Docktown Marina Update
July 21, 2017
This blog provides an update on Docktown Marina. Ending residential uses at Docktown Marina is required in order for the City to meet its legal obligation to allow full public access to the land on which the marina is located. The City serves as a trustee for the State lands on which the Marina is located. In that role, the City must ensure that use of these lands is in accordance with the statutes which granted the land to the City, State Lands Commission policies, and the public trust doctrine. The State’s intent is for all California residents to have access to public trust lands, and the State Lands Commission and the California Attorney General have declared that continued leasing of slips at Docktown for residential use violates the granting statutes and the common law public trust doctrine. The statutes and common law public trust doctrine are referenced in the June 19, 2015 Attorney General letter released by the State Lands Commission and available here.
While relocation benefits are not required under State law, the City has outlined (in the Final Docktown Plan) a process for evaluating the needs of each Docktown resident and providing reasonable relocation assistance, consistent with the City’s goals of equity and providing affordable housing assistance.
In December 2016, after considering significant community input, the City Council voted to approve the Final Docktown Plan. This Plan outlined the City relocation assistance options available to Docktown Marina residents, including assistance finding new housing (either on land or at marinas), reimbursement of moving costs, reimbursement of costs to list the property for sale, and counseling services. Individuals who are disabled, seniors, or veterans are eligible to receive additional financial assistance under the Plan. More information about Docktown, benefits provided to tenants, and the process to adopt the Docktown Plan is available at www.redwoodcity.org/docktown.
The City’s experienced relocation expert, Overland, Pacific & Cutler (OPC), has met with Docktown residents in-person to understand their individual relocation plans, and has provided them with information about eligibility for benefits under the Docktown Plan. All tenants are required to leave Docktown Marina by February 28, 2018, and many have already begun the process of completing documents and accepting relocation benefits. Benefit notices are being issued to tenants in June and July 2017 to allow time for in-person meetings with each tenant to review their documents, benefits and rights under the Docktown Plan.
At the request of tenants, the City incorporated an independent appeal process into the final Docktown Plan. This process provides tenants the right to appeal benefits determination, including whether they are eligible for benefits and the level of benefits being offered. Several tenants are already going through this administrative appeal process.
Tenants who own their boat or dwelling can choose to sell their property to the City if they do not find another buyer or move it to another location on their own. The Docktown Plan allows the City to offer to buy an owner’s property based on a fair market value appraisal. A licensed appraiser conducted all appraisals of boats and barge-based dwellings at Docktown Marina using a methodology based on independent professional judgement and established industry appraisal standards.
The final Docktown Plan also includes flexibility to allow owners of berthed property at Docktown to seek out their own property appraisals if desired. Following receipt of the City’s offer of acquisition, an owner may seek their own appraisal if an owner’s appraisal is within 10 percent of the City’s appraisal, the City will pay the owner the amount submitted by the owner’s appraiser. If an owner-procured appraisal is higher than 10 percent of the City’s offer, the City will pay for a third appraisal to render a final appraisal value based upon his/her professional review of the two previous appraisals. The owner will get to choose from a list of City-approved appraisers for the third appraisal. This third appraisal will determine the final appraisal value.
For more information about Docktown, please visit www.redwoodcity.org/docktown.