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Old 10-01-2012, 06:51 AM   #1
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Default Pete's Harbor: yet another marina being sold to develop condos

We're in the San Francisco Bay area at present. Lovely sailing. Great place for any cruiser to visit. But visit while you can! You see, the marinas keep closing one-by-one.

Some for reasons of dredging costs/environmental difficulties and others because land use trends are still tumbling in the direction of private development rather than marine use.

Right now, the marina we're in is being sold out from under an absolutely lovely group of boaters who've been here forever. Many are liveaboards and the marina is one of the few that are welcoming of liveaboards in the Bay area.

We cruisers can always move on to another place or do a combo of anchoring and visitors docks--it's true. But these publicly available marinas and visitors docks are getting scarcer here in the USA. Fewer marinas are willing to let cruisers stay on their boats for more than a few days or two weeks and local governments are also putting severe anchoring restrictions in place.

One by one the marinas disappear and the next thing we know--we won't be able to do a lot of harbor hopping along this West Coast of the USA.

If you're a cruiser who cares about keeping marinas that welcome cruisers open, please consider signing the change.org petition for saving this particular marina as well as forwarding the link to the people you know. A little background info about the particular marina closing is here on our personal blog as well.

Fair winds,
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Old 10-01-2012, 03:28 PM   #2
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I would think the marina would make the condos more valuable. You immediately attract people who own boats and a marina is always picturesque.

Maybe I'm biased.
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Old 10-01-2012, 04:29 PM   #3
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Ah, that could be true except this marina won't be quite so picturesque because the condos are several stories high--remember how ugly the backside of SD's Harbor island is with the tall blocky hotels butting up against the marinas there? Somehow the developers/planners in SD managed to take something which should/could be picturesque and make it look downright industrial there. A real feat!

This marina has a little over 260 slips at present. The present owner states the marina will close and all boats must be gone by mid-January if the development is approved. The developer states verbally to some people that he plans to put a marina here for the exclusive use of the condo owners. Repeat another way--only the residents of the new development can use the slips for their personal boats--no visiting cruisers and nobody living in CA nearby like you do could keep a boat here. To all people he states that there will be no living aboard/staying aboard the boats. There will be 3 parking spots for the public to use and a walkway for the public to view the water--these are minimum requirements for one of his permits it seems.

I rather doubt that the developer will put a marina back into this spot for many years to come. He has another larger condo project in the works nearby called One Marina. There, he closed the approx 500 slip marina 5 or 6 years ago, pulled out all the docks and left the area empty. Nearby dockmasters and others in the marine industry state that the developer says he can't afford to put a marina into that spot right now because of the environmental hurdles a new marina would require. Duh...if he'd kept the old one? I wasn't around so I cannot speak to the condition of the other one though. Perhaps it really couldn't be kept.

So, in summary, he's removed a marina with about 500 slips and left it as a pond with no clear plans for when he will put in another marina there but he's building more than 1000 condos around the pond and now he's planning on similar here on a slightly smaller scale of only 411 residences.

Do I really think that a marina will continue to exist here? No. And especially not one that will provide access to California boaters other than those who live right here on the waterfront. And most concerning to me as a cruiser is that cruisers won't be welcome to stay here.

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Old 10-01-2012, 06:07 PM   #4
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Sheesh.

Yes, environmental concerns make marina development cost-prohibitive. Our marina needs a single new concrete pile. A replacement for a previous pile in the exact same location. It's taking months to get approval. The cost of the pile and installation is a tiny fraction of the cost of the permit. Very expensive.

Real silliness often has a government behind it.
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:13 PM   #5
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Update:


Well, what I heard about the developer saying he couldn't put back the marina because of government red-tape wasn't quite true. Seems he really doesn't want to put back the marina anyway. Read on.


This is is a long saga with a lot of interesting twists and turns. We stayed there in 2012 and really do believe that what is happening in Redwood City is a travesty for recreational boaters. The same developer is systematically removing slips on private lands or blocking access to the ones on state lands and the local government doesn't really “get it” as to why waterfront lands should be used for water-dependent activities like marinas, boat repair facilities, and public access. The developer's case is that slips require parking and parking displaces some of the condos he could be building. Bottom line is ROI for his investors.


Thus, the marinas must go. The developer already took out over 427 slips at the nearby marina on private lands and the public access marina on state lands at Pete's Harbor is 263 slips. That totals up to about half of all slips in Redwood City waterways. The local government ignored the need to really have a valid EIR addressing all impacts (CEQA) and rubber stamped the plans. Goodbye marinas that are welcoming to cruisers, hello condos with a view of the (empty) waterways.


Status right now? The group “Save Pete's Harbor” has incorporated as a non-profit and is raising money to continue fighting to keep a public access marina for all recreational boaters there on state lands in Smith Slough. There is another group of liveaboard boaters who are focused on something a little different but I'm not privy to the details because their group is private and not for the public. Of that group, some of those liveaboards refused to leave the marina, some have sued the land-owner, some have tried to cut deals with the developer. So there it gets a little messy to understand all the twists and turns.


If you want more information about it, you can go to About Save Pete’s Harbor | Save Pete's Harbor


On May 6th, 2013 there is an important city meeting where the appeal of the development permit will be argued as well. I'll post here if I hear more information—or you can contact the Save Pete's Harbor group.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:06 AM   #6
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I think anytime us cruisers/boaters risk loosing a public marina we should pay attention and do everything we can to ensure that this does not happen.
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Old 05-02-2013, 03:34 PM   #7
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Everywhere the free anchorages are turning to mooring fields making no room for visitors. The marinas to be private for no visitors it bad too.
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:10 PM   #8
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Update here Vindication Imminent for Save Pete
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Old 05-13-2013, 03:08 AM   #9
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Well, good interim news: The City Council voted unanimously to return the project to the planning stages so that public boater access in the adjacent slough (on state lands) would be able to be considered. There is still a chance (perhaps a likely chance) that a viable marina won't make it through all the planning, but it is nice to see this going back to the drawing board because of the problems the boaters of SPH alerted the city to.
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