After rejecting an offer from Pauls Corporation that would give them $50,000 toward relocation fees and a promise to keep at least part of the Pete's Harbor marina open to the public, a small group of current and former tenants sent Paul Powers of Pauls Corp. a counter-offer that asks for more than $1.2 million and a list of additional conditions.
In an e-mail, Madden said she and the sample group of tenants she has been conversing with over potential terms for a settlement with Pauls Corporation "considered an ironic demand of $920,920.920 to represent learning of [the potential sale of the harbor to Pauls Corp.] on Sept. 20, after two months of concealment."
By "concealment," Madden is referring to many tenants' position that Paula Uccelli knew she was planning to sell Pete's to Paul Powers for months before she informed them, and in fact even denied the rumor when asked, thereby robbing tenants of two extra non-winter months they could have been preparing to move elsewhere.
By the end of the letter, however, Madden said her sub-group of tenants decided to ask for the symbolic amount of $1,220,920.92, though Madden pointed out, "The [dollar] amount is intended to be something that would not be accepted, to highlight what we are seeking."
Following are highlights of some of the sub-group's other demands:
- "Those who have not left, or who left under duress/protest, would like to stay or come back until the BCDC's and SLC's approvals are final. SLC's is expected no sooner than May 2013, and BCDC's not for at least six (6) months thereafter."
- That all current and former tenants are found to be "worthy of a relocation package," and that those who have already left can use relocation assistance "in arrears."
- Parking in the new development is assured, pursuant to the City's approval of parking expansion.
Parts of the letter also suggest that Save Pete's Harbor members plan to ask the State Lands Commission (SLC) for permission to run a commercial marina in the outer harbor themselves, and ask that a floating office and access to amenities such as restrooms and showers be provided to them in order to do so. They also say they have selected several candidates within Save Pete's Harbor that they believe could serve as a suitable harbormaster.
In further explanation of the approximate $1.2-million amount they asked for, Madden said, the tenants are asking for not only relocation costs, but loss and damages incurred due to being forced out of the marina so fast.
"People lost more than two-thirds the value of boats and trailers, and had to sell and move in the middle of winter after the Oct. 31 Planning Commission appeal. Many boats and trailers were sold for less than one-third of their value in many cases," she said. "Me, myself, I moved the week before and during Christmas and was severely impacted. We have fraud claims, lost value, and more."
In the letter, Madden also personally addressed the fact that several members of Save Pete's Harbor have said they are angry that she is giving the impression she represents the whole group, and has been making decisions on their behalf without their consent or input.
"I am aware that some former tenants have the perspective [that I am] not representing them," she wrote to Paul Powers, adding that she understands "cruisers" who dock temporarily at Pete's Harbor do not have the same "agenda" as permanent tenants.
"I believe that the majority of those who are current and former tenants do support my advocacy on their behalf. I am the appellant and the attorney for several in potential [actions]," she wrote. "If it is revealed between now and the appeal that this does not continue to be the case, and that more assertive influences prevail, then that is acceptable to me."
Though many have been supporting efforts to preserve a commercial marina through different avenues or groups, Madden insisted they still all have the same core desire.
"I acknowledge there are 'cruiser,' 'live-aboard/recreational' and 'Occupy' members of [Save Pete's Harbor], but the common thread is a commercial harbor and marina," she said. "We believe the offer you extended represents the least that the State Lands Commission will grant, so it was not accepted."
Paul Powers calls counter-offer 'most unreasonable'
Patch was provided a copy of a letter signed by Paul Powers of Pauls Corporation and sent to Alison Madden in response to the counter-offer asking for more than $1.2 million and additional terms and conditions.
The letter said:
"I was quite disappointed with your Jan. 29 written response to the offer we made you on Jan. 24. The demand for $1,220,920.92 seemed most unreasonable.
Although many of the other demands in your Jan. 29 response are unacceptable to our company, I do not believe it is productive to outline each point of disagreement, since it is obvious that we are very far apart.
Additionally...we have heard from individual former Pete's Harbor tenants who adamantly state that you do not represent them. It is obvious to us that there is not a representative of the former tenants of Pete's Harbor who has the authority to speak and negotiate for all those who wish to influence how we utilize the outer harbor in the event agency approvals are obtained.
We regret that these negotiations with you have not been productive and again, thank you for taking the time to meet with us."
State Lands Commission has the final say?
With negotations toward a potential settlement and agreement between tenants and Pauls Corporation appearing to have reached a dead end, it seems the final fate of Pete's Harbor now lies with the State Lands Commission.
Reportedly, the SLC will discuss the fate of the outer harbor leases at its next meeting in April and, if Save Pete's Harbor plans to continue standing behind its appeal, that meeting with the Redwood City Council will take place in May.
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