While the public perception of ‘yachting’ and sailing as ultra-exclusive (thanks, Rolex!) is probably the biggest obstacle to the sport’s growth in America, access to the water runs a close second, so we’re stoked to see at least one area successfully fighting off the greed of yet another useless luxury development that will forever close yet another important sailing venue off for future generations. From SA’er huntercutting:
This last week California 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.