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City Council may delay appeal on Pete's Harbor
January 26, 2013, 05:00 AM Daily Journal Staff Report

Redwood City councilmembers may delay a public hearing on letting Pete's Harbor owner Paula Uccelli move forward with sale and development plans until it receives more information about her lease on the outer marina area.

City staff is recommending the council continue the appeal of the Planning Commission's earlier approval of permits to allow sufficient time to understand the State Lands Commission's lease requirements. The commission owns the outer marina leased by Uccelli who wants to transfer it to developer Pauls Corp.

The developer plans to build 411 residential units adjacent to the marina and include the outer marina into the project.

Plan opponents who've filed suit to stop Uccelli argue the commission requires that portion to remain operable as a commercial harbor. Uccelli and her representatives counter that earlier disputes with the commission over 28 years of back rent have been resolved and gave the city a letter from the Attorney General's Office that states "From the perspective of SLC staff, the issues ... have been cured.”

Until the commission clarifies whether the planned development can use the outer marina as a private marina for residents only, city staff recommends deferring the matter, according to a report to the City Council.

Opponents are happy with the recommendation.

"We think it validates that our arguments were on point, and we hope that it results in the entire outer harbor being a dynamic and used public commercial marina for recreational boating,” wrote Alison Madden, a spokeswoman for the tenants, in an email.

If the council opts against delaying the hearing, it will consider whether to overturn the Planning Commission's earlier vote. The commission unanimously agreed Oct. 30 to approve the planned development permit and a parking exception. The decision came after a lengthy meeting in which opponents argued the plan was fast-tracked and eliminated affordable housing while supporters countered that development was the ultimate goal of the 21-acre marina's founder, Pete Uccelli,

The proposal didn't require zoning changes and therefore no special approvals by the city because it does not include high-rise buildings or the filling in of the Bay. The city also said the previously certified environmental impact report for the earlier now-defunct Marina Shores Village project that included Pete's Harbor was sufficient.

Harbor tenants were given until Jan. 15 to vacate but approximately 20 remained past the deadline because they'd either been given an extension to finalize arrangement or out of protest. Seven were unable to move their boats due to engine problems.

The City Council meets 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28 at City Hall, 1017 Middlefield Road, Redwood City.

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