Alan Richard, a police captain with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and a former chairman of the Florida Bar Admiralty Law Committee, said that although larger cities typically have more traffic on their neighboring waterways, it's usually the smaller cities that have these ordinances. "The bigger ones have better things to worry about," he said.
Local anchoring ordinances tend to be created in response to people's grievances regarding sewage discharge, littering, noise levels, or unsightly vessels in the anchorage, Richard observed, adding that passing a broad anchoring ordinance seemed unnecessary. "Most of the complaints one hears as the basis for regulating anchoring could easily be separately addressed," he said.
In December 2001, the city of Tampa decided to clean up an area known as Davis Islands Seaplane Basin. Andy Bartley, who runs a one-man landscaping company in the city, found a letter on his boat informing him that he had 60 days to remove his boat or it would be impounded by the city. The letter asserted that his boat and others were anchored there without a permit, yet when he called to obtain a permit, he was told that permits didn't exist.