City pays another $380,000 to get Docktown residents to leave

Mud, water and broken down houseboats. That's how Docktown looked in November 2020. Post photo by Dave Price.

Daily Post Staff Writer

Redwood City will pay a combined $380,000 to two people to move out of Docktown without a fight.

The city has paid $760,000 in settlements to Docktown residents this month.

Docktown is a group of houseboats in the Redwood Channel east of Highway 101, the city has run the marina since 2013 and told the 100 or so residents to leave in 2016 because the marina is on state land.

City Council met behind closed doors on Monday (Oct. 23) to discuss the two settlements, one with John Chambers the other with Tania Solei, both of whom have brought lawsuits against the city. Both will get $190,000. Chambers agreed to move out of Docktown by Nov. 27 and Solei within two weeks, according to City Attorney Veronica Ramirez.

A jury on Oct. 12 decided the city must pay $345,873 to Chambers, Jed Humphries, Nina Peschcke-Koedt and Edward Stancil. It was not immediately clear at Monday’s meeting if Chambers will be getting awards in both cases, or if one replaces the other.

The city has been settling with other Docktown residents who have refused to move. Earlier this month the city paid $190,000 each to Emilio Diaz and Dawn and Dan Slanker.

The city won’t be going broke paying the settlements. The city posted a budget surplus of $58.4 million in the 2022 fiscal year.

The effort to remove the houseboats began in 2015 when attorney Ted Hannig, who lives in a townhouse overlooking Docktown, and a mostly anonymous group sued the city for allowing houseboats to remain in the marina, which is state property.

The city had been managing the property. But the state attorney general’s office has told the city the live-aboard boaters are there illegally.

The city paid $1.5 million to Hannig and his group to settle the suit. The settlement also required the city to put at least $3 million into a fund to clean pollution at Docktown and provide relocation assistance to residents.

The result of the suit was that the Docktown would be closing, though council members at the time denied that would happen. “I want to state unequivocally that this is false,” then-vice mayor Ian Bain said in 2016.

In a last-ditch move, then state legislators Jerry Hill and Kevin Mullin tried to put together a bill to legalize Docktown. But the deal fell apart because of disagreements among residents. A deal-breaker was a clause that would prevent residents from selling or renting the boats, which were docked on what the courts had determined to be state property.


  1. You have reported only a small part of the story and misrepresented what actually happened at Docktown. Read the rulings against the City by the judge and jury who determined these final payments in response to the falsehoods snd deceptive behavior by the city and that led to the awards if you want to know what really happened at Docktown and led to the city wasting nearly $30 Million dollars of the taxayers’ money. would love to see a reporter dig into the real story the court judgements only hint at.

    • So because the city made a mistake managing state land, the ownership has transferred to the squatters? That’s the most far out legal concept I’ve ever heard of!

      • Lee Callister is just grasping at straws. He had three houseboats at one time and rented out two of them, just for the money. None of them were on his property or city property. They were located on a state park. I think Callister should be forced to return all the money he made this way.

  2. Oh yes, it’s a big conspiracy involving the City, the state Supreme Court, Ted Hannig and the newspaper! Of course I have the right to camp on public property. I’ll prove it! My deed is around here somewhere!

    • Your disgusting comment is made anonymously. Do you not have the decency to name yourself?
      The City committed a crime against my self and other Docktown residents. The city was convicted of that crime by a jury of my peers. Peers with names, peers who saw the evidence presented, and the city is still acting in a criminal manner.

      Lets put a face to the name. Lets debate this like civilized people.

      • OK, Jed or whatever your name might be, when was this jury trial you speak of? We’re not talking about a settlement but an actual trial? You said it was a jury trial, right? So what court was it held in? What was the caption of the case?

    • We are staying because we own our homes (floating mobile homes) and have are possessing the place where are legally. People who live in mobile homes in the mobile home park down the street from us live in their mobile homes for the same reason. The people that live in the other Redwood City owned and operated marina also live in their homes (boats) for the same reason. The city allows people to live on the waterways of Redwood City, but the city is committing crimes against us (the conviction we obtained is oddly not mentioned in this “news” article) to force us out to enrich private land owners with public funds. In an effort to force out residents who legally possess the property, so that the private landowners do not have to provide services they are legally obligated to provide.

  3. Jed, you have no right to live on state or city property. This never even went to trial because it is so clear it and obvious. If you fight with the sheriff’s deputies who enforce the eviction order, you’ll be locked up in the jail, which is nearby.

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