Although all boats at Pete's Harbor in Redwood City were supposed to be gone after Tuesday's eviction deadline, the marina's owner gave seven tenants a reprieve so they can make additional arrangements to leave.
But several other boats remained too, mainly because their owners are openly defying orders to move out.
Pete's Harbor owner Paula Uccelli told boat dwellers in September she intends to sell the 60-year-old marina to a developer who plans to build a 411-unit apartment complex with private boat slips on the property. In October the city's planning commission approved the proposal, but its decision has been appealed to the city council, which has scheduled a hearing for Jan. 28.
The group of residents and other project opponents who appealed the commission's decision also filed a lawsuit Jan. 9 in San Mateo County Superior Court to block the threatened eviction. A judge rejected their request for a temporary restraining order, however.
Adam Alberti, a spokesman for Pete's Harbor, said Tuesday that Uccelli allowed seven boats to stay for a while, but he declined to discuss the reasons, citing a desire to respect the tenants' privacy.
"It's different for each tenant, it ranges from a few days to a few weeks," Alberti said. "It's really on a case-by-case basis for people who have asked for help for one reason or another. Then there's another group of folks who are simply trying to occupy the harbor."
Tenant Leslie Webster, who has lived at Pete's Harbor since 2008 and was given a few extra days because she's waiting for a key boat part, said even though she has already found a new home for her boat she's concerned about neighbors who found it almost impossible to move within just a few months either because they're in poor health or needed to make major repairs.
"This could have been done a better way," she said.
Alison Madden, a new Pete's Harbor boat owner and a lawyer representing the group fighting the development plans, said anywhere from six to 10 tenants are planning to remain anchored in protest.
The group's lawsuit states that because the outer marina has been leased to the Uccelli family by the state for commercial use, Pete's Harbor has no right to transfer the lease to the developer, Paul Powers. The lease transfer question has yet to formally go to the State Lands Commission, which has authority over the outer harbor.
"She (Uccelli) has created a situation where she has repudiated the state lease, because it's not a commercial marina and that's what the public trust lease is for," Madden said. "She's closed it, she's kicked everyone out, she's agreed to sell it to someone who's not going to keep it commercial."
Uccelli will take legal action against tenants who remain after Tuesday without permission, Alberti said. Those evictions could eventually end up in court, he acknowledged.
Uccelli wants to repair the docks after tenants leave in preparation for the sale of her 10.7-acre property and transfer of the outer harbor lease, Alberti said. Uccelli set a Jan. 15 eviction date because she's ready to retire and sell Pete's Harbor, he said, something that she and her late husband Pete had publicly discussed with tenants for years.
Tim Rahn and Karissa Centanni, who have lived at Pete's Harbor the last two years, said although they have not secured a new slip they are leaving out of fear of the consequences if they stay.
But they don't intend to go without making a final statement.
The couple said they'll anchor a few feet away from Pete's Harbor today and display a sign that says "Public Land for Public Use" on one side and "Develop With Integrity" on the other.