Housing issues differ from boat issues

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, November 23, 2004

After reading Mondays article in "My Turn," and Tuesday's article on the harbor board, I'm sitting here at Douglas Harbor wondering, "Don't they get it?"

The harbor board is dealing with housing issues. The liveaboard community is made up of independent people living in houseboats, converted fishing boats, fully operational motor and sailboats and the truly derelict boats (these easy enough to spot; they're the ones covered with blue and silver tarps, plywood and tar paper, and the only thing they have in common with the other boats is they float - most of the time.)

Communities have housing codes and zoning laws. The harbors also need housing codes and zoning laws. Right now the harbor is using a Band-Aid approach to its problems. Moving "inactive" boats to specific places in the harbor, and insurance fees, is a Band-Aid approach.

The harbor should be supporting operational boats only, with electric and septic codes enforced. Derelict boats should be brought up to code, or removed.

Houseboats need their own area, probably as a co-op, as in other states, or set up by the harbor (or housing) board. Of course, with building, electric and septic codes.

We need to separate the housing issues from the boat issues. People need safe and healthy places to live. The harbors can be an option, but health and safety need to be considered.

Duane Hue

Douglas Harbo

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