Coalition Formalizes Structure to Protect Working Waterfront The Sausalito Working Waterfront Coalition (SWWC) took an important step in September 2020 by establishing a 501(c)4 non-profit, social welfare organization/public-benefit corporation. The new organization will advocate for the Marinship - Sausalito’s working waterfront. SWWC was formed in 2018 by local business owners, entrepreneurs, workers, property owners, artists, and residents to promote maritime, artistic, and industrial innovation – and protect the area from re-zoning and gentrification. Despite the district’s vital economic and culture contributions, the Working Waterfront, one of the few remaining and the pride of Sausalito, is under intense pressure from non-resident developers and land speculators who hope to rezone and gentrify the area so they can reap windfall profits. Sadly, several of the current city council members have been going along with these special interests, backing ill-conceived office to housing development schemes that will destroy our working waterfront, create expensive liabilities for the city and its residents, and increase traffic congestion. The City’s failure to enforce zoning laws to protect the Marinship has allowed precious industrial space to be converted into offices - threatening the district’s integrity. The SWWC is responding to this threat by developing a plan for the future of the Marinship. A collaborative process involving nearly two hundred residents and stake holders in late 2019 and early 2020, generated a vision with three objectives and a direction for positive change:
Create an advocacy network/business association for the Marinship’s arts, industry, and maritime business sectors.
Establish the Marinship as an innovation zone for new solutions for environmental stewardship and sustainability and adaptation technologies that can be fabricated locally.
Develop an educational network to expose students and young people to arts, maritime, and industrial skills, and vocational training.
Marinship Property Owners have a message for Gary: Thank you, NOW GET OUT!
Engineered Fluids and Gary Testa are gone, another casualty of weak protections and and decades of industrial spaces being converted to offices. Gary had just received a new round of funding and was about to hire 15-20 new engineers and technicians. After receiving notice that his lease would not be renewed, Gary undertook an exhaustive search to relocate to another property in Sausalito. He was unable to find anything with the roll-up door, high ceilings and adequate power that he needed. Gary was forced to relocate his business to Novato, a victim of Sausalito's lax zoning enforcement.
Despite this, the property owner of a nearby waterfront property, last week, lobbied our planning commission to allow a new development in the Waterfront Zone to include a change in zoning to accommodate office space to "save" the maritime businesses.
If you are wondering why Gary could not find another space, Look at the Craigslist ad below from 3 weeks ago. At $650 per desk, that's about $10/sqft.
Investors are allowed to convert Marinship industrial space to $650-per-desk profit centers
Gary Testa produced 45 gallons of hand sanitizer that was given away for free to Sausalito residents and businesses. Gary was advised that he is being displaced to make room for the "Emma" Duckboat. The Duckboat, purchased at auction last month from "Ride the Ducks" in Seattle as part of an asset liquidation sale, was built in 1970 and is powered by an eight-cylinder gasoline engine. Last year a jury had awarded $123 million to victims and families of the 2015 "Ride the Ducks" Duckboat crash that killed five college students and wounded more than 60 others in Seattle. As of yet, there is no indication that a Duckboat business will be operating in Sausalito.
Read more on the grim history of Duckboats here.
Bill Werner, member of GPAC, and Historical Preservation Commission, wrote a memo to City Council that made the case for Gary Testa. Read here.