- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 8, 2016

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Juneau officials are reconsidering a proposed regulation that would limit the number of live-aboard vessels allowed in each of the city’s four harbors.

The city’s Docks and Harbors division has been mulling a plan to cap the number of live-aboard vessels to 10 percent stall occupancy in each harbor. The change would allow for 92 such vessels in Aurora, Harris, Douglas and Statter harbors, about a 45 percent decrease from the number of boats there now, The Juneau Empire reported (https://bit.ly/2fbq3DB).

While the proposal hasn’t yet been implemented, Juneau’s Port Director Carl Uchytil said the division is taking another look at the plan because of pushback from some harbor patrons.

“We listen to our patrons when they bring up points we haven’t thought about,”Uchytil said. “We’re not going to force something down without engaging the public.”

Uchytil said a cap is needed due to infrastructure limitations and rising crime in Aurora Harbor. Erann Kalwara, a spokeswoman for the Juneau Police Department, confirmed that there has been an uptick in crimes reported in the harbor over the past three years.

Some people who live aboard boats because it’s a more affordable housing option are concerned about the proposed regulation altering their way of life. But LaVern Beier, who has been living on a boat in Aurora Harbor for three decades, said he isn’t too worried about the proposed limit.

“You’re not going to see a lot of people who have stayed as long as me,” Beier said. “For most people, it’s economical housing; it’s kind of a stepping stone from one thing to another.”

During the next few months, Uchytil and the Docks and Harbors division board will work to figure out how to implement an appropriate cap on live-aboard boats.

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Information from: Juneau (Alaska) Empire, https://www.juneauempire.com

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