Pete's Harbor: Be careful what you wish for

Protesting residents at Pete's Harbor have had a nasty awakening.

Today, Pet's Harbor threw int he towel in it's ongoing battle with the State of California Lands Commission.  It formally terminated it's leases to the outer harbor.

What does this mean for the remaining residents, Save Pete's Harbor and the 99 other groups that represent them (it's a joke dammit.) that were fighting evictions? They have a brand new landlord; one that won't  notice no one is paying rent for 20 years and then demand a huge back payment; and one that won't do a lick of maintenance to the place.  How long do you think it will be until state troopers are called in?

What does it mean for a public marina there? Fuhgedaboudit.  The land available for parking belongs to Paula Uccelli, and soon the Pauls Corporation.  How much you bet they won't consider overtures from the state to share parking?

What does it mean for the development of the housing and PRIVATE marina there? Full speed ahead, baby.  Now that the state issue is resolved, the city has no objections to the development that is expected to bring in more than $2 million in property taxes annually, as well as create 2,000 jobs.

The diehards at Pete's Harbor were led down the garden path by people who convinced them that all they had to do and they would get to stay indefinitely.  Now the lights will be going off.  If I were one of those gullible people I'd be pretty damned pissed right now.  Those that knew the reality of the situation are long gone.

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Bill Jones June 25, 2013 at 10:48 AM
Sounds like it just opened up some free dockage, assuming the state has still not figured out how to bill and collect yet:) Who needs electricity? Pretty much the same as anchoring out. Those with a good solar and wind system should have no problem. A small generator can supplement the battery charging for those times a little boost is needed. As for the parking the last time I checked the state still has the authority over what is developed along the water's edge and will require the developer to meet certain requirements for public use. Could get very interesting, as if it is lacking interest now:)
Chuck Reilly June 25, 2013 at 12:01 PM
Totally a complex issue. However, the Peninsula has little need for new condo developments or retail strips. New development MUST be near Public Transportation - so that excludes anything EAST of the freeway ...
Lou Covey, The Local Motive June 25, 2013 at 12:15 PM
Chuck, I get what you are saying. Transit corridor, high density housing, that's all great. However, the real estate along the El Camino corridor is EXPENSIVE property. More expensive than the land at Pete's Harbor. Acquiring it will require extensive use of eminent domain for the purpose of handing it to private development... and we all know how well that turned out for Redwood City the last time. Plus, all housing authorities say the same thing about meeting the housing needs on the Peninsula and to meet the needs by half, we would have to build a 5 story canyon along El Camino ... nothing but condos ... from the Atherton Border to Sequoia High School. We must build along that corridor as much as possible, but it isn't enough to meet the need of all levels of housing, not just affordable. We have to remember that most of the jobs are not being added along to El Camino Corridor. They are being added along the 101 corridor. It makes more sense to build housing close to jobs. And that is east of 101.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive June 25, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Bill, The feds have authority on water's edge. But the Paul's proposal is off that demarcation. This is all municipal now and the city needs the revenue. The state has responsibility now for the improvement, which is the outer harbor, and the city has the authority to decide what access can be allowed regarding parking. If there isn't enough parking, there won't be a marina.
Alison Madden June 25, 2013 at 01:23 PM
No one can predict the ultimate final outcome of this complex situation. Even if she takes off docks, that land is subject to lease, there will be public access and residents should have plenty of parking in the overall development of this are (Bair Island and its associated streets, parking lots). The 1983 Act "giving" a state waterway to Pete in exchange for the commitment to operate a public marina is subject to challenge. Be careful the chess moves you make. And there are not 99 groups, there are two, and there is a reason for that. And it is appropriate that people follow their strategic visions. One group is more focussed on CEQA and the EIR and climate change, etc. and that is proper. The other is more focussed on public trust issues and that is proper. There is no conflict or cross purpose, other than in your dreams, Lou.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive June 25, 2013 at 03:28 PM
You have absolutely no sense of humor, do you, Alison?
Alison Madden June 25, 2013 at 05:28 PM
Lou, I have a tremendous sense of humor. The feds (Coast Guard and Army Corps) have jurisdiction here regarding permits, work and safety. The State has public trust jurisdiction. The 1983 Act that gave the inner harbor waterway to Pete is subject to challenge now that they are closing the outer harbor and making the inner harbor private. This is a long haul.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive June 25, 2013 at 05:53 PM
The reality is, Alison, that it IS a long haul, and the current residents will still be forced to leave before anyone steps forward to take over the facility. And those residents have only you and the other 99 advisers to blame for it. (and I bet you still don't get the joke.)
Michael Craig June 25, 2013 at 11:55 PM
Lou-glad I am not the only one that gets this. NIMBY's lose again and we will wait 10-15 years for development. See "Save Bay Meadows" for reference. Original plans for development were something 15 years ago and it is just now starting to see some fruition. Tenants can now expect police action to physically remove them as squatters on public land. Maybe the "99" can offer them free housing:0)
Bill Jones June 26, 2013 at 10:19 AM
I am willing to bet that the state will do nothing to remove the (squatters). What is the difference in tying a boat up to a dock which has its pilings secured in state owned mud and dropping an anchor in the bay or in the water way adjacent to the outer harbor. I see it as not being any different and they certainly do not remove folks at anchor. Shades of Richardson Bay:)
Alison Madden June 26, 2013 at 12:39 PM
Lou/Michael/Bill - Lou I think I get the joke, and I have a sense of humor, it's just not yours. Don't be certain that people need to leave there. The judge in San Mateo County superior court ruled that there was a nexus between the inner and outer harbor for purposes of the 1983 Act, the exchange giving away public trust lands for public access. Although that is a narrow UD if you knew the many rulings going on in court you would know that it is unpredictable when things get in court. Also, if the magnanimous Pauls Corp. ("partner to Redwood City") was going to operate a public marina on the outer harbor, why would it now privatize the 100 slip inner harbor as Mr. Alberti has mentioned? The PC said it was going to have a marina and kayak launch at One (now None) Marina, and they still haven't built it. But what shows up in the Inner Harbor Precise Plan? Suggestions that energy facilities should be there (hydro? wind? we don't know). Mr. Powers "just" allegedly "corrected" me on the record when I said the One Marina plans called for public kayak launch and it hadn't been built (both true statements). He said they were going to build it. When? And if ANYONE thinks NIMBY's is at score 0 here, the real NIMBY here from day one has been "no boaters in our backyard" (the condo builders). So far whether it's NIMBY or reverse NIMBY (which the 2010 RWC General Plan condemns NIMBY'ism by the way) the score is 0 / 0. Any resolution is surely on both a short view and long view here, things will happen any given day but the fight is long from over. The 1983 Act can potentially be invalidated as contrary to federal public trust law. Why would this developer and harbor utterly fail to negotiate in good faith to keep this resource? They never wanted to from day one - gave 3 weeks notice of a single hearing, yada ya in the middle of winter, total strongarm. The only overture by the developer was game-playing to try to buy out and divide the group. We made a good faith offer to run this marina and leave and come back. Whether that is still possible is now in the hands of a number of different entities.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive June 26, 2013 at 12:44 PM
You have a much higher opinion of how our state government works than I do, Alison.
Lou Covey, The Local Motive June 26, 2013 at 12:47 PM
Bill, that all makes perfect sense, until there is no power, water or sewer facilities provided. The state may not evict them, but it's going to get very uncomfortable for the remaining residents and that's how the faithful few will be forced to leave.
Duped by Paula June 26, 2013 at 07:16 PM
Lou I'd like to tell you not everyone was fighting evictions. In September when Paula met with tenants Paula said definitively that there would be NO public marina and everyone had to leave by January 15. She's changing her story now. Tenants fought the privatization of the marina since Paula made it clear there was nothing to lose by doing that. Almost all tenants left with only a tiny handful staying to fight the evictions. Alison Madden looks like she represents those few tenants and she represented the ones who tried to get a settlement from this situation with the developer and with Paula. I don't think that is a big group if it is just focused on direct things for that few people. I was duped by Paula but not by everyone. I don't think they provided advice to people to stay since their members all left but there is one group still called Save Pete's Harbor. They are still the ones with the public trust focus. That's what their byline says "Working to Preserve the State-Owned Outer Harbor as a Marina Open to the Boating Public" There may be another little group but nobody knows what it really wants except those few people staying at the harbor. I've heard from different people that it wants money, settlements, the leases to the outer harbor, and to take down Paula. All of those things aren't public trust or CEQA or Sea Level Rise. Maybe that group should introduce itself to the public. The public that the public trust is all about.
Bill Jones June 27, 2013 at 10:15 AM
Lou you are right, losing power, water and sewage is definitely not for the faint of heart. I on the other hand enjoy living on the hook for long periods of time and find that I manage quite well with a little planning. When I was in Pete's Harbor I made regular sewage runs to the pump out station around the corner at the city marina. One could also fill up their fresh water tanks at the same time. It beats being homeless:) Could someone help me out here? What does the acronym NIMBY stand for:)
Lou Covey, The Local Motive June 27, 2013 at 11:21 AM
Bill, NIMBY is "not in my back yard" and it isn't really appropriate in this discussion. This is more DJDSST, or "don't just do something, stand there." which is the motto of the 21st century progressive.
Judy Villano July 29, 2013 at 04:27 PM
Where is the update from the July 23, 2013?? Wasn't able to go but would like to know what transpired. Thanks.


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