Boat owners to be evicted from Wilmington marina
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday is scheduled to complete the eviction of several boat owners from Colonial Yacht Anchorage in Wilmington.
The Los Angeles Harbor Department issued eviction notices to more than 90 boat slip tenants last month after it labeled the marina's dock and its 138 slips in Berth 204 as too dilapidated to be safe.
The Camello Family, which operated the marina for more than 60 years, forfeited the property after it failed to pay rent for two years, including interest fees. They now owe about $400,000, city officials say.
Maria Camello, president of Colonial Yacht Anchorage Inc., could not be reached for comment.
"It's stupid when they fight like this because the only people who lose are me and my buddies who own boats here," said Jeff Evans, 55, who took Monday off to move his sailboat to Newmarks Yacht Centre, which is adjacent to Colonial Yacht Anchorage.
Evans was among a handful of boaters who made their way into the marina during the day in preparation for the deadline or to move their boats to other marinas. There were about 20 boats left at the marina that day, a handful of them appeared to have been deserted long ago.
He said he has been unable to find a slip for his second vessel.
"I've got three options: I can sell it, the second option is find a scrap yard, and the third option is to call the city's bluff and see what happens," he said.
For weeks, city and harbor officials, as well as other boaters, were concerned about the 11 live-aboard tenants at the marina, many of whom said they couldn't afford to move or find another marina that would have space for tenants who could live on their boats. That's partly because harbor officials have placed a 5% cap on live-aboard tenants for each marina operator.
Boaters claimed most marinas are already at that limit. But city and harbor officials had planned to waive the live-aboard limit for operators who could take in the boaters, while free housing services would be provided for those unable to leave by the deadline.
Live-aboard tenant Richard Willoughby said without the waiver he wouldn't have been able to move into a slip at the neighboring Holiday Harbor Marina. He said other live-aboard tenants have left the marina in the last few weeks but one remains: Bobby Salisbury.
Efforts to locate Salisbury at his boat or within the marina for comment on Monday were unsuccessful.
"I don't know about Bobby," Willoughby said. "They're going to have to come in and physically remove him or take him to a state-run convalescent home. That's what happened to his brother."
Port officials have said there are no development plans for the marina, although there have been informal talks about the construction of youth sailing center.
Some boaters on Monday said the city plans to use the marina as an impound yard for boats. Janet Karkanen, a Los Angeles deputy city attorney, could not be reached for comment.
-- Ruben Vives