Summary: As of October 1, the Mariner's Point Fuel Dock in Huntington Harbour closed. This is not the outcome the City hoped for as our elected officials and staff worked diligently over the last several months to come up with an acceptable plan to keep the docks open. Needless to say, we are very disappointed with this unfortunate outcome as pending solutions were in action.
Who: Mariner's Point Fuel Dock is a private fuel dock owned by a partnership of Nahas Enterprises, the fuel dock operators; and Center City Properties. Center City Properties is comprised of the Miller Family Trust, which represents family members of the late David D. Miller, founder of the Miller's Outpost retail chain and Kodash, a development company specializing in Southern California real estate projects.
Background: Mariner's Point Fuel Dock (Mariner's) is the only fuel dock location in Huntington Harbour, serving up to 6,000 recreational boaters, as well as public safety and security boats for Harbor Patrol and the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station. Over the summer, the City was made aware of a rumor that Mariner's Point Fuel Dock in Huntington Harbour would permanently close October 1, 2015.
The City learned the closure of Mariner's was planned over two years ago through a secret agreement between the partnership which would have provided no notice to the community or City. After making money from the community, the partnership simply planned to close the business and leave the community and public safety marine vehicles with no viable fueling alternative. No efforts by the partnership to arrange alternate ownership were made. Recent efforts by the City to broker a transfer of ownership to a new operator (through which two bids were sent to the partnership) have been unsuccessful to date due to reluctance by the Miller Family Trust controlled Center City Properties.
The City initiated discussions with the law firm representing Center City Properties to keep the fuel dock open beyond the October 1st deadline. Most recently, the City requested a two-week extension of the closure in order to schedule a City Council closed session to discuss the potential of the City acquiring the facility. These efforts were denied by the Center City Properties even after personal appeals to family members of the Miller Family Trust. The City released a Request for Qualifications on September 29 to determine a potential operator. In a continuing effort to assist the community in maintaining a fuel dock in Huntington Harbour, the City will hold a Closed Session meeting for property negotiations on October 5. Additionally, the City retained an environmental lawyer to determine the best course of action in which to protect the community, as well as prevent the partnership from abandoning and/or closing the fuel dock facilities in a manner that is not in compliance with very stringent environmental law, thereby creating a potential hazardous situation for the community and Harbour.
It is the City's desire to have the fuel docks remain open while these additional efforts can be pursued. While operating a fuel dock has never been a City function, it is clear the City will have to take stronger action in order to continue providing for the use of a fuel dock by the community and public safety users. In that regard, the City is aggressively pursuing other options that are proving to be very promising for the long-term outlook of the fuel docks. We are confident that ultimately our actions will prevail for the good of the community.
The City continues to hope that Center City Properties and, in particular, members of the controlling Miller Family Trust, understand the community benefit in which they conspired to deny the users with no notice is not good for our community and is not in good faith. The partnership needs to take into consideration the number of years the community has supported and provided the Miller Family Trust, Center City Properties, and Nahas Enterprises with viable income during their operation of the fuel dock and reciprocate with the additional time requested.
The City desires to have an amicable solution to this issue and we would like for Center City Properties and the Miller Family Trust to be part of it.
Action: The community is encouraged to contact City Center Properties to keep the fuel docks open and work with the City. Please contact Alison Miller at (714) 474-2290 ext. 125.
The City Council has authorized staff to identify potential partners through a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process to work with the City on a solution to continue operations of Mariners. The City has not determined the exact business arrangement for operating Mariners and requires respondents to state their preference in their RFQ response. The City cannot complete negotiations and enter into any agreement until the City is able to secure property rights of Mariners. It is the intent of the City to transfer the property rights that the City acquires to the successful Qualified Operator.
The City of Huntington Beach continues to work diligently to keep the Mariner's Point Fuel Dock open in Huntington Harbour. At the September 21 City Council meeting, Council directed City Manager Fred Wilson to look in to the potential of the City, or through a partnership with the County of Orange, to purchase and operate the fuel dock. Timing is of the essence as the current owner has stated it will close the docks October 1. The City will look to initiate appropriate environmental studies on the site, research and obtain proposals for liability insurance, and report back to City Council. In addition, the City will work to identify potential parties to work with the City to own and operate the fuel dock - subject to City Council approval. The City will update key stakeholders as we move through the process in helping to keep the fuel docks open.
What: The City plans to attend a meeting next week to discuss the status of the Mariner's Point fuel docks in Huntington Harbour. Join Council Member Billy O'Connell, as well as other City leaders as they listen and address concerns of the public fuel docks.
When: Wed., August 19, 2015 at 5 p.m.
Where: Home of Ed Clarke at 17061 Bolero Lane, Huntington Harbour. Parking available on local streets within the Harbour.
Who: The City was recently made aware that the private operators of the fuel dock are looking to close the fuel dock some time after October 1, 2015. While this is a private facility, the City understands the great importance the fuel dock, Huntington Harbour's only fuel dock, has for the boating community.
Why: After meeting with concerned representatives of the boating community, the City immediately reached out to the partnership controlling the fuel dock to explore options to preserve the current fuel dock. While not a party to any negotiations, it is the City's desire to ensure that a public fuel dock remains open and accessible for the Huntington Harbour boating community and visitors.
Many of you have expressed your concern about Mariner's Point fuel docks in Huntington Harbor. The City was recently made aware that the private operators of the fuel dock are looking to close the fuel dock some time after October 1, 2015. While this is a private facility, the City understands the great importance the fuel dock, Huntington Harbor's only fuel dock, has for the boating community.
After meeting with concerned representatives of the boating community, the City immediately reached out to the partnership controlling the fuel dock to explore options to preserve the current fuel dock. While not a party to any negotiations, it is the City's desire to ensure that a public fuel dock remains open and accessible for the Huntington Harbor boating community and visitors.
Based on discussion with Mariner's Point, they are willing to consider written offers for transfer of the fuel docks. The City is working with interested parties to help facilitate this effort. If you are interested in submitting a proposal for the fuel dock, please send to Michael Leifer at [email protected].
We will continue to keep you updated as talks progress. Please check here for updates.
Thank you for your consideration and support to keep the public fuel dock open in Huntington Harbor.