DID YOU KNOW That Public Trust Lands Are Available For Residential Lease at Sandy Beach in Vallejo?

Homes on Public Trust lands/waters at Sandy Beach in Vallejo, CA from Google
Homes on Public Trust lands/waters at Sandy Beach in Vallejo, CA from Google
     According to the State Lands Commission cover email obtained through a public records act request they wrote an "informational"  letter to the City of Redwood City regarding acceptable uses of the granted lands the City has.  A couple of items from the letter:

“Commission staff strongly urges the City to take this opportunity to have the houseboats removed from sovereign land in order to come into compliance with the City’s granting statues and The Public Trust.”

“Traditionally, public trust uses were limited to water-related commerce, navigation, and fishing.  In more recent years, however, the California Supreme Court has held that the Public Trust embraces the right of the public to use the navigable waters of the state for bathing, swimming, boating and general recreational purposes.  The Court has also held that the Public Trust is sufficiently flexible to encompass changing public needs...”
“Based on advice from the State Attorney’s Office, Commission staff have consistently taken the position that residential use of sovereign lands, such as the floating community at Docktown, is inconsistent with the Public Trust.”

     However as my neighbor, Lee Callister, discovered in Vallejo things are a bit different.  In Vallejo’s case here are some excerpted documents:


“It is the staff’s position, supported by advice from the staff of the Attorney General, that residential use is not consistent with the Public Trust under which the Commission holds State-owned sovereign lands, and should be permitted at Sandy Beach only to the extent it now exists.”


“Authorize issuance to Alan and Linda Barker of a general lease –recreational and residential use beginning December 8th, 2005 for a term of 20 years, for reconstruction of house and deck on the land described in Exhibit A.”


(Speaking Ms. Jennifer Lucchesi, Executive Officer) "Commission staff recently held a public meeting on June 19th for the residents of the Sandy Beach community, which is a small waterfront community near the City of Vallejo along the Carquinez Strait. Staff is continuing its efforts to ensure that those occupying State property are brought under lease with the Commission."

"Of the 40 improved lots at Sandy Beach, 37 have improvements that encroach onto State property. We only have currently six active leases and seven additional ones are in holdover. So we think there's a tremendous amount progress that can be made in terms of bringing these folks under lease.” 

  Why are residential leases not only being allowed but in fact actively encouraged on Public Trust lands (waters) at Sandy Beach?  Why isn't there any discussion of grandfathering the existing floating community that now exists at Docktown?    What is the difference between Docktown and Sandy Beach?  The agenda of the City of Redwood City?

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Reality Check April 09, 2014 at 01:53 PM
http://www.timesheraldonline.com/news/ci_23906899/vallejo-neighborhood-faces-state-fees "Much to their surprise, Vallejo's Sandy Beach residents soon will have to shell out potentially thousands of dollars to the state to rent portions of their properties that jut out into the Mare Island Strait. "The South Vallejo waterfront neighborhood was the first in California to receive the unexpected news from the State Lands Commission requiring affected residents to enter into lease agreements."
Reality Check April 09, 2014 at 01:56 PM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vallejo,_California South Vallejo also has another historic area "Sandy Beach", the first area in Vallejo to be settled. Although this area is located in South Vallejo, Sandy Beach is actually unincorporated Solano County. The houses here, located on the shore at the mouth of the Napa River, were formerly fishing shacks originally built in the 1800s.
Lee Callister April 09, 2014 at 05:52 PM
Sandy Beach place has a long and interesting history. Apparently the land itself is not under State Lands, but most of the houses extend out onto docks where they are, and which means the Public Trust doctrine also applies. I personally have no objection to them being there. Only the fact that State Lands is negotiating leases with them to stay while telling the city that Docktown residents have to move - because WE live on water subject to the (same) Public Trust. And I note that BCDC has authorized floating homes in Sausalito, San Francisco, Berkeley, and Alameda, all of which are also trust lands. Given that we have been here 50 years already, and that both the City and State lands knew it it seems grossly unfair to tell us we now have to move. If we were under BCDC jurisdiction they would most likely have just grandfatherd us in, which is what State Lands should do here.


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