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June 14, 2022

The crippling of Sausalito’s working waterfront came a step closer to reality following votes by three City Council members at the June 14th meeting.   

Despite warnings from hundreds of citizens who signed petitions against locating homes immediately adjacent to the Arques Shipyard, the Council majority did exactly that.  They advanced to the EIR stage, two large parcels for residential development, at the  office complex known as Marina Plaza. 


The motion to move forward was made by Council member Susan Cleveland-Knowles and seconded by Council member Melissa Blaustein.  Councilmember Ian Sobieski provided the third vote.  Opposition to housing next to the shipyard came from Mayor Janelle Kellman, along with former Mayor Jill Hoffman who offered a compromise motion that was rejected by her pro-waterfront development colleagues.      


Supporters of the shipyard with its creative small industries, good jobs and artist spaces were baffled by claims from Cleveland-Knowles and Blaustein, who insisted that they supported the shipyard and working waterfront - while voting to doom it with adjacent housing developments. Mr. Sobieski’s vote was even more puzzling, after claiming he was opposed to putting housing on the Marina Plaza site - then voting to approve the same location for residential development. 


This step forward was made despite the legacy toxic contamination at other sites in the Marinship from seventy-five-plus years of ship building and industrial activity.  The risks of rising groundwater and rising sea-levels are concerns that are dismissed by advocates of any potential project.  Any similarities to Hunters Point or Treasure Island are dismissed because Marinship only has documented PCBs at this point, not nuclear waste contamination.  On the other side of Marina Plaza is the Army Corp debris and boat crushing operation...also willing to be overlooked. 


This drastic action follows more than 30 years of lax zoning enforcement in the Marinship, an industrial zone now filled with hedge funds, marketing and advertising agencies, law firms and real estate companies.  Despite an outcry from the Sausalito Working Watefront Coalition Sausalito, residents, and business owners, Marinship is following in the footsteps of Alameda Marina, Oakland's Waterfront Stadium development and other working waterfronts along the coast.

May 26 2022

Watch the Sausalito City Council meeting on Tuesday, June 14 at 7pm:

Will three Council members vote to sacrifice our working waterfront?


What you may hear…

  • “We love the working waterfront!”, “We would never do anything to harm it”, “We want to save the water zone!”

  • “We just need to give up some of the industrial zone in order to save the remainder.”

  • “We can make “deals” with the property owners and save most of the working waterfront.”


What we know…

  • The working waterfront is not only where the boats are serviced.  It is an integrated area where fabricators, craftsmen, artists & educators work together to maintain an ecosystem of innovation drive economic activity.

  • Saving only the water zone means you want to save about 7% of the working waterfront area.

  • For 30+ years we have heard, “ just give up a little more of the working waterfront and the rest will be safe.”


What you can do…

The Council is scheduled to vote on a disastrous plan to surround the heart of Sausalito’s working waterfront with housing development. Wealthy out-of-town developers will reap windfall profits but need three Council votes to move forward. Watch the meeting on Zoom at   Speak up & ask the Council:

  • Why are you backing a plan to surround our valuable shipyards with housing?

  • Don’t you realize this will cause inevitable conflicts that will shut-down our shipyards?

  • Why are you catering to land developers instead of favoring better sites nearby?

  • To see better sites for housing, see the ideas at 

  • Please respect the industrial innovators, artists and maritime service providers to diversify Sausalito’s economy away from tourism.

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