Yacht-chartering company in hot water with state group

State officials have fined a San Francisco yacht-chartering company $30,000 for failing to put in required beautification efforts at its headquarters on Pier 9 at The Embarcadero.

Garrett O’Doherty, founder of luxury cruise-rental company Signature Hospitality Group, has been in violation of state permitting codes since 2006 for ignoring or delaying orders to add benches, information signs, safety bollards and public access points to his bayside property, according to public documents. The improvements are required as part of an initiative to invigorate San Francisco’s once-dilapidated eastern waterfront. 

O’Doherty has racked up $128,500 in fines from the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, a state agency that monitors progress at the Port of San Francisco. The agency’s commissioners voted unanimously to dock O’Doherty $30,000 — a 75 percent reduction in the charges that was negotiated by the two sides. If Doherty doesn’t pay the $30,000 by Oct. 31, he will have to pay the full $128,500, according to the commission’s documents.

O’Doherty wouldn’t comment on the issue, other than to say, “the improvements they [the BCDC] have requested are being taken care of.”

In 2000, the Port and the commission jointly agreed on a new plan for the waterfront. Part of the plan called for the creation of the Bayside History Walk, a project that would require public-access improvements by the Port’s tenants. The still-growing Bayside History Walk weaves along the interior of the San Francisco Bay, offering a glimpse of the water often obscured by large bulkheads.

The extent and cost of the Bayside History Walk redevelopment for each business is based on the amount of property each firm manages on The Embarcadero, commission Executive Director Will Travis said.

Signature Hospitality Group, formally known as Pacific Marine Yachts, was required to dedicate 2,940 square feet of exterior space and 320 square feet of interior space for public access on the Bayside History Walk.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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