Waterfront homes in sunny Sausalito can be quite expensive, at least it is for those living on the shore and paying taxes. Officials called attention this week, however, to a growing number of so-called “water-squatters” living in boats anchored offshore. These Anchor Out residents enjoy the luxury of Pacific Coast living without paying the exorbitant taxes that most residents suffer. That’s because the waters near Sausalito‘s shoreline are designated anchorage, though boaters are subject to local rules and regulations. The problem, many onshore residents say, is that there’s confusion over what rules they must follow and whose jurisdiction it would be to enforce them.
The Anchor Out colony near Sausalito has been drawing boat dwellers for years, with some calling the sea home for as many as 15 years. Some of these Anchor Outs actually attend school or work, while others are simply enjoying life without bills while getting their food from the Pacific. A handful of Sausalito taxpayers actually like the floating colony, though most have become concerned with the environmental damage the Anchor Outs are causing. There is a Richardson Bay Regional District rule that requires boats to move on after being moored for three days, but it hasn’t been enforced because of the confusion over jurisdiction. The District is scheduled to meet tonight, May 14th, to discuss passing a rule that all boats in Richardson Bay be currently registered. The rule might pose a problem for the Anchor Outs, though it remains to be seen which agency would enforce the rule.