayor and the City Council and hope that it is clearly communicated that there has NOT been a sufficient amount of time allowed to review these final recommendations.

Kevin Bagley
President, Lake Union Liveaboard Association.

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