The DUCK is planning to land in your back yard; what you can do


Go to:

and put in the MUP # 3013612

This proposed MUP # 3013612 at 1949 Fairview Avenue E sports a White Board which cannot be seen from the street due to the fact it is behind a large parking lot which separates the White Board from Fairview Avenue E ROW. Parked cars in the parking lot obliterate the view of this board. You can see in this picture a car which is doing just that.

It appears that the due date for comments is October 19. I have asked DPD extend the comment period 30 days. It might help if others in the neighborhood did the same at:

Ask to be a party of record.

It appears from the DPD web site that this the new development is going to be a boat launching facility and a new pier built for Mr. Brian Tracey’s Duck Tours. His tour people, employees, their cars and his fleet of amphibious boats will be parading in and out of our neighborhood. This will be very interesting when the fleet attempts to use Fairview Avenue E. These ships on wheels give the “Captain” very little ability to see what is around them when they are on land. I think this business does not belong in Eastlake. This is too close to people with children and destroys our vision of what we want our waterfront to be used for.

I never objected to NOAA having its ships here. The impact was very well controlled. This idea is a disaster for our neighborhood.

This new boat ramp and proposed load and unload facility will have serious impacts of the immediate neighbors. This will bring a huge volume of traffic to the neighborhood, adding to the issues of finding parking, loud speaker phones droning on at our shoreline at all hours of the day and for what? The answer is the financial well being of Brian Tracey’s pocket book. At minimum a traffic study needs to be required by an independent Engineer. .

Because of the Shoreline impacts, parked cars, new piling for a new wharf, etc. this project should tip the scales for a the required SEPA demands for full blown Environmental Impact Statement.

Does anybody feel the same way I do? I am sure the condos across the street and others would not like to see this happen in their front yards. Their property values will tumble.

Call Brian Tracey and ask him yourself. I saw him recently and asked about his “purchase” (lease) of DNR land at the old NOAA site he refused to talk about it. This non response means to me that he won’t be a good neighbor.

He lives in Woodinville now. He did live in Redmond.

We as a community need to let DPD know that this proposed use is not acceptable at this location without some serious covenants placed on the lease (deed). This is like having the tours boat at Pier 91 coming into Eastlake… I would think that this is a major impact.

Contact Brian Tracy and let him know how you feel.

I do not understand why our community council has sat back and let this one through the hoop.


Again, It appears that the due date for comments is October 19. However, the DPD White Board is hidden behind parked cars and I do not believe it has been posted in the proper way to meet the SEPA Laws. This is a major development with what I believe to be environmental impacts that should be vetted in a full review.


Thank you,

Brian Ramey

117 East Louisa Street, #187

Seattle, WA 98102

(206) 271-4744

22 thoughts on “The DUCK is planning to land in your back yard; what you can do

  1. Zach

    A friend of mine was struck from behind and nearly killed by a Duck while riding his motorcycle on 1st avenue. The driver, who didn’t see him, dragged my friend nearly half a block before bystanders got his attention by pounding on the side of the vehicle. Had it not been for the full-face helmet, spine protector, and other body armor he was wearing, he might have died. I do not want to think what would have happened had a bicyclist been in his place. I use Fairview as part of my bike commuting route, and I see plenty of cyclists (and joggers) doing the same. Having the Ducks here makes me nervous.

  2. Giff Jones

    The DUCKS (those without webbed feet) are already intrusive to many houseboaters as they are. To have their main staging area right in our residential neighborhood at the old NOAA site with all the noise, parking, and traffic will likely be intolerable for surrounding neighbors. I suggest everyone who cares should write in support of our community and in opposition to the invasion of the DUCKS.

  3. DUCK IT


    Great post. I couldn’t agree more with you; however, stepping back for a minute, this issue appears rather comical. The ECC was the main force pushing for the NOAA site to remain industrial marine. What do you think you get with industrial marine zoning? You get boat ramps, you get traffic, and you get industrial work sites that don’t belong in close proximity to our families.

    I’d argue the vast majority of eastlakers would have rather had beautiful parks, trendy restaurants, retail, and water access where the NOAA site stands today. Unfortunately, the voice of a few, the ECC, was successful in pushing their agenda and they’re getting exactly what they deserve. Sadly, all the eastlakers who work, and don’t have time for politics will have to suffer along with out-of-touch people in the council.

  4. mdfrancisco

    Read the soils report on the website. The DUKWs will not be loading or unloading passengers at the 1949 Fairview site- just going into and getting out of the lake, according to what I read in the planning documents. I don’t think they will be going on Fairview north of Newton Street. It isn’t practical and why would they? The ducks are loaded at the Space Needle and they are just launching and going ashore at Newton Street.

    Regarding ECC being “the main force” for keeping this water dependent and/or industrial I doubt it. There are all kinds of laws and regulations that push that agenda with or without the ECC. Besides which, this is private property and zoned for such use. I suggest you voice your safety and noise concerns to the ECC so that we can speak with one voice, if you don’t have the time to go it alone. I share your concerns about impacts of the added truck traffic across the “Cheshiahud Loop” – and the possible hazard to cyclists and pedestrians in particular.

  5. LakeUnionNeighbors

    Brian Tracey’s goal is to avoid the wait at the public boat launch at the north end of Lake Union. One could easily conclude that his launchings and landings will be at high speeds because this ramp is being built so that the launch and landing can be a straight shot to the to Fairview Avenue East road surface heading either east or west out of the lake. This way his boat / trucks can speed down Fairview and straight into the water. The same is true for coming out. He will speed out and onto the road surface of Fairview going east. This will help Mr. Tracey save his company time because his trucks will not have to wait at all for launching and landing at the current Northlake boat launch. This will increase his turn-around of these large tourist trucks that float so as to increase his profits.
    Most Boat Launching ramps are purposefully designed so that one must make a turn before executing a launch. This is to slow down the traffic so as not to make major disturbances to the shoreline. This ramp design is purposefully made so that the DUCK Truck can easily launch at full speed from the street. The same is true for take out from the ramp to the public street, Fairview Avenue East. The design allow the use of this ramp without turning. Environmental standards have been set to prevent direct access to water areas and ramps should be designed to prevent direct access from the road without requiring a deliberate turn.

    Construction of a ramp and parking facilities can cause increased erosion and associated turbidity as a result of altering the shoreline and shoreline habitats, smothering of benthic animals, and release of toxic substances not only in the construction process but on an ongoing basis with toxic releases from the boats engines and litter from the large numbers of tourists.
    Again, I guess that since it is just Lake Union we shouldn’t be so protective of the water. (Tongue in cheek)
    This area has a past that should trigger at least a small review and some oversight by people who are knowledgeable about Brownfields. It was a major WWII shipping and boat repair yard. More recently it was the home of NOAA and although I think NOAA made serious efforts to control their impacts, (except for the fire on the piers) the buildings, facilities and the lake were never given any attention for efforts to implement restoration of the shoreline habitats and or polluted sediments.
    Some agency needs to require basic protections of the shoreline and the habitat. (We can’t count on DPD.)
    I am not necessarily opposed to this business, but I do not believe they are trying to stay within the rules. Given the overall dishonesty I am not sure the operator is going to be a good neighbor.
    So far I think DPD is planning to allow the developer, Brian Tracey to move ahead under cover of no notice to the public. I received an email yesterday from DPD project officer saying that they are going to move ahead regardless of the issues of no proper notice to the public on the MUP sign. Usually MUPs are advertised by White Boards (this one is hidden and I have pictures to show how obviously hidden it is) but also the usual procedure is to make placement of orange or yellow notices on telephone poles near the site announcing the Master Use Permit application. This latter process has not happened. The comment period ends on October 19th.

  6. melanie Markle

    I am a resident of 2017 Fairview Ave. E. and wish to be included as a party of record in the MUP # 3013612 proposal re: Brian Tracy’s Duck Tours at 1949 Fairview Ave. E.
    My houseboat will literally be a hundred feet
    away from the constant comings and goings of these large and noisy vessels.
    As an asthma sufferer I am terrified by the idea of diesel fumes hanging in the air throughout the day. Diesel particles have a particular affinity for the human lung, and in our aging population the health risks could be considerable. I have also undergone chest radiation and am at increased risk for lung cancer.
    Many if not most of us living in the houseboat community live here because of the peace and tranquility this lifestyle affords. This would be hugely compromised if not destroyed by the close proximity of such loud and constant traffic.
    I fear the wildlife would virtually disappear, which would break our hearts. If this must go forward, I would hope that the routes both entering and exiting could be shifted southward and westward to minimize the impact on our beloved community.
    Thank you for your attention on this matter of huge concern.
    Melanie Markle

  7. bill

    Heard a story about this on KOMO radio this morning [Fri-11/09] about 705-710am–Not many details, but I’m glad this is being publicized–

  8. Sally Macdonald

    Our floating homes dock is wondering if the comment period on this project was extended so that we can add our two cents to the deliberations. I can’t tell by the project records if that happened. Anyone here know?

  9. B F

    For those interested, DPD will be holding a public meeting on this project to collect additional public comments on Jan. 8 at the Seward School (lunch room) from 6:30 to 9:00 pm.

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