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Former tenants of Pete's Harbor pull up anchor
January 17, 2013, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal Staff

Several Pete's Harbor residents pulled up anchor by Tuesday to meet an eviction date while approximately 20 remained past the midnight deadline either to protest or because they'd received an extension on leaving.

The refusal of some tenants to vacate the premises will most likely set course for court. Seven of the tenants can't move their boats due to engine problems, said spokeswoman Alison Madden. Some tenants were also given more time to make arrangements if they had mechanical issues or could not yet move into their planned new location.

An appeal is still pending before the City Council at the end of the month but, despite that possible outcome, the eviction by owner Paula Uccelli still stands, said spokesman Adam Alberti.

"The date stands regardless. In essence, Paula is going out of business as a harbor operator,” he said.

On Tuesday, the actual eviction date, Alberti announced that Pete's Harbor staff were available to ease any transition or answer questions. A few Occupy Redwood City members had arrived to bolster the tenants who had dug their heels in the sand but the situation was otherwise civil, he said.

An inquiry to the Occupy group for confirmation went unanswered.

As of late Tuesday, Alberti said Uccelli was still hopeful to have the tenants leave because going to court would end up being more time consuming and their presence was stalling the restoration and maintenance she must do to the piers before transferring the lease to developer Pauls Corp. which plans a 411-unit waterfront housing development.

On Wednesday, Madden said 20 boats with approximately 25 people remained, including the seven with engine problems. The others, she said, include a disabled and retired elderly man, a veteran who needs access to the Veterans Administration medical facility and a mother whose kids are enrolled in local schools.

Six to 10 slips fall outside the area of Uccelli's lease so some tenants there are staying, too, Madden said.

Last week, a judge denied a temporary restraining order request but the group is still hopeful about a lawsuit claiming that Uccelli didn't have the right to evict them because she doesn't have permission from the state commission from which she leases the land. The suit claims the land is required to be operated as a commercial marina and harbor which Uccelli's plans do not include so she is therefore in breach.

Uccelli's representatives counter the transfer should be allowed because she paid $409,253.24 for 18 years of back rent and interest to the State Lands Commission which paves the way for the lease transfer.

The battle between Uccelli and the tenants began last fall when she alerted them of development plans and the Jan. 15 eviction date for those living at the 60-year-old marina founded by her late husband, Pete Uccelli.

Michelle Durand can be reached by email: or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 102.

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