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State Commissioners refuse to endorse mega-marina loan for takeover of Clipper Cove

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  • State Commissioners refuse to endorse mega-marina loan for takeover of Clipper Cove

    This last week State Commissioners refused to approve a $22 million public loan for construction of a private mega-marina in Clipper Cove at Treasure Island.

    Deadlocked by a 2-2 vote on Wednesday, Commissioners for the California Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) declined to endorse a DBW staff proposal to fund $4.2 million of the proposed $22 million loan as long as several staff-proposed conditions were met. The loan application had been submitted by Treasure Island Enterprises, the consortium of real estate speculators seeking to build the mega-marina. And the loan application had been endorsed by the Treasure Island Development Authority Board led by Board Chair Vivian Fei Tsen.

    The champions on the DBW Commission who stood up for public use at Clipper Cove were Katherine Pettibone and Cecily Harris. Pettibone and Harris deserve applause for standing tough in the face of heavy pressure by developers.

    Currently Clipper Cove is home to some of the best recreational and instructional boating on the San Francisco Bay, including youth sailing, disabled sailing, dragon boating, Olympic class racing, keel-boat raft-ups, kayaking, paddle boarding, high-school and collegiate competition and more. The Cove is also home to the non-profit Treasure Island Sailing Center which each year puts thousands of San Francisco public schools kids on the water - most for the first time ever. The Cove also hosts national dinghy racing championships, such as the 2015 V15 nationals, the annual PCISA high school Golden Bear regatta, the Cal Sailing Team, and much more.

    The DBW staff report noted "financial inconsistencies" in the loan application as well as “issues” regarding “public support” and “permitting.” Numerous public interest groups spoke at the Commission meeting prior to the vote, urging Commissioners to postpone consideration of the loan. Groups urging postponement of loan approval included the U.S. Sailing Association, Save Clipper Cove, the Treasure Island Sailing Center, and the Sierra Club.

    The DBW staff report recommended approval of just $4.2 million in order to encumber current year funding provided in the State’s fiscal year budget. The staff also recommended that disbursement of the loan be withheld until all financial inconsistencies were “resolved” and “all outstanding issues described in this report have been addressed.

    Nevertheless, the DBW Commission refused to endorse even a partial loan with conditional terms recommended by the DBW staff report.

    Action on the loan application now shifts to DBW Deputy Director Lynn Sadler to take a final decision later this spring.

    In the meantime, the campaign to save Clipper Cove plans on returning to the board members of the Treasure Island Development Authority (TIDA) and urging them to reconsider the proposed mega-marina.

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    Last edited by Hunter Cutting; 05-15-2016, 07:37 PM. Reason: added para to describe current Cove use