Lakebay Marina Cafe Reopens - For Now

The latest sign of progress for Lakebay Marina owner Mark Scott appears to slow anticipated enforcement actions underway by Pierce County and multiple Washington state agencies.


The split hull of the Skittigate, one of four boats that sank at the marina dock last winter, requires removal by July 25 according to the Dept. of Ecology. Photo: Lisa Bryan, KP News

Lakebay Marina Cafe returned to business as usual July 20 to the delight of local fans and visiting boaters awaiting their return to the iconic scene of summer memories made in South Puget Sound.

Pierce County Building Official Jeffrey Rowe confirmed his department removed the restricted placard on the marina building July 16.

The Tacoma Pierce County Health Department issued a food service permit July 17 following an on-site inspection and signing off on all previously noted violations at the seasonal cafe.

“They satisfied the life safety issues on the first floor, the cafe,” Rowe wrote in an email to KP News, noting that the bar and stage areas have been removed as required. “We will be issuing a certificate of occupancy that will identify the limitations for occupancy to 49 for the cafe area including employees, and 79 people total for the dock area with no automobiles allowed, no living quarters above the cafe area and alcohol sales limited to beer and wine.”

“They have ‘safe to the touch’ power restored on the first floor,” Rowe wrote. “Currently the fuel station and shore power are secured.”

Electrical service at Lakebay Marina consists of three main parts: power to the shore, power to the cafe building, and power to the floating docks, including the fuel dock and moorage slips. All three had been ordered shut off by the Washington State Labor & Industries Dept. April 11.

L&I Electrical Inspection Compliance Field Supervisor Jeffrey Ault confirmed that marina owner Mark Scott hired an electrical contractor to perform necessary repairs to get one of the three services inspected and approved.

“The service supplies power to the restaurant and well only,” Ault wrote in an email to KP News. “There is NO power to the float docks, boat slips for the liveaboards or the fuel dock. There are MANY electrical corrections that will need to be completed before full power could ever be restored.”

Ault added that Scott’s contractor is on a timeline to complete his repairs or “else the electrical service will again be immediately disconnected if the deadlines are not met. At the time of my last inspection, the electrical contractor had removed all of the ‘touch hazards’ accessible to the public that could have resulted in electrical shock, electrocution or fire in the restaurant.”

Ault added that “any tampering, alterations or additional work done by Mr. Scott or one of his under-the-table ‘employees’ will also result in immediate disconnection and citations that will include civil penalties.”

Compliance with county codes, state regulations and federal statutes have been challenging for Scott, who remains in default on portions of his aquatic lease with the Department of Natural Resources (See “Legal Troubles Continue for Lakebay Marina Owner,” KP News, July 2019.)

Bobbi Cussins, deputy communications director for the Office of the Commissioner of Public Lands at the DNR, wrote in an email to KP News: “All I can say on behalf of the DNR is that we are engaged with the legal process.”

A number of other outstanding code violations with Pierce County remain regarding repeated and continuing prohibited land uses, charges that Scott appealed to the county hearing examiner and lost. Those county code violations were referred to the prosecuting attorney’s office for possible filing of criminal charges.

The Washington Co-op Egg and Poultry Association-Lakebay Station was added to the Washington Heritage Register of Historic Places June 28. This was the name Lakebay Marina used to apply for historic designation based on its past historical use. The application was written and shepherded by Cathy Williams, president of the Key Peninsula Historical Society.

In a letter to KP News, Director Allyson Brooks of the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation wrote that being listed in the State Register is an honor. “Listing in the register does not impose any federal or state restrictive covenants or easements, neither will it result in a taking. However, the listing does assure protective review of a property should a federal or state action have a potential adverse effect on the property’s historic value.”