332-30-139  <<  332-30-144 >>   332-30-145

Private recreational docks.

(1) Applicability. This section implements the permission created by RCW 79.105.430, Private recreational docks, which allows abutting residential owners, under certain circumstances, to install private recreational docks without charge. The limitations set forth in this section apply only to use of state-owned aquatic lands for private recreational docks under RCW 79.105.430. No restriction or regulation of other types of uses on aquatic lands is provided. This section shall not apply to port districts managing aquatic lands under a management agreement (WAC 332-30-114).
(2) Eligibility. The permission shall apply only to the following:
(a) An "abutting residential owner," being the owner of record of property physically bordering on public aquatic land and either used for single family housing or for a multifamily residence not exceeding four units per lot.
(b) A "dock," being a securely anchored or fixed, open walkway structure visible to boaters and kept in good repair extending from the upland property, primarily used as an aid to boating by the abutting residential owner(s), and accommodating moorage by not more than four pleasure boats typical to the body of water on which the dock is located. Two or more abutting residential owners may install and maintain a single joint-use dock provided it meets all other design requirements of this section; is the only dock used by those owners; and that the dock fronts one of the owners' property.
(c) A "private recreational purpose," being a nonincome-producing, leisure-time, and discretionary use by the abutting residential owner(s).
(d) State-owned aquatic lands outside harbor areas designated by the harbor line commission.
(3) Uses not qualifying. Examples of situations not qualifying for the permission include:
(a) Yacht and boat club facilities;
(b) Floating houses, as defined in WAC 332-30-106(23), and vessels used as a residence (as defined in WAC 332-30-106(62));
(c) Resorts;
(d) Multifamily dwellings, including condominium ownerships, with more than four units;
(e) Uses other than docks such as launches and railways not part of the dock, bulkheads, landfills, dredging, breakwaters, mooring buoys, swim floats, and swimming areas.
(4) Limitations.
(a) The permission does not apply to areas where the state has issued a reversionary use deed such as for shellfish culture, hunting and fishing, or park purposes; published an allocation of a special use and the dock is inconsistent with the allocation; or granted an authorization for use such as a lease, easement, or material purchase.
(b) Each dock owner using the permission is responsible for determining the availability of the public aquatic lands. Records of the department are open for public review. The department will research the availability of the public aquatic lands upon written request. A fee sufficient to cover costs shall be charged for this research.
(c) The permission is limited to docks that conform to adopted shoreline master programs and other local ordinances.
(d) The permission is not a grant of exclusive use of public aquatic lands to the dock owner. It does not prohibit public use of any aquatic lands around or under the dock. Owners of docks located on state-owned tidelands or shorelands must provide a safe, convenient, and clearly available means of pedestrian access over, around, or under the dock at all tide levels. However, dock owners are not required to allow public use of their docks or access across private lands to state-owned aquatic lands.
(e) The permission is not transferable or assignable to anyone other than a subsequent owner of the abutting upland property and is continuously dependent on the nature of ownership and use of the properties involved.
(f) Vessels used as a residence and floating houses are not permitted to be moored at a private recreational dock, except when such moorage is necessary because of an emergency that immediately threatens human life or property, for the duration of the emergency only.
(5) Revocation. The permission may be revoked or canceled if:
(a) The dock or abutting residential owner has not met the criteria listed in subsection (2) or (4) of this section; or
(b) The dock significantly interferes with navigation or with navigational access to and from other upland properties. This degree of interference shall be determined from the character of the shoreline and waterbody, the character of other in-water development in the vicinity, and the degree of navigational use by the public and adjacent property owners;
(c) The dock interferes with preferred water-dependent uses established by law; or
(d) The dock is a public health or safety hazard.
(6) Appeal of revocation. Upon receiving written notice of revocation or cancellation, the abutting residential owner shall have thirty days from the date of notice to file for an administrative hearing under the contested case proceedings of chapter 34.05 RCW. If the action to revoke the permission is upheld, the owner shall correct the cited conditions and shall be liable to the state for any compensation due to the state from the use of the aquatic lands from the date of notice until permission requirements are met or until such permission is no longer needed. If the abutting residential owner disclaims ownership of the dock, the department may take actions to have it removed.
(7) Current leases. Current lessees of docks meeting the criteria in this section will be notified of their option to cancel the lease. They will be provided a reasonable time to respond. Lack of response will result in cancellation of the lease by the department.
(8) Property rights. No property rights in, or boundaries of, public aquatic lands are established by this section.
(9) Lines of navigability. The department will not initiate establishment of lines of navigability on any shorelands unless requested to do so by the shoreland owners or their representatives.
(10) Nothing in this section is intended to address statutes relating to sales of second class shorelands.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 79.105.360. WSR 06-06-005 (Order 724), § 332-30-144, filed 2/16/06, effective 3/19/06. Statutory Authority: RCW 79.90.455, 79.90.460. WSR 02-21-076 (Order 710), § 332-30-144, filed 10/17/02, effective 11/17/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 79.90.105, 79.90.300, 79.90.455, 79.90.460, 79.90.470, 79.90.475, 79.90.520, 79.68.010, 79.68.68 [79.68.080], and chapter 79.93 RCW. WSR 85-22-066 (Resolution No. 500), § 332-30-144, filed 11/5/85.]
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