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March 7, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Kirkland backs away from boat-rafting ban

The Kirkland City Council is going back to the drafting table  as it considers how to control ear-deafening boat stereo systems and assure safety in the popular floating party on Juanita Bay.

A proposed ordinance that would have banned “rafting” — tying groups of boats together — was sent to committee for further study after boaters protested the idea through emails and a big turnout at the Tuesday night council meeting.

The council asked staff to draw up a law last year after Juanita Bay residents objected to loud, sometimes drunken behavior by boaters when the bay becomes a playground on summer days. But boaters said the draft law was too restrictive. Council members agreed more study was needed, along with input from the whole community.

If boats can’t tie up to each other, said one opponent, John Gilday, people will swim to other boats — “and a lot of them are not going to make it and we’re going to have bigger problems than Eminem playing at 70 decibels.”

“This is not ready for prime time,” Councilmember Penny Sweet said of the ordinance. The council voted unanimously to refer it to the public safety committee.

Comments | More in General news, Government | Topics: boating, Juanita Bay, Kirkland City Council

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