New ordinance cracks down on floating structures - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

New ordinance cracks down on floating structures

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – A new county ordinance that focuses on floating structures is rocking the boat.

We asked local boater Lou Hannah what he thinks of the county cracking down. “You talking about people anchored out over here,” Hannah asked as he pointed from the Blue Heron Bridge to Peanut Island. “Well I think they need to chase them off.”

Hannah says the boats that seem permanently anchored around the Blue Heron Bridge shouldn't be there.

“Does he have a registration? I don't think he does,” Hannah said pointing to a nearby boat.

Gregory Reynolds, executive director of Lagoon Keepers, says registration is the key to controlling the situation.

"With the floating structures with no registration on them who do we fine," Reynolds asked. "Who do we go after? Who do we tell 'you can't have this out here' because there's no registration on them."

In addition to registration issues, law enforcement is looking for boats used as home or meeting places, which could include tikki boats spending the day on Peanut Island.

"There's something about the Peanut Island flair," says one local waterfront resident who did not want to be identified. She says floating structures have become more than just an eyesore. 

"I don't feel safe anymore because of the way this individual is, how the boat is positioned," she says.  "I feel I don't have any control over situation even though I'm the one paying the taxes, paying my mortgage."

She says a boat anchored behind her house three months ago and has not moved since.

"I could throw an apple to him and he could catch it very easily," she said pointing to a boat off Phil Foster Park. "I had an official come over and he (boater) told him to eff off."

She says her uninvited neighbor is loud, shouts profanity and hopes the new ordinance will force him to move.

"I am beyond grateful that there is a new ordinance," she said. "I feel like I really need help."

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