Your Board of Directors has been working very hard to prepare LULA’s response to the  Draft Director’s Rule, and we have completed our work and sent the letter through our attorney, Jeff Eustis to DPD for consideration. Please review and send your comments to DPD as recommended in the box below.

View LULA’s proposal in its entirety here.
Supplemental Document (Stakeholder Apendix D)

LULA makes the following specific recommendations to the DPD and the City of Seattle relating to the composition of the Director’s Rule:
* A vessel moored in Seattle waters prior to the effective date of the new SSMP (SMC § 23.60.A – Ordinance 124105) will be considered a legal vessel and will be considered conforming if the vessel meets the following criteria:

  1. The vessel is designed and used for navigation, and
  2. The vessel has a means of steering and propulsion, and
  3. Items 1 and 2 above are documented by either:
    1. An affidavit from an independent marine professional with at least 5 years of experience, such as a naval architect, marine surveyor, boatyard operator, shipwright, or boat designer; or
    2. Written or pictorial evidence (e.g., log books, video, photos) provided by the vessel owner that the vessel has used its own propulsion and steering to navigate in waters typical of those in which the vessel is moored.
  • Selection of an independent marine professional will be at the discretion of the vessel owner, who will be responsible for any costs incurred.
  • A vessel owner who submits the necessary documentation will be provided with a certificate of compliance or equivalent written ‘recognition by OPO that the vessel meets the legal definition of a vessel under SMC § 23.60.942 and SMC § 23.60.090F.
  • Once a vessel has been certified by DPD as a legal vessel, any owner of that vessel will not need to seek recertification from DPD.
  • Providing vessel documentation and obtaining DPD certification will be voluntary on the part of the vessel owner. This means that the owner of a vessel will not be required to provide documentation and obtain DPD certification unless a notice of violation (NOV) is issued against a vessel for noncompliance with the requirements of the Director’s Rule; in this case, if the owner can establish that the vessel was moored in Seattle waters prior to the effective date of SMC § 23.60.A (Ordinance 124105), the vessel owner would be afforded the opportunity to present documentation that the vessel is designed and used in navigation consistent with SMC § 23.60.942 and SMC § 23.60.090F (as described in Item 3 above).
  • Owners of vessels issued an NOV will have an opportunity to correct any deficiencies and seek DPD certification. Any appeal of DPD’s determination would be reviewable by the Office of the Hearing Examiner, with any appeals of the Examiner’s decision being reviewed by the King County Superior Court through an action under the Land Use Petition Act (consistent with the compliance recommendations in the Final Report and Recommendations of the Seattle On-Water Resident Stakeholders Group, Appendix 0,31 May 2013, copy attached).



The deadline for comments is 10/25/2013, however, DPD director Diane Sugimura has indicated they will accept comments up to 10/28/2013.

We need your support now! As you know, there is strength in numbers. It is important that we be consistent and united in our response. We are therefore recommending that you send in a endorsement of the LULA position.

We are asking that you do not make specific recommendations, as we want to be united in our position, however, please feel free to state WHY you support these recommendations.

Send your email statement supporting LULA’s position on the Draft Director’s Rule to:

Jill Vanneman

Thank you from The LULA Board of Directors

Draft Director’s Rule Published

DPD Takes Aim At Houseboats
Draft Director’s Rule

Obviously Targeted at Non-Pointy Shaped Vessels

LULA has objected to the Director’s Rule as it is a way that DPD is able to implement, through their interpretations, retroactive rules that have never previously been published. The first proposal had numerous criteria including specific insurance, cruising, freeboard, horsepower, and Naval Architect certification. While DPD claims these are CLARIFICATIONS, they are in fact, new, previously unheard of rules.


The revised proposal would REQUIRE only those vessels that are non-traditional (i.e. houseboats) to have their vessel certified by a Naval Architect by cruising unassisted away from dock, cruising for at least a mile, and returning to the dock unassisted.  Such test would have to have been done within 12 months of the certification.

Why are not ALL liveaboards vessels required to prove their navigability?
Why do other vessels get a FREE pass, while we have to pay for a certification, yet MANY vessels would not pass this test?
This test is being applied unevenly and is indicative of the repeated attempts by DPD to regulate based on shape.


Comments should be sent in writing either by:

Email to Jill Vanneman (
or by mail to:

Department of Planning and Development
700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000
Seattle, WA 98124-4019
Attn: Shoreline Director’s Rule


Email to
or by mail to:
Washington Department of Ecology
Northwest Regional Office
Attn: Joe Burcar SEA-Program 3190
160th Ave. SE
Bellevue, Washington 98008

KIRO-OnTheWater Radio Show PODCAST

DPD Trying To Eliminate These Houseboat Vessels

Is Seattle trying to get rid of Lake Union Houseboats?

Seattle City Council Member, PLUS Chairman, Richard Conlin


Lake Union Liveaboard Assocation Board Member, Kevin Bagley

discuss Houseboats and proposed Department of Planning and Development rules. Tune in and be sure to click the “Recommend” button!

Also, please CLICK HERE and ‘LIKE’ the Kiro Radion OnTheWater Facebook page! Please POST YOUR COMMENTS there as well as here. Let’s keep the momentum going!


Please submit your comments below!

Kevin Bagley vs. Richard Conlin Kiro Radio-On The Water

KIRO Radio On The Water


We need everyone to click the link above and post comments on this Facebook page. The more comments we have supporting houseboats, the better our story appears. We need to swamp this page with comments. Tell your family to post comments, Tell your friends to post comments, Tell your dog to post comments…  TELL EVERYONE!

Tune in SUNDAY Morning (8/25) around 8AM – may be around 8:15 before we air, and listen live.

In addition, we need to FLOOD the phones with calls 888-973-5476

Tune in – Post NOW!

On The Record: On House Boats – FremoCentrist

Another great article by Kirby Lindsay with FremoCentrist.  Read the story about Greg Baumann and Matt Pontius, two houseboat owners on Lake Union and their struggle with the Department of Planning and Development and Seattle City Council.

Excerpt from the article…

In July 2013, ran a column about new, retroactive rules and regulations the City of Seattle Department of Planning & Development (DPD) has proposed. That column came after eight months of talking to affected residents who feared speaking on the record. “Most of my neighbors don’t want to step forward,” explained Greg Baumann, “because they don’t want a target on their back.”

Since then, other residents have contacted to speak on the record, and take the risk, in hopes that Fremonsters, and Seattlites, will help save their homes. As Baumann, and his neighbor Matt Pontious, freely acknowledged, if the Seattle City Council and the Office of the Mayor don’t stop DPD, and the new regulations put their homes in violation of new regulations, they can move out of the City – and will. But they do not want to.

See Full Article Here…

Heritage, Homes & House Boats In Peril – FremoCentrist

The KevLin

Kevin & Linda Bagley stand at the bow of their ‘squarish, raked hull’ dual-stern paddle wheeler ‘The KevLin’. Photo by K. Lindsay, Aug ’13





Kirby Lindsay posted this is excellent article about Houseboats in Peril in FremoCentrist.

Excerpt from article…

Kevin and Linda Bagley have been reassured, in person, that they have nothing to worry about. Their home is not endangered – and they will not have to find a new place to live. They are not reassured.

As founders, in 2009, of the Lake Union Liveaboard Association (LULA,) they’ve heard from friends, neighbors and clients. They’ve heard from other owners who went to the City of Seattle Department of Planning & Development (DPD) over the years to ask for permits, permissions or clarifications about their ownership, and were told that the Department doesn’t regulate boats. “Now they [DPD representatives] are saying, ‘you should have known,’ and ‘we didn’t mean it.’” Kevin Bagley reported, “one [owner] has a letter of approval, but now has gotten a letter of violation. You can live with regulations if you know what they are, but [the City] is trying to create retroactive rules. We will fight that one.”

 Click Here to see entire article…

Save Our Houseboats


Save Seattle’s Liveaboard Vessels!

Seattle’s liveaboard houseboats and other vessels are in peril!

By regulatory decree, the Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) plans to implement new policies that could affect ALL vessels in Seattle. Under the proposed plan, DPD can require vessel owners to obtain certification from a naval architect that their vessel meets several tough new standards, including:

  • Installation of a working engine with a minimum horsepower rating
  • Presence of an operable navigation station conforming to steering, visibility, and control requirements
  • Hull design that includes a raked bow, a specified hull length to width ratio, and a minimum freeboard height
  • Ability to actively navigate in Seattle waters

In addition, DPD proposes to check for vessel insurance that covers use of a motor for cruising, the presence of off-shore water and electrical systems, and certain types of deck hardware.

DPD has stated publically that:

  • DPD will apply these rules to ALL VESSELS, no matter the shape of the vessel
  • DPD will apply these rules retroactively to existing vessels, not just to new vessels
  • DPD is seeking funding so that their inspectors can seek out noncompliant vessels
  • DPD will declare noncompliant vessels illegal and force removal from Seattle waters
  • DPD will work to have these rules take effect within 12 weeks

What can you do?

The Lake Union Liveaboard Association (LULA) is having a meeting of affected stakeholders on Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 6:30PM at China Harbor Restaurant, 2040 Westlake Avenue North, Seattle WA.

Please attend the meeting to learn about DPD’s proposed new rules, how they might affect you, what steps LULA is taking, and how you can help.

You can also read more at:

Clearly, time is running out – action will be required! Please join with LULA in challenging these onerous regulations.

DPD & City Council Trying to Sink Houseboats

Through a process known as a “Director’s Rule” the Department of Planning and Development can implement interpretations of existing laws. This can effectively act as a retroactive legislation if the interpretation is different than what has been enforced in the past. That is what is being proposed right now, and portions have already been approved by the City Council Planning, Land Use and Sustainability committee.

What can you do?

Letter Writing Campaign…