Burning question | Should Kirkland ban party boating?

Read Deborah’s story today about the proposed ordinance in Kirkland that would prevent boats from rafting up in Juanita Bay — or getting closer than 25 feet to each other. Apparently, some of the local waterfront property owners are upset by noise from boaters whose summer parties are getting a bit rowdy. The local cops don’t much care for what’s going on either, and cite safety concerns. What do you think? Another blow to boater freedom or time to put a lid on the dingbats?

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Party Boating in Kirkland

12 Responses to Burning question | Should Kirkland ban party boating?

  1. mikey bamboo March 10, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    Employ law enforment to follow up occasionally on popular party nights. If a bunch of loud drunk boaters know the cops will be comming around with a flashlight ready to write tickets or impound boats with DUI candidates, people amazingly start acting different. What makes this area of the lake so much more special than others that warrant it acceptable to pass new laws (can they even legally even do that/if yes how)? It is extremely inconsiderate to be cranking music off the water after a reasonable hour. Probably would each of us about as much as it does when we are in a house late at night and from two blocks away you are alerted to a car with an annoying oversized bass system. Seriously …how many of those guys ever even get a ticket? So lots of money can buy you a quiet place of the lake …and if you dont like elements about the lake you make the city spend money to make something you dont like go away? What about loud birds that might wake you up ealy in the morning?

    • Eliot March 11, 2012 at 3:26 am #

      It seems that there are always some – a few at best – that seem to spoil not only parties, but some aspects of enjoyment in life. This seems to bee the case of the “party boaters”. It seems that since they could not have a drunken brawl on land they took it to the water. Great folks I’m sure, right. Each one needs what ever the law provides – if in fact the law were on hand to do their job that they are paid to do.

      Have a great day.

  2. Scott Wilson March 10, 2012 at 8:34 am #

    I get as annoyed with jetskis/midnight dinghy races/drunken 2AM head calls in crowded anchorages (“Look! Look, dudes! I’m peeing off the stern rail! Isn’t it awesome?!?”) as anyone else, but all this regulation is starting to get passive-aggressive and increasingly incomprehensible.

    I think I have come to the conclusion that you just can’t legislate politeness… there is too much context involved. If you try, it becomes impossible for the average, law-abiding boater to even keep track of what laws to abide by. And the cops can’t even enforce them all, so it become arbitrary, which is not just.

    Sometimes, freedom means having to deal with jerks. And while it doesn’t always work, I think it’s healthier for everyone if you just go strike up a conversation and ask folks to tone it down instead of picking up the phone to your local council-person and trying to outlaw them.

  3. Kaci Cronkhite March 10, 2012 at 7:38 am #

    Isn’t it amazing how people in government with the opportunity to use their power to fix what’s ALREADY broken keep running away (and getting paid for it) to create yet more laws that, as some of the rest of you point out, cost us more money! Unless there’s a serious threat from these raft ups (like nuclear arms or meth traffikers or Rush Limbaugh training camps, off the top o my head) Kirkland City officials should turn around and go back to work fixing way more important things. The ones we’ve already paid for.

  4. Kimberly Boat Stoves March 10, 2012 at 7:13 am #

    Here’s the thing. We taxpayers spend far too much money allowing the power hungry “ultra rich” pass hundreds of “victimless crime laws” each year. We then have to spend the money to prosecute and incarcerate. Maybe folks who don’t like living by the water should simply move, and shut up. Just like the fool who buys a home near the Fauntleroy ferry dock, then wants the dock closed so they don’t have to contend with it. Self centered morons should just move to a location where they might be happy, Chernobyl comes to mind, it’s really quiet there.

  5. mike March 9, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

    Where do the city limits of Kirkland, Seattle and Mercer Island end out in the water?

    Navigable water is probably not under their jurisdiction is it?

    • Kaci Cronkhite March 10, 2012 at 7:33 am #

      Very good question. I think it’s at the tideline. Sailors… we’re gonna find a way;)

    • Andre March 10, 2012 at 10:02 am #

      Cool police jurisdiction map for Lake Washington here: http://www.mercergov.org/files/MarinePatrol2011.pdf

      The city limit ends halfway between the shore on the other side of the waterway. I.E. if you’re traveling on the east side of mercer island, the west half of the waterway is M.I. and the east half is Bellevue (or Beaux Arts if you happen to be by that section of land).

      Which, BTW, is another example of annoying legislation. Many years ago, Beaux Arts residences were annoyed at boat wake in the east channel disturbing their marina. They passed a law that said all waters in Beaux Arts were a slow zone (7 knots or less). They set out bouys all over the place, that were largly ignored. The law eventually was repealed when enough folks complained.

  6. Stephen Sprinkle March 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    I echo commenter Andy’s remarks. Enforce the existing laws, don’t make more that restrict responsible boaters.

  7. andy March 9, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

    Maybe it is time for Kirkland a WATERFRONT community that has a lot of shoreline and docks and other amenaties to attract boaters to have a marine patrol or contract with King County or some other harbor patrol.

  8. andy March 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    There are plenty of rules already in place, no need to create new ones. Loud stereos would fall under the noise ordances. All the Harbor Patrol has to do is enforce it. Not to mention doing a safety check would definately dampen a party, and they can do that anytime they want.

    If we have to stay 25 feet away does that mean we can’t help a boat in distress? Rediculose rules!

    This also seems like the slippery slope heading to Florida anchoring laws limiting the ability to anchor, even when in distress or to avoid bad weather.

    Please keep us informed and let us know when and where to send comments!

    • joe March 10, 2012 at 8:46 am #

      Impose an 11pm noise curfew and have the sheriff’s boat browse the crowd from time to time.

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