Archive for January, 2013

oceanside harbor v. supreme court

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

The Supreme Court said . . . a “reasonable observer” looking at the plywood box home would conclude it was a home, not a vessel. It was not “designed to any practical degree for carrying people or things on water,” [Justice] Breyer said. He noted the home had no rudder, steering mechanism or source of propulsion.


Ceci n’est pas une péniche aménagée.

The Oceanside Harbor rule book says . . . “Houseboats are prohibited from occupying a berth in the Harbor.”

 Although the first batch of houseboat permits has been “grandfathered” in,  it is not clear how new permits were made available after that, while the average joe was told that no new permits will be issued. And if you ever spoke with the office staff, you know they mean business, no matter what mood they’re in.

Part of the answer seems to be that our harbor management is not always a reasonable observer, confirming Justice Sotomayor’s dissenting opinion concerns. Some Oceanside houseboats are considered to be mere boats, reasonable observer notwithstanding.

Whose houseboat passes for a boat, who is told off, and who profits? Even in the good ol’ Oceanside corridors of influence, long way from DC, those answers might have to be reconsidered.