December 25

Boat owners decry tickets, evictions

first_img Lehman said he’s received about 15 tickets since 1999 for unseaworthiness or exceeding time limits at public docks and has lost three boats. Meanwhile, Bob Varni, a 59-year-old songwriter and artist who lived on a floating home at the marina for years, said that in 2000 the lessee claimed he was a day late with his rent, evicted him and destroyed the houseboat. Varni bought another boat, but without a slip to dock it wound up with nearly 30 citations for overstaying time limits at public docks. Ultimately, he lost four boats at the marina and now lives out of a van. “Everything I own, my art studio and all my belongings, were gone,” he said. tag! Troy Anderson, (213) 974-8985 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Hoffman said that in January the marina manager issued a notice to vacate his boat slip because the dock was being rebuilt. The notice stated applications were being taken for slips at the new docks, though applicants could not be guaranteed a lease. On March 4, Hoffman said the marina notified him that his lease would be terminated May 6. Unable to locate an alternative slip, Hoffman said he was notified the county would seize his boat unless he left. “I just spent thousands and thousands of dollars to gut and move the boat to a dry dock in Gardena,” Hoffman said. Klein – president of the Coalition to Save the Marina, which has gathered 800 signatures opposing further development at the marina – said he received a $270 citation for an “unseaworthy” vessel in 2000. After he paid the fine, he said, the lessee placed a lien on his 34-foot cabin cruiser under a lease clause that prohibited unseaworthy vessels. Klein said he ultimately was evicted and the lessee sold the boat, which Klein estimated was worth $15,000. After spending years living on his 35-foot U.S. Navy lifeboat, Dr. Stuart Hoffman, 53, is now living out of boxes at a friend’s house in North Hollywood. Retired airline captain Al Lehman, a 60-year-old San Pedro resident, said he’s been ticketed more than a dozen times and lost three boats at the marina. Donald Klein, a Marina del Rey electrical contractor, lost his boat after receiving an “unseaworthy” ticket. Hoffman and Klein are among plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by the Coalition to Save the Marina that alleges county officials have illegally seized and destroyed hundreds of small boats at the marina in recent years to make way for high-end development and bigger, more expensive yachts. Lehman is a class member in the suit. last_img read more