History: A Century of Maritime Use

A long and colorful maritime history precedes the GHCA Maritime Service Harbor project at the foot of Napa Street in Sausalito.
Italian fishing families live at the foot of Napa Street and build their traditional feluccas on the beach.
North Pacific Railroad map shows a shipyard at the foot of Napa.
Stacks Image 51

Crichton and Arques lease the Oceanic Boatyard for their boat building operation. (Photo left, 1914)
Original Napa Street Pier built as a dock for crab fishermen. Live-aboard barges serving as vacation getaways for wealthy San Franciscans in the waters adjacent to Sausalito.
Live-aboard vacation getaways become full-time homes for San Francisco residents displaced by earthquake.
The brigantine Galilee sets anchor at its current site as a residence.
Stacks Image 52

View from the Galilee. (Photo left, 1958)
Marinship became a shipyard that constructed merchant "Liberty" ships and tankers. 70,000 workers were employed.
Stacks Image 53

The oakland Ship Building Company built barges at Napa Street and earned the Navy E Award for fast production. (Photos left)
Napa Street marine railways is extended and, following the war, remains the only ways on Richardson Bay large enough to accommodate 300-ton ships.
Cass Gidley establishes a major fish processing operation on the Napa Street Pier, including a fish market and fish-and-chips restaurant. He and his family live aboard the sailboat Tia Mia, which is tied to the Pier.
Early 1960's – 1970's
Businesses operate from and around the pier. At the same time, people continue to live on houseboats, barges, mine sweepers and other craft tied up to the pier.
Stacks Image 54

Fishing boats at the Napa Street Pier. (Photo left)
1962 – 1963
Upland area of Mono Street becomes known as Tiki Junction, a center for arts and boat work. Houseboats and converted navy vessels tie to the bank near the Galilee. Arks anchor along underwater Mono Street.
Stacks Image 55

Napa Street Pier, Boatyard, Tiki Junction, the Galilee. (Photo left, 9/8/1966)
Bob's Boatyard established and many live-aboard residents work or start their own ships at the boatyard.
Stacks Image 367

Construction of the Merriweather. (Photo left)

Whitefin is one of the last boats to be hauled out on the 300-ton marine railway. (Photo right)
Stacks Image 369
Artists and boatworkers who live aboard vessels on and near the Pier organize as the Napa Street Pier Co-op.
Galilee Harbor Tenants Association evolves from the Napa Street Pier Co-op and assists the landlord in maintenance and upkeep of the shops and boatyard buildings.
Bob's Boatyard and workships on the upland parcel are demolished, without proper noticing of tenants, by a developer who later declares bankruptcy. Tenants on Napa Street Pier band together and obtain restraining order to ward off further destruction.

Tenants on and near the Napa Street Pier incorporate as the Galilee Harbor Community Association, a nonprofit mutual benefit organization. Members begin campaign for approval of a work-live maritime harbor.

Lawsuit resulting from longstanding controversy over title to the underwater portions of Napa Street is resolved in favor of the City of Sausalito . Negotiations between the city and GCHA lead to litigation.
GHCA members work with the City in its development of Marinship Specific Plan. GHCA coordinates with various other county, state and local agencies to ensure that Galilee 's eventual relocation will be consistent with all policies and regulations.

Those agencies include BCDC, California State Coastal Conservancy, Trust for Public Lands and Southern Marin Land Trust.

Funding is granted from Marin County Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and the San Francisco Foundation to assist with relocation planning. GHCA is awarded CDBG funding each subsequent year through 1992.
City-GHCA lawsuit is settled with agreement which commits City to helping GHCA find relocation site on Sausalito waterfront and commits GHCA to seeking City approval of a work-live maritime service harbor.
GHCA submits application for conditional use permit and General Plan amendment to City, complying with settlement agreement deadline.
With Marinship Specific Plan incomplete, and waterfront use issues unresolved, City denies CUP application without prejudice as to later application.
With settlement agreement no longer in effect, Galilee Harbor community complies with City's demand to vacate the Pier. GHCA vessels are relocated about 30 feet north, to floating docks on leased, privately owned property, the present project site.
In April, after four years of planning, the City adopts the Marinship Specific Plan, committing Galilee Harbor to maritime uses – industrial, commercial, arts and historic – and authorizing live-aboard use in conjunction with these uses.

In October, GHCA submits its second application for a conditional use permit, proposing uses consistent with the new Marinship Specific Plan. The Environmental Impact Report process is begun.

GHCA receives grant from Marin Community Foundation, disbursed for option on upland parcel of project site, prepayment on water parcel mortgage and planning costs.
Ecumenical Association for Housing becomes financial agent for GHCA.
In February, City certifies final Environmental Impact Report on Galilee project showing few significant natural resource impacts and none which cannot be adequately mitigated.

Also in February, BCDC staff advises GHCA that placement of fill requires a permit from BCDC and that live-aboard use of a boat constitutes fill. GHCA advises BCDC staff that local permitting process is underway, to be followed by an application to BCDC.

In May, after 15 public hearings, Sausalito Planning Commission unanimously approves the Galilee Harbor project.

In July, City Council unanimously approves permit for Galilee Maritime Service Harbor, subject to conditions emphasizing public access and affordability controls.

In December, the project, redesigned to comply with permit conditions, is submitted to the Sausalito Design Review Board.
In April, City demolishes earthquake-damaged Napa Street Pier. To facilitate demolition, GHCA allows removal of its pile-supported buildings used for storage, laundry facilities and workshops.

In May, the Sausalito Design Review Board unanimously approves the project and BCDC files suit against GHCA and 52 individuals, alleging violations of the McAteer-Petris Act, seeking removal of GHCA property and individual vessels and seeking civil fines and penalties.

In July, GHCA and BCDC agree to stay litigation to enable GHCA to apply to BCDC for a permit for the Maritime Service Harbor project.

In September, GHCA submits applications for dredging and discharge permits from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Regional Water Quality Control Board.

In November, BCDC application is submitted. In December, BCDC Design Review Board holds first hearing on the project.
Survey by Community Development Block Grant agency shows 92% of GHCA households are low income.

In January, GHCA receives Marin Community Foundation grant of $250,000 for property purchase and loan of $15,000 for planning and permitting costs.

In March, BCDC Design Review board holds second hearing on the project and makes several recommendations regarding public access. In July, Design Review Board determines that, with incorporation of a few minor public access modifications, the project will provide maximum feasible access.
BCDC settlement Agreement signed.
Construction loan secured with Marin Community Foundation.
Excavating & dredging begins.
Construction on Uplands begins.
Construction of Access Pier completed; Parking Lot done.
Docks constructed and installed; Navigation tests performed; berths occupied.
Stacks Image 58

Public Access elements completed; Bathrooms completed.
2005 and beyond . . .
Check back soon for details.
Stacks Image 59