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Redwood City settles another claim with Docktown Marina resident

$190,000 payment provides relocation costs, and the city will take possession of his floating home

The City Council of Redwood City approved a settlement agreement with one of the residents of Docktown Marina on Monday to vacate his floating home in exchange for $190,000, according to the settlement agreement.

The settlement with Docktown tenant Emilio Diaz ends his participation in a lawsuit against the city and an unlawful detainer proceeding filed by the city. Diaz was part of the 2017 Fambrough case filed in San Mateo County Superior Court. Twenty-one residents claimed they have a right to reside at Docktown and/or to receive compensation such as relocation assistance. The tenants paid a fee for docking their floating homes, which they own.

The council voted 5-0-2 to approve the settlement with Diaz. Council members Lissette Espinoza-Garnica and Kaia Eakin were absent.

Diaz will transfer ownership of his 46-foot floating home, "Coaster," to the city, according to the settlement agreement. He will receive payment after removing all of his possessions and vacating his residence within 14 days, according to the settlement.

The agreement with Diaz is the third that the city has brokered in the last five weeks with some of the Docktown residents. Council members unanimously approved a settlement payment of $190,000 to the Estate of William Fleming and $190,000 to Tina and Jonathan Reid on Aug. 22. The plaintiffs agreed to the settlement before the city's closed session. The tenants were to vacate Docktown as part of the agreement, City Attorney Veronica Ramirez said during Monday’s meeting. 

The city faces another lawsuit regarding Docktown. San Carlos attorney Ted Hannig, whose original 2015-16 case ended with a settlement with the city to shut down the floating home community, filed another complaint in San Mateo County Superior Court on July 21, 2023.

As a plaintiff, Hannig Environmental Research Organization (HERO), a nonprofit, public health and marine environment interest group, claims that city leaders are violating the 2016 settlement agreement to clean up and shut down the Docktown floating-home community since residents still live there. State laws prohibit the habitation.

About eight residents still live on board at the marina with whom the city has not yet settled.


About the Author: Sue Dremann

Sue Dremann is a veteran journalist who joined the Palo Alto Weekly in 2001. She is a breaking news and general assignment reporter who also covers the regional environmental, health and crime beats.
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