If you are looking to set up a houseboat in Winthrop you will now need a permit from the Town Manager.
Tuesday night the Town Council voted to approve a new ordinance requiring a permit and other regulations.
Packed with concerned residents from the 44 condos at Atlantis Marina Condominiums, 550 Pleasant St., who have waited two years for the new regulations. They sat through the reading of four pages of regulations.
Residents expressed concern over the water and sewer hook-ups for houseboats. Resident Sarah Bacharch added they did not want bed and breakfasts set up on the boats. Resident David Kelston urged the council to control the marinas and not the houseboats.
“The main purpose is to protect the water,” he said, adding that there is space for 10 houseboats.
“It’s a matter of preservation of the water,” said resident Ann Gilmore. “We’re regulated and they’re not.”
“With no permit from the town we’re sending the message that we have the lowest standards acceptable. We’re trying to move the town to a higher level,” said Councilor Craig Mael.
The issue started about two years ago when houseboats from Charlestown relocated to Atlantis Marina, owned by Gary DeCicco. Since then neighbors have expressed concern and the town realized that it needed to establish regulations regarding houseboats.
The regulations first require that houseboat owners who want to dock in Winthrop must obtain a Houseboat Marina Permit from the Town Manager. Each houseboat must have a permanent water supply with an individual backflow prevention valve. Permanent supply of electricity and water are needed. There also needs to be a sewer connection leading to a permanent sewer connection.
Houseboats also need to have 150 square feet for the first occupant and at least 100 square feet for each additional person.