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By Linda Sutter – January 3, 2022

Once again Crescent City Harbor District has found themselves subject to a restraining order. After receiving warnings with their attempts to evict residents so they could build vacation rentals, they looked for what they thought was a loophole. This could be a costly fatal flaw.

In the Statement of Facts the following was presented.

Respondent Crescent City Harbor District (“CCHD”) is a California Special District formed as a public entity in 1931 and authorized by Harbors and Navigation Code Section 6085. It encompasses approximately 35 acres of land adjacent to the southern city limits of Crescent City in an unincorporated area of Del Norte County.

Based on information disclosed at public meetings of the CCHD, along with its publicly available agendas and meeting minutes, it is apparent that for at least the last two months, and probably longer, CCHD has participated in lease negotiations with Renewable Energy Capital (REC), a private developer. CCHD intends to enter into a land lease agreement that will allow REC to develop CCHD controlled land for various commercial purposes.

Before filing this suit, numerous CCHD constituents, and their advocates, informed CCHD in public meetings and through email, that the SLA applies to CCHD lands. A sustained effort was made to gain CCHD compliance without the need for litigation. However, Respondents readily admitted in public meetings and in news media interviews that they have made no effort to comply with the SLA and have no intent to do so (ref. Wild Rivers Outpost news article, 08/25/21). As soon as CCHD staff finalizes the negotiation of a lease agreement with REC, the Board of Harbor Commissioners will be asked to consider the lease and approve it.

This is a result from January 1, 2022, a “Staff Report” was released to the public. On page 64, under the heading “RESOLUTION NO. 2022-01,” it was stated that the Surplus Land Act (“SLA”), Gov. Code § 54220 et seq, does not apply to proposed redevelopment of the Bayside RV Park because the land in question “lies within former tidelands and submerged lands.”

Unless CCHD postpones their agenda item, they will be required to appear before the Superior Court Magistrate on January 4, Tuesday morning at 10:00a.m.

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