Although I have much more basic content to post first, I find myself compelled to at least pose a few question regarding Seattle Time’s reporter Jonathan Martin’s article titled: State reaches deal on Bainbridge liveaboards. The story is best encapsulated in the following quote:
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the city of Bainbridge Island inked an agreement before Christmas that will allow residential use for 16 vessels for lease rates as low as $20 a month.
The deal ends an eight-year effort by the DNR to bring the Eagle Harbor liveaboards, which the agency considered aquatic-lands squatters, under state regulations. Eagle Harbor has been home to a liveaboard community for a century, dating back to Bainbridge’s roots as a timber and shipbuilding port.
The department issued 60 trespass permits in early November to the 14 or so liveaboards and a larger number of recreational boats moored in the harbor.
With an eviction deadline looming, Bainbridge and the DNR agreed to have the city issue a conditional-use permit under its shorelines master plan.
So, some of the immediate questions that come to my mind are the following:
- Can Adverse Possession be anologized to serve as a legal framework for handling these “aquatic-land squatters”?
- Does the fact that this regards a community in existence for over a century provide a greater “collective shield”?
- Later in the article, it mentions that most of these liveaboards are poor. So, is this the Puget Sound’s version of “living down by the river eating government cheese“?
- Does the Department of Natural Resources still have licensing abilities in name only here?
- Shouldn’t ITT Rayonier, Inc. v. Bell be controlling here?
To be honest, I could continue to ask and ask, but it’s time to go to sleep – not in a hammock that sways with the currents – in a bed.