Patch has obtained a copy of a letter sent by the California State Lands Commission (SLC) to the City of Redwood City regarding the controversial development proposal by Pauls Corporation for a 411-unit waterfront condo community and the privatization of all boat slips in the marina for the condos' residents.
The letter, dated Jan. 25, written by Grace Kato, the SLC's Public Lands Manager, in essence confirms that the Uccellis' two leases covering the outer harbor area of Pete's Harbor cannot be transferred to Pauls Corporation for the development he proposes without requesting formal permission from the SLC, and would be dependent upon the SLC's approval of such a request.
The letter also implies that such a request might be questionable, because the original leases between the SLC and Pete's Harbor's namesake founder, Pete Uccelli, specified that the harbor must be operated as a commercial marina, and Pauls Corporation has indicated it would privatize all the harbor's boat slips and reserve them for the residents of the new waterfront homes.
With regards to the one of the two leases - the larger lease - Kato's letter said, "The terms of this lease provide that it may be transferred or assigned, consistent with the uses authorized under the lease, upon prompt notice to [the SLC]."
But, with regards to the smaller of the two leases, Kato said, "[The smaller lease] has slightly different terms in several respects, one of which requires [the SLC's] consent prior to any transfer or assignment."
Interestingly, Kato then said that, as of Jan. 25, the SLC has not received any notice that Paula Uccelli intends or wishes to transfer the leases to Pauls Corporation, nor has she requested permission to do so.
Kato then addressed the issue of the leases' terms, addressing how the marina must be operated.
"Moreover, while [the larger lease] does not require the SLC's consent for all transfers or assignments, SLC approval is necessary for a change of use from what the leases dictate."
"The express terms of each lease require the facilities at Pete's Harbor to be continuously operated as a 'commercial marina.' To date, the position of the SLC has been that the intended conversion of the site to a private marina would not satisfy the requirement that the lease site be operated as a 'commercial marina,' and thus would require an application for a lease amendment, or new lease."
"Accordingly," Kato continued, "in this instance, SLC consent would be required for the change of use proposed for [the larger lease]. The SLC has not received an application for an amendment, new lease, or other action that would authorize a private marina at the site, nor has the SLC given such approval."
James Lee, a member of Occupy Redwood City who has been actively supporting the efforts of the Pete's Harbor tenants and members of the group Save Pete's Harbor to keep the marina from being privatized, said Thursday evening he was disappointed all the harbor tenants weren't able to see the SLC's letter before the decision was made between Save Pete's Harbor member Alison Madden, the City of Redwood City, and Pauls Corporation to postpone Save Pete's Harbor's appeal hearing, which was scheduled to be heard by the City Council on Monday.
"I am really shocked this wasn't made public to harbor tenants. The SLC's response to the City basically vindicates our position and indicates success for our appeal. Which means there's no reason our appeal had to be postponed."
Patch will continue to follow this story.
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