Family living on boat, says getting harassed to leave

Dustin Dietrich moved his boat, along with his wife and two children, to Surfside Beach in October 2017. Dietrich has always loved the water, serving in the Coast Guard, Navy and even owns his own diving business. That family has a 12 month lease to stay at this slip and the owner says he's been keeping up with was rent payments.

Right before Christmas they say they start getting harassed with citations and complaints from neighbors.

"I was approached on Christmas even told that I had two hours to leave or they were going to cut my dock lines and they were going to turn the power off and everything like that and I have two children a board in a 12 month lease contract signed so I was actually shocked and amazed", says Dietrich.

Surfside Beach has ordinances about this in the police chief says Dietrich could only stay there for a month. "They can't live on a boat they can live on a temporary permit for five days they can get a permit for five days from City Hall and they can get six of them a year which is only 30 days and we will only allow that to any recreational camper or boat or whatever but we've never had a bow petition for a permit", says Chief Gary Phillips.

The chief also says Dietrich must be connected to utilities during that time. Chief Phillips says, "sections 32 of the recreational vehicle code, it states that no person in about that's registered as a recreational vehicle no person can live in a recreational vehicle without utilities which is water electricity and sewer". Dietrich says he's connected to water and sewer and says that the family only uses the bathroom inside the rental property building on land. But Dietrich says the water his boat is in, is not owned by Surfside Beach but the state in the US Army Corps of Engineers and that he also pays to be there. "It's maintained and created by the Army Corps of Engineers and we pay a lease contract for the water in the ground beneath it through a commercial coastal easement and so this waterway is a jurisdiction or this waterway is a jurisdiction over by no means the jurisdiction of the city of Surfside", says Dietrich.

Now he will have to go to court and fight this case.

"We can cite them everyday but we choose not to do that until they come to court and had their peace and talked to court first", says Chief Phillips.

"I want to convince them to sit down instead of not allowing us to speak at city Council but to actually let us have a voice so that we can negotiate a regulated responsible live aboard community", says Dietrich.

Dietrich hopes to be able to speak at the next city council meeting in February about this issue. He says it's more than just a citation and that he's a conversationalist and wants to have his family grow up in this atmosphere.