Just recently I was able to attend a screening of the almost completed documentary:"Houseboat Wars." "Houseboat Wars" is narrated as a folk tale about some of the residents of Galilee Harbor in Sausalito who set out to explore new ways of living on the water in the late 1960s. When the law came huffing and puffing at their doors, they fought back. Initially they also moved; in their case, a bit south to the more traditionally productive areas of the working waterfront.
They were not safe for long. Developers swooped into those areas with grandiose propositions to build hotels, condominiums, and substantially increase public coffers. When the developers gained control of the northern waterfront the community staged full out agitprop theatre and invited the media and the citizens of the rest of the area to weigh in.
Fast forward about forty years to the year 2001 when residents of Peninsula Marina were evicted to make way for the One Marina project.
Currently the residents of the former Pete’s Harbor marina are in a full-fledged battle to rebuild their community. The outer marina in Smith Slough has been completely removed without an environmental review. The last residents have been evicted. Lawsuits are in process. But the City planning process marches on as if nothing had happened.
At the same time the City of Redwood City is inviting developers to the Inner Harbor area that includes Docktown. Our community at Docktown, includes a number of former Peninsula Marina residents, former Pete’s Harbor residents, a nurse, therapists and counselors, IT managers, web developers, software engineers, pilots, artists, musicians, entrepreneurs and small business owners as well as office employees, blue collar workers and retirees on fixed incomes; most of whom work for a living, pay their taxes, and contribute to society. Several families have children. A lot of people have pets.
Using the tools available to a City government, Redwood City has created a “visioning process” which is normally accompanied by a temporary moratorium, the Inner Harbor Strategic Plan which I wrote about in my last blog. Nonetheless the City went ahead and disconnected my sewer. (Cue the scene in “Houseboat Wars” where the city had PGE cut off electricity for the residents.) Meanwhile developers, among others the Pauls Corporation at One Marina, are allowed to change plans, build the changes and only retroactively go back for approval.
Did you know that Docktown and all the other marinas in Redwood City have all the same jurisdictional, technical and social issues that communities on the Sausalito waterfront had back in the sixties? These issues were solved in Sausalito. They can be resolved in Redwood City.
Contribute today to Marianne Dolan's "Houseboat Wars" Kickstarter campaign at http://kck.st/1e8G1ci
And sign my online petition at http://chn.ge/190W9Zs - Tell the City of Redwood City to reconnect my sewer!