The City of Kirkland has dropped a controversial attempt
to limit the number of boats that can tie together
The practice is called “rafting.” The city calls
it tandem moorage. People who live near city parks and
beaches have complained for years about excessive noise
coming from partyers who link their boats, particularly in
Juanita Bay. One homeowner offered video evidence of
drinking and wild and noisy activity coming from groups of
boats linked together.
When the city proposed a ban this spring on the rafting of
three or more vessels, boaters showed up in force to
complain to the city council. Many argued that the rafting
ban would prohibit quiet gatherings of vessels, too.
In a compromise, the city council voted Wednesday
to extend the city’s existing noise ordinance for cars to
watercraft. An amendment prohibits noise from boats that
can be heard from more than 300 feet away. For cars, the
noise threshold is 50 feet.
The city will post notices about the amendment at
boat launches and parks and hold community meetings.
The city council is asking the police department
to monitor the impact of the new law this summer and
report back to the council in the fall.
The new noise law takes effect a week from this
Saturday, June 16th.