Redwood City

Houseboat Owners in Redwood City Continue Fight Against Housing Development

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Redwood City continues campaigning to get rid of people who live on houseboats in a marina getting engulfed by development.

The city this week removed more houseboats bought from owners last year leaving those who have held out on selling and moving, feeling more isolated and yet, more determined to stay.

The floating community was part of a Docktown Plan by the city about 75 years ago and now, its plans have changed. More and more slips are empty with about a dozen houseboat owners holding on to their unique, affordable way of life.

Houseboat owner Dan Slanker is the president of the dwindling Redwood Creeks Association which once had more than 80 members and is now down to about a dozen holding out against city and state attempts to get them to move. 

“We’re a community,” said Slanker. “Definitely love where we live and would like to stay. It’s a housing crisis at this time! How can you possibly not let us stay?”

The city is trying to make room for 130 new homes.

Many sold their houseboats willingly last year, some at substantial profit, but the holdouts say not all he offers were fair.

“I don’t like the idea of being a ‘freeloader’ or a ‘squatter’ where I’m not welcome,” said boat owner Nina Peschcke-Koedt. “It’s just they haven’t followed the California relocation law fully especially for those of us left.”

That has left many determined not to sell.

“I prefer staying here over anywhere else,” said houseboat owner Colin Lehr. “I’m not planning to leave.”

For now, everyone can stay given the numerous pending lawsuits.

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