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State Official Confirms Google Barge Must Move From Treasure Island

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The mystery barge off Treasure Island. (CBS)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – The “Google barge” under construction off of San Francisco’s Treasure Island will have to move or get a permit from a state commission tasked with overseeing the Bay, the commission’s executive director said Thursday.

San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission executive director Lawrence Goldzband discussed the barge Thursday afternoon during the commission’s biweekly meeting at San Francisco’s Ferry Building.

Google officials have previously released a statement to other media saying the barge under construction is tentatively planned to be “an interactive space where people can learn about new technology.”

Goldzband said he sent letters last week to Google attorney Pamela Duffy as well as to the Treasure Island Development Authority, which is overseeing the redevelopment of the island, the former home of a naval base.

He said the construction activity off of Treasure Island’s Pier 1, near California Avenue and Avenue N, is not currently permitted by the commission, which has regulatory authority over any change in use of water, land or structure within the Bay.

Goldzband said the commission has offered “a number of ways to ameliorate the violation, including the removal of the barge and any associated construction materials to a fully permanent site.”

The Jan. 31 letter states that TIDA, as the legal authority managing lease agreements on Treasure Island, could face a fine of at least $2,000 if the unauthorized activity is not corrected within 35 days.

If the matter is not resolved after 125 days, BCDC could issue a cease-and-desist order and impose a penalty of up to $2,000 per day, the letter states.

A similar letter to Duffy, the Google attorney, advised the company that SFBCDC permits will also be required if the barge is eventually permanently moored anywhere within the Bay and the commission’s jurisdiction.

The company was not immediately available Thursday to comment on the permitting issue, nor was TIDA director of island operations Mirian Saez.


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