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.