Stop the BCDC Shakedown Of Westpoint Harbor
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Reinforcing the adage about letting no good deed go unpunished, Westpoint Harbor, a new marina in San Francisco Bay near Redwood City, is facing more than $500,000 in fines and an uncertain future as a result of hardball enforcement actions by the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), which regulates bay front properties.
Despite winning international acclaim for its environmental design, Westpoint has been targeted repeatedly by the BCDC enforcement committee. Among other so-called violations, the agency is trying to levy a $30,000 fine for -- of all things -- harboring the Redwood City police and fire boats. BCDC calls the presence of the boats an “illegal and unauthorized” use of the facility. Never mind that these vessels are there to save lives and have routinely conducted water rescues.
Mark Sanders has devoted nearly 30 years to building an ecologically responsible marina with the latest technology advancements to make it the cleanest harbor in the Bay. The marina was carved out of a former industrial waste site. It now offers the general public and boaters of all types access to an incredible waterfront, with sweeping views of the Bay and an abundance of wildlife.
BCDC’s Enforcement Committee met in San Francisco on Jan. 18 to vote on issuing a Cease & Desist order (CDO), which could lead to even higher fines and possible bankruptcy of the marina. During the meeting, BCDC had a closed-door session and decided not to hear the new CDO 2018.01. Faced with public outcry, the did hear public comments though. They backtracked to the CDO 2017.04 to be sent to the full Commission and the next opportunity to support the Westpoint Harbor case with BCDC will be at the BCDC Commissioner's meeting scheduled for February 15, 2018 or at a later date. The allegations of the BCDC are unfounded, outdated and are at odds with other federal and state rules. More concerning is that BCDC operates with no oversight. It is an unaccountable bureaucracy that sets its own rules and levies its own fines.
Last month the Solano County Superior Court issued three judgments against BCDC over similar allegations, with the judge calling the infractions and imposition of $752,000 in fines as “vindictive” and without merit.
Sad to see that the very agency created to protect the Bay, safeguard endangered species and provide public access and enjoyment of our waters has gone off the rails in a shakedown of small businesses around the Bay.
We invite you to lend your support by your signature to the following:
- Call on BCDC to dismiss ALL allegations and proposed fines against Westpoint Harbor
- Call on the California legislature and State Auditor to investigate the activities of BCDC enforcement actions and sky-high fines
- Support the rights of equal access to the Bay for ALL relevant water-oriented recreation groups
- Enlist an independent, fair, objective and knowledgeable agency to review this case, and shine a light on this aberrant behavior.
Time is short, and the clock is ticking. Do we want to see a beautiful marina damaged or even destroyed by the wayward actions of BCDC? We’re calling all boaters, sailors, rowers, paddlers, anglers and environmentalists to act now and stand up against these abusive tactics by an agency that was intended to serve the public interest!
NOTE The Friends of Westpoint Harbor has NO fundraising associated with this petition. If you see a "suggested" donation and decide to give, know that those dollars will go to Change.org not to the Friends of Westpoint Harbor. If you would like to do more to help Friends of Westpoint Harbor, please sign the petition and Share, Share, Share the petition widely in your social networks! Thanks, so much for helping us achieve our goal of stopping BCDC from shaking down the Westpoint Harbor Marina in Redwood City, CA.
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