Boating restrictions for Fairweather Cove on north Lake Tapps aimed at curbing drinking, loud music and other unruly behavior will become permanent, the Pierce County Council decided today.
The prohibition against boats anchoring, drifting and tying together in the cove has been in place for three years and was due to expire on Aug. 31. But the council decided to remove the sunset date because the limits have worked well.
Addressing a separate issue on Lake Tapps, the County Council also voted today to ban parking along a quarter-mile stretch of 214th Avenue East on the east side of the lake. Violators will be fined $25, effective May 14. The council wants to put an end to people leaving their vehicles along the narrow shoulders of the two-lane road. Officials say the people who park there pose a safety hazard and then trespass onto a privately owned dike to access the lake.
The council voted 6-0 to approve both steps. Council member Roger Bush was absent.
Several Fairweather Cove residents told the council past problems would return if the boating restrictions were lifted.
Those problems included boaters using beer bongs and playing loud, profane music, said cove resident Tamara Lassak. “It should be a family lake enjoyed by all, not by a few that are spoiling it for the rest of us,” she said.
The county’s Boating Advisory Commission had objected that a permanent ban against anchoring and drifting could lead to regulating other parts of Lake Tapps.
Sgt. Brian Ward, chairman of the boating commission, told a council committee last week the restrictions should be allowed to expire “to allow peaceful boaters to use that cove in an orderly way.”
The council approved the restrictions in 2009 for one year with a sunset date for a test period afterward, said Ward, a member of the sheriff’s marine services unit. After concerns continued, the council extended them for two more years.
Earlier in 2005, the council made it illegal to raft on the lake – meaning, two or more boats tying or connecting together – except at a designated area near Lake Tapps Park.
Council member Dan Roach, R-Bonney Lake, said Tuesday the regulations for Fairweather Cove should be permanent and are among many in place for Lake Tapps so everyone can enjoy the lake.
“Whether you’re pro or con on this,” Roach said, “everyone agrees that this ordinance is working.”