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Floating Residences

  • Floating Home copyright Rick Miner @ duckin.com

Seattle's shoreline regulations limit residential uses on the water. As part of the updated Shoreline Master Program, each owner must complete a one-time process to document a Floating Home, House Barge, Floating On-Water Residence, or Vessel Containing a Dwelling Unit. With few exceptions, we only allow those floating residences that were moored in the City of Seattle on or before July 1, 2014.

Many of Seattle’s floating residences are uniquely constructed, and it may not be clear which of the above categories applies in all cases. For questions regarding a specific floating residence or liveaboard craft please contact Seattle DCI.

Liveaboards on Conventional Recreational Vessels (CRVs) as defined in the Shoreline Master Program are exempt from these requirements.

Rules to Follow

In order to comply with the code, owners of Floating Homes, House Barges, Floating On-Water Residences, and Vessels Containing a Dwelling Unit must: 

  • Obtain and display a City-assigned, unique identification number
  • Obtain Seattle DCI authorization before starting any exterior repair, remodel, expansion, or rebuilding
  • Follow City of Seattle best management practices to minimize impacts on the aquatic environment
  • Notify the City of Seattle within 60 days when you move your residence to a new tax parcel, new marina, or new slip within the same marina
  • Notify the City of any change in ownership or contact information of the owner 

Read the Code


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