City Council passed Council Bill (CB) 120588 on June 13. CB 120588 imposes a six-month moratorium on the filing, acceptance, processing, and approval of applications to replace an existing vessel that has been certified as a floating on-water residence (FOWR). A FOWR is a category of floating residence created by state law in 2014. Since 2014, the number of FOWRs in Seattle has increased as has the potential for impacts to fish and wildlife habitat associated with increased size of over-water coverage and grey water discharges. CB 120588 also approves a work program for developing permanent regulations for FOWRs.
City Council will vote on Seattle’s Shoreline Master Program update in April. The program protects water-dependent activities and shoreline habitat, and provides for public access. The last comprehensive update of the Shoreline Master Program was in 1987. The anticipated effective date of the new regulations will be in May 2015. One of the changes to the Shoreline Master Program requires owners of floating residences to record their residence with the City.