December 2015 Update:
After almost 3 months without fueling facilities, the 6,000 boaters in Huntington Harbour may finally have some good news!
According to Huntington Beach City Manager Fred Wilson, the city has announced a potential sale. This comes after several months of negotiations where the city acted as intermediary between current owners and prospective buyers, under the pressure of thousands of boat owners faced with the fact that one of the largest marina in Southern California is without a fuel dock.
Under the terms of current agreement, the city will purchase the fuel dock and equipment for a sum of $25,000 then immediately sell it to Maxum Petroleum Company for the same amount. Maxum will then manage the fuel dock. Maxum has been in operation for over 60 years and currently operates several fuel docks in California, including one on Terminal Island.
This is evidently good news but the city has not yet voted on the matter. Several Council Members have however indicated that they have no opposition in the matter. If all goes well, the Huntington Harbour fuel dock could be operational in Spring 2016.
Situation as of November 2015:
The fuel dock has closed on October 1st, despite HB City efforts to broker an arrangement.
The City is continuing its efforts to bring back fueling services to the Huntington Harbour community.
Click here for City update in this matter
This information was reported today by David Johnston from an official statement of the City of Huntington Beach. Kudos to David for keeping us informed.
The bad news is that the fuel dock is currently closed, but the good news is that the City is actively looking into solutions. We all hope that a speedy resolution will be found to this very sad state of affairs in the interest of all Huntington Harbour residents.
Depriving a major marina and 6,000 boat owners from a re-fueling facility is not only bad for business and real estate value, it is also potentially hazardous as accidents may occur when (not if) people attempt to refuel boats without the necessary equipment to do so.
The closure also deprives the Fire Department, Harbor Patrol and the Navy of a crucial staging area for any accidents occurring on the water. As such, this closure potentially endangers lives.
The Mariner Point owners basically “packed up and left” with no regard for the customers that have supported their business for over 30 years or any other consequences this closure may have on the community.
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.
City of Huntington Beach Statement
Closure of Mariner’s Point Fuel Dock in Huntington Harbour
Summary: As of October 1, the Mariner’s Point Fuel Dock is 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 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 that 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.