Floating Residences

See also: Floating Residences Code, Shoreline Master Program Code, Shoreline Master Program Update

A brown man with a mustache standing next to a floating residence with a question mark in a thought bubble.Seattle's shoreline regulations limit residential uses on the water. In addition to liveaboards on conventional recreational vessels, the City recognizes four types of floating residences. These are:

City regulations specify how floating residences can be used and where they can be located (see code links above). Many of Seattle's floating residences are uniquely constructed, and it may not be clear which of the above categories applies to a particular residence on the water. For questions regarding a specific floating residence or liveaboard craft, please contact SDCI. Have the verification or registration number ready so we can assist you.

As part of the Shoreline Master Program updates in 2015, owners of existing floating residences are required to complete a one-time verification process to remain on the water. Each verified residence is assigned a unique 3-digit number. Owners must keep their verification records current, which includes updating the City about any changes in ownership or location. These requirements do not apply to liveaboards on conventional recreational vessels (CRVs) as defined in the Shoreline Master Program. 

Rules to Follow

In order to comply with the Seattle Municipal Code, floating residence owners must: 

Read the Code


Construction and Inspections

Nathan Torgelson, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 2000, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA, 98124-4019
Phone: (206) 684-8600
Phone Alt: Violation Complaint Line: (206) 615-0808
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SDCI issues land use, construction, and trade permits, conducts construction and housing-related inspections, ensures compliance with our codes, and regulates rental rules. SDCI is committed to an antiracist workplace and to addressing racism through our work in the community.