The owner of iconic Pete’s Harbor in Redwood City promised tenants yesterday that, if the property sells to a potential developer, they can remain at the marina through the end of the year.
In a closed door meeting Thursday morning with tenants and potential residential developer Paul Powers of RWC Harbor Communities, LLC, owner Paula Uccelli told tenants on month-to-month leases that, if the property sells, arrangements can be made to let them stay through the end of 2012, according to a statement issued by her attorney Ted Hannig.
Past that point, circumstances will be considered individually, she said.
The developer has submitted an application for a permit and tentative parcel map for 411 residential units on a 10.6-acre parcel along the Bayfront of Uccelli Boulevard. The plan doesn’t require zoning changes and therefore no special approvals because it does not propose high-rise buildings or the filling in of the Bay.
Tenants who declined to be named said they were "greatly saddened” by yesterday morning’s meeting and called the 45- to 60-day eviction time frame "shocking” because winter is the worst time to sell a boat.
Hannig said that, since June 2002, all live-aboard leases included language acknowledging the possibility of relocation. All leases the past 12 years have also been month-to month because of the sale potential.
The tenants conceded signing such agreements but said most did so when there were more live-aboard marinas and slips were available elsewhere. One said several have family or business ties to Redwood City, including some who need to be close to the Veteran’s Administration hospital in Palo Alto.
"Pete’s Harbor is one of the last remaining places in the Bay Area with affordable housing. Many of us simply cannot afford to move onto land,” one tenant wrote in an email to the Daily Journal.
The marina has 211 slips of which a small number are full-time live-aboard tenants, according to Uccelli.
Uccelli said she plans to reside at Peter’s Harbor if the residential development happens.
Pete’s Harbor was the brainchild of Paula’s husband, Pete, who died in September 2005. He opened the 21-acre harbor in 1958 on former swamp land and it is now considered a landmark.
In her prepared statement, Uccelli compared the loss of her husband to the tenants’ concerns.
"I do know how difficult loss and change can be; seven years ago I never envisioned I would be running Pete’s Harbor without Pete but I learned to adjust,” she said. "The responsible thing for me to do for the family is look to the future.”