SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO – People who've called South San Francisco's Oyster Cove Marina home, in some cases for many years, are being told they have to find a new place to live.
It's a tough pill for many to swallow, like Matt Klein, who's lived on a boat in the Oyster Cove Marina for 17 years.
"It's not just because it's a low-income and low-impact housing. It's what we want to do," Klein told KPIX 5. "We are going to be left homeless. We were given a very, very swift notice after very little warning."
Residents received a notice on June 16th from the marina's ownership, Kilroy Realty Corporation, which said, "As a part of our planning for the neighborhood, we are currently re-evaluating the long-term use of the marina and intend to terminate all OCM leases on October 15, 2022. We will not be providing return rights of any kind to existing tenants of OCM."
Residents have a choice to either agree to leave by October 15th, or be faced with an eviction notice. The 14 "liveaboard" residents of the community were also offered $10,000, if they were to sign the agreement within two weeks of its delivery.
"For 109 boats, for all of these residents to transfer in that amount of time with the quick notice that was given on the 16th of June, it's just not enough time," Klein said. "I don't feel as insecure because I'm a little younger, I'm 60, than many of these people who received a notice that they had to sign within 15 days."
Eleven out of 14 liveaboard residents have taken the deal so far. The deadline has since been extended to July 31.
Klein, and neighbor Lucia Lachmayr, said it's going to take more money and time for most of the residents to find new places to live.
"They're not allowing any more than a 10% liveaboard in any marina. I'm a liveaboard here, but my liveaboard won't transfer to another marina," Klein said. "The impact on us is just going to be so substantial."
"We have a lot of disabled, we have a lot of folks who are retired or retiring and they're all on fixed incomes. So, this has come as quite a devastating blow," Lachmayr told KPIX 5. "$10,000 seems like a lot of money. But, when you consider that you need to stay six months out of a marina until they approve you – that means you have to go to land and rent a place for six months."
"It's a huge, not just an endeavor, but it's a life change for people who have been here for decades," Lachmayr said. "It's basically saying, here go somewhere far, far away, and just uproot your life."
The City of South San Francisco is trying to smooth out the transition, according to City Manager Mike Futrell.
However, there isn't a lot the city can do in an official capacity.
"It's a private marina, it's up to the private owner on what they do to accommodate. But, we are asking them to be fair and to recognize that for the liveaboards, it may be difficult to find a legal liveaboard spot," Futrell told KPIX 5. "We have met with the marina owner and asked them to extend that time if necessary so that hopefully these boat owners can find a soft landing space."
A spokesperson from the Kilroy Realty Corporation, owner of the Oyster Cove Marina, provided this statement to KPIX 5:
"As the Oyster Point development moves forward, we are re-evaluating the long-term use of the marina. As a result, we will be requiring existing boat owners to relocate.
We understand the uncertainty that these changes will introduce to our boat owners, which is why we are working with them to make their transition as painless as possible. We are providing all boat owners with four months to prepare for their next move, while offering to waive their rental fees in the interim. Additionally, we are offering $10,000 to the 14 liveaboard boat owners to help cover the inconvenience of their impending move.
We will continue to offer our support to these boat owners throughout this process and look forward to working with them collaboratively as we prepare for the next phase of Oyster Point."
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