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                     Updated 6/30/07.

Whooohoooo!  Both homes made it safely across the ferry!  On 6/28/07, exactly 5 months after we had tried to submit the permit for the Silvercrest home to transport to Snug Harbor, it was finally allowed across the ferry.  It took quite a bit of time, due to the amount of cribbing Caltrans required to be used, and it was a windy day, but the ferry handled it just fine.  The Skyline home made it across at the end of May. 

We wish to thank all the Caltrans people involved who helped to make this happen.  In particular, we'd like to express our gratitude to Kein Le of the Sacramento permits office, Angela Wheeler, the Caltrans engineer who finally agreed it could be done safely,  and Bob Songey of District 4 who got pestered with all our telephone calls trying to get this done. 

 
Below:  one section of the Silvercrest home on the ferry 6/29/07:  Snuggle Inn #2

(photos to be added)
Below:  one section of the Skyline home on the ferry late May 2007:  Snuggle Inn #3
 
Note:  You can click on the underlined words to find links to the documents described or go to  List of document links

It has now been over three months since CalTrans arbitrarily decided to limit Rio Vista Ferry access to Ryer Island.  We've asked for the full explanation of their sudden decision IN WRITING.  We still have not received that.  We still have no documentation showing CalTrans followed its own administrative process to validate the ferry access limits they are now imposing.  Snug Harbor is apparently an unimportant tiny speck in the minds of the CalTrans folks, and with so much else going on in the delta, and all that taxpayer money to be spent on levee work, their tactic has been to bounce the issue from person to person within the Caltrans system.  Summary of the CalTrans merry-go-round, with statement of facts in more detail below the summary:

21.  May 14, 2007. Home section is scheduled to move on May 23rd.  The 26'x13' home section will require cribbing, remote trax, etc, not because it is NEEDED to get across the ferry, but because Caltrans wants to do a practice.  It doesn't seem to matter that usually these sizes of homes simply drive on...and off the ferry!

 
Loft unit arriving at Snug Harbor after going on the ferry

None of these sized of home sections required cribbing...cribbing is just used when needed-clearly it was not needed for home sections up to 54' long!

Silvercrest Hitch and ground-to-hitch bottom

***See slide show
20.  May 10, 2007. 
Kein Le calls to say Caltrans has issued a permit...for ONE HOME SECTION, the smallest of the Silvercrest home sections!  We thought Angela Wheeler was going to let the three "smaller home" sections go across as a test, all on the same day.  Instead, they want to do just one piece as a test... so now CHP has to schedule an escort on Hwy. 84, Transporter and remote CAT will be scheduled, CalTrans will post advance notice of at least 7 days that home section is going across.  Home section is 26' long!  Any wonder why things cost so much in California?!!!  But we have no choice.  Its interesting to note CalTrans current PR campaign: "We're here to get you there"...

19.  May 9, 2007. 
Answers to cribbing blocks questions  provided.  We Call and email again to request at least smaller Skyline home be allowed across the ferry now.
Slide show:  Cribbing how to Mr. Le calls and says he's still waiting for the written approval from Ms. Wheeler and another CalTrans person for the smaller home.  He says permit is written...just needs her OK.  Photos of cribbing in use posted.
18.  May 8, 2007
.  Still nothing in writing from CalTrans.  Several telephone messages left over the last few business days with Mr. Le and Ms. Wheeler.  No response.  The transport companies for Silvercrest and Cousin Gary's still on hold.  We finally reach Ms. Wheeler by phone and she says that the "smaller home" (Skyline) should be able to go across the ferry, but there are still questions about the use of cribbing blocks and how many will be needed for transport of the Silvercrest home sections.
17.  May 4, 2007
.  Still nothing in writing from CalTrans, but verbal conversations early this week with Mr. Le and Mr. Songey indicate CalTrans will let the home sections use the ferry in the next week...We point out the high tides for the month are the 5,6,7th...but it falls on deaf ears
 

30.  June 12, 2007.  Additional Silvercrest Photos and information provided at request of Caltrans prior to issuance of permit to transport 2 remaining Silvercrest home sections.
Photos 1
Photos 2

29.  June 7, 2007.  3 home sections come across the ferry.  It takes more time per section than the transporter thought, and more cribbing, but it all worked out OK with just a little delay for the other people using the ferry.  Now we're working on the permits for the last 2 home sections, which are longer.  We learned that the best method is to back the sections onto the ferry, the ferry captain then turns the ferry around mid-river and the home is backed off the ferry.  Thanks to all who helped!!  Manager of Cousin Gary's says home will be ready for use by July 1.

28.  June 1, 2007.  The Cousin Gary's home is now scheduled for June 7th because Caltrans wants 7 day posting of possible delays using the ferry.  That is reasonable so locals will be aware of the homes transporting.  The only problem is that its scheduled to go across the lowest tide for the day...makes it harder getting across!
27. May 30, 2007. 
We call Cousin Gary's to find out when the homes are scheduled, only to find they haven't bothered to schedule transport yet.  Seems their transporter is busy with other work.  Steve from Cousin Gary's says CHP is the one to delay transport, but we find out that CHP (from the officer who schedules transport) is ready to escort as soon as June 1...but Cousin Gary's isn't ready!!!  After all this time!!  So now Cousin Gary's is delaying not only their home but also the rest of the Silvercrest home.

26.  May 25, 2007  Call from Kein Le and Cousin Gary Homes that Caltrans will allow the next sizes of home sections across the ferry.  Permits are issued to allow scheduling of CHP, transporters, equipment, etc.  Hopefully the whales will have gone back out to see by the time the homes use the ferry!

25.  May 23, 2007 
*** see video Photos
26' Silvercrest home section goes across ferry.  It takes less than 120 seconds to drive on, once allowed to go, and 45 seconds to drive off.  This doesn't count normal time it takes to ride the ferry across and the wait/discussion time prior to getting the "go ahead" by Mr. Songey

24.  May 20, 2007. 
Post drawings by Engineer for Snug Harbor, showing details for Silvercrest, per request of Angela Wheeler.  Cousin Garys still has not provided the information requested, so those drawings will hopefully be posted in the next few days if we can get the tire loads and axle information for Cousin Gary's.
Silvercrest Section A
Silvercrest Section B
Silvercrest Section C

Silvercrest Section C-offload

23.  May 15-20:  We try to get information as requested by Angela Wheeler; Silvercrest is helpful, but Cousin Gary's doesn't provide the information needed.  We are able to provide detail engineered drawings on the Silvercrest at this point.

22. May 15, 2007:  Information requested by Caltrans Engineer Angela Wheeler:
Silvercrest Hitch and ground-to-hitch bottom

Cribbing layout-to scale
More Cribbing-to-scale drawings:
Cribbing  Cribbing1 Cribbing2 Cribbing3 Cribbing4 Cribbing5


Studio size 24x12 driving off the ferry with no cribbing or remote trax needed.
 

 

1.  Oct-Dec 2006:  5 different people/companies receive confirmation from CalTrans employees that manufactured home sections 65' or less can get to Ryer Island using the Rio Vista Ferry at high tides, so long as the sections fit within the posted limits of the ferry.
2.
  January 2007:  based on assurances of CalTrans employees, manufactured homes are ordered or made that fit within the specifications posted for the Rio Vista Ferry
3.  February, 2007:  Permit to transport Silvercrest manufactured home sections denied because Sacramento CalTrans office says "no manufactured housing allowed on Ferry".  Sac office says this restriction was placed in 1999, but no one knew it!  Mr. Kein Le, a manager of the Sac office, says Mr. Steve Haynes of the Rio Vista Caltrans office can waive the restriction; it is recognized the home sections fit within the ferry height, weight, length restrictions and the denial is based on the sections being "manufactured housing" rather than "park models or "farm equipment"
4
February 1-15 2007:  We have several conversations with Mr. Steve Haynes of the CalTrans office.  He says he doesn't have the "authority" to waive the restriction, even though he was aware of our conversations with local CalTrans staff and our reliance on those assurances of ferry access.  Mr. Haynes directs us to talk to Mr. Robert Songey, Caltrans District 4, who Mr. Haynes says has the "authority" to make the decision.
5.
  February 15 to April 15, 2007:  Many, many conversations with Mr. Songey.  Eventually Mr. Songey requests information regarding each home section, and he says the information will be provided to a CalTrans Engineer named Angela Weaver, who will make the determination to allow, or not allow, the home sections to go across the ferry, based on safety issues.  He indicates the decision or recommendation will be made by Angela Weaver, and specifically says he doesn't have the "authority" to make decisions himself, that he will rely on the recommendations of the CalTrans engineering dept.   Mr. Songey and Angela Weaver are provided information within 12 hours of request regarding the larger Silvercrest home.  This is on March 17, 2007.  The Skyline info is provided the following week.  By this time, the California Manufactured Housing Institute and Assemblyperson Wolk's office is also tracking CalTrans activities (or lack thereof) regarding this issue

16.  May 1&2, 2007.  Answers and drawings posted online and sent by FAX to Mr. Le.  Silvercrest folks are very helpful by their quick response to the questions!
See answers (5/2/07 update)
New pdfs:
Equipment descriptions
Size comparisons
Balance of weight & profiles
more photos added
15.  April 30, 2007.  Telephone conversation with Mr. Kien Le, followed by an email with additional questions CalTrans wants answered.  But the good news is that Mr. Le says several CalTrans folks met last Friday and determined that the home sections could use the ferry..but more questions need to be answered.  The plan will be to let the smaller home go first.  Shooting for a week day sometime next week!  Hopefully!  Mr. Songey confirms the same thing about a meeting last week and the decision.  Silvercrest and Cousin Gary's are called so they will know to have their transporters ready.
14.  April 27, 2007
.  Letter from Mr. Usen Inyang, Deputy District Director, District 4 which basically says "we're looking into it". 
13.  April 24. 2007
Additional documentation is provided by FAX to Mr. Le.  In addition, graphic renderings of how the sections will go on and off the ferry are provided. 
12.  April 23, 2007
:  Transport permit requests are submitted to Mr. Le; Mr. Le lets us know additional documentation is needed.  Mr. Le confirms he has forwarded the details of each section back to Angela Weaver to make an official determination.  Mr. Lee also says he'll try to get an answer by Friday 4-27-07 if possible.
 

***See slide show
 


 

 

 

The CalTrans MerryGoRound!

 

 


 

The CalTrans MerryGoRound!

 

 


6.
  March 19 to April 9th:  Angela Weaver, the engineer for CalTrans, has several conversations with Snug Harbor, Cousin Gary Homes and Silvercrest, verifying all information, sizes of units, etc.  It is verbally acknowledged that all home sections with within the height, weight, length restrictions as posted for the Rio Vista ferry.  However, Ms. Weaver says she doesn't have the "authority" make the decision.  On April 9th she tells Snug Harbor she did make some recommendations, but would not say what they were, and said she had provided her information to Mr. Songey and/or Mr. Sorenson, and a letter was being sent out with the results of her calculations.  Mr. Songey confirmed that a letter was being drafted with recommendations, but also would not provide any verbal information.  He said Mr. Sorenson was reviewing the information and had the authority to make the decision based on the engineers' determinations.
7.  April 9th to April 13th
:  Messages and emails are left with Mr. Sorenson's office. Several calls to Mr. Songey also, who says a letter went out but claims no knowledge of what the letter says or what decisions have been made.  On Friday afternoon, April 13th, Mr. Sorenson reaches Snug Harbor and says a letter went out "last week" to Snug Harbor and we should be "receiving it soon".  He then said the letter was specifically mailed on Monday April 9, 2007.  However, he would not provide us with a copy or FAX of the letter, and would not even say what the content of the letter was.  He did indicate that no decisions had been made, that he doesn't have the "authority" to waive or deny CalTrans transport permits, and that the person who had the "authority" to allow the home sections across the ferry was a "Mr. Lee" in the Sacramento CalTrans office.....apparently the same Mr. Lee who over 2 months ago said he doesn't have the authority!
11.  April 20, 2007:  Telephone conversations with Mr. Kien Le, who's trying to help get the situation resolved.  Also talk to Mr. Usen Inyang, Deputy Director Dist 4, and Janice Lee from Assemblymember Lois Wolk's office.  Janice confirms she will talk to Mr. Sartipi again and try to help resolve the problem.  We confirm that "permit loads" have gone across the ferry many times over the last seven years, as Mr. Usen Inyang did not seem to be aware of this fact.

Mr. Ke recommends that we resubmit the transport permit applications giving the details of the home sections and how they will be taken on and off the ferry.  We contact the transport persons for Cousin Gary Homes of Sacramento and also the transporter for Silvercrest to request that they re-submit permit applications per Mr. Le instructions.  Mr. Lee says he will have an answer by April 27th. 

10.  April 19, 2007:  Telephone conversation with Kien Le, who again says it is up to Mr. Songey and his department to waive the permit restriction or remove it from the database.  We call Mr. Songey again, and he says Mr. Sartipi should be contacted to set up an appointment.  After many calls and requests over the last 3 weeks to Mr. Sartipi's office, a nice gentleman named Usen Inyang, Deputy Director, District 4 maintenance, returns our calls.  We discuss the situation, he says he will call Mr. Le, the CalTrans engineer, and that the Sacramento office issues permits, not the District 4 maintenance office.  He suggests we appeal to the director of the Sacramento office, but also asks for and is FAXed information about the two manufactured homes being denied ferry access

9.  April 18, 2007Mr. Songey calls to say we should contact Mr. Kien Lee (#3) as he has the authority to issue the permits.  Mr. Songey acknowledges that Angela Weaver (#6) has made determinations regarding the safety of the home sections using the ferry, but he says he is not authorized to provide that information and suggests I call Ms. Weaver or Mr. Kien or Bijan Sartipi.
8.
   April 14, 2007.  Letter received from Mr. Bijan Sartipi, District Director.  See letter: 1,2.  Still no answers, except that Mr. Sartipi says to contact Mr. Songey (#4 contact).  Still no answers as to why CalTrans had suddenly decided to discriminate against manufactured housing sections.  Still no answer why CalTrans did not follow their own legal procedures to legally limit access to California highways.  4-17-07: Written request sent to Mr. Sartipi for meeting to review the files.  Telephone request to Mr. Songey to meet with Mr. Sartipi.  Based on Mr. Sartipi's letter, it appears he has no idea what issues are at stake.
Statement of facts:
    From October 2006 through February 2007, owners of Snug Harbor Resorts, LLC, and manufactured home representatives from Silvercrest (Accent Homes of Manteca), Skyline (Cousin Gary Homes, Freedom Homes of Sacramento and Clayton Homes of Sacramento all had repeat conversations with various CalTrans ferry employees from the Rio Vista office regarding Snug Harbor's plans to upgrade our facilities by adding several manufactured homes to be used as "Snuggle Inns".  In addition, the restrictions for ferry use, as posted at the Ryer Island Ferry landing, was reviewed by all involved.  We all received confirmation that sections of manufactured homes could transport across the ferry if the home sections fit within the weight, length and overall load limits as posted at the ferry landing.  Since the bridge width/height onto Ryer Island is shorter than standard, and the "T" intersection once one crossed the bridge is so sharp manufactured homes can not easily use the bridge, the homes were therefore designed with ferry weight and length restrictions in mind, so that they could be transported by ferry to Ryer Island.  By January 2007 owners of Snug Harbor ordered several manufactured homes, and based on the assurance from the manufacturers (relied on CalTrans reps) that the homes could be delivered to Snug Harbor and set up ready to go by the end of February 2007, we began to accept reservations for these homes for use summer 2007 season. 

The homes were paid for and ready to be transported to Ryer Island and Snug Harbor by the end of February 2007, as scheduled.

However, when the transport permit applications were submitted to the Sacramento CalTrans office, they were denied.  Only then were we told, (the last week of February 2007), that sometime in 1999 "someone" at CalTrans decided to add to the roadway transport database  that 'NO MANUFACTURED HOMES PERIOD" could be transported using the Ryer Island/Rio Vista ferry.  None of the ferry captains that we spoke to over several months were aware of this restriction.  The manager of the Rio Vista CalTrans office, Steve Haynes, said he had only found out about the "manufactured home" restrictions within the last few months, and he did not communicate this knowledge to anyone else in the office, apparently.  (Note that the CalTrans database entry, dated 8/12/999 lists Steve Haynes as the contact; but Mr. Haynes was not the Rio Vista Ferry manager or contact in 1999.  He was appointed to his position in 2005.  Even at that time, when his name was added to the database for the ferry use restrictions, even he was not notified of the wording regarding manufactured homes).

    The ferry captains and Mr. Haynes tried to help the situation by putting us in contact with Mr. Robert Songey, the Maintenance Manager or coordinator for the whole Delta region, District 4.  Mr. Songey acknowledged that the restrictive words "no manufactured homes period" made no sense.  At his request, he was provided with the sizes, weight, height and transport methods for the two manufactured homes ready to transport, and he acknowledged that each home section fits within the posted guidelines for the ferry.  He acknowledged the denial of transport permit was based SOLELY ON THE LABEL FOR THE ITEMS.  Yet, he could not provide us with any information regarding WHY manufactured homes were specifically discriminated against using the ferry, WHO made this decision and WHEN, and WHY no notice had ever been provided to the business owners, farmers and residents of Ryer Island as we are the ones most drastically affected by this arbitrary, discriminatory use of words.  It is now the end of March and we still are being denied ferry access, and Mr. Songey still has provided nothing in writing verifying the rationale for the discrimination against manufactured housing, specifically.  We have asked neighbors and the farmers on Ryer Island if anyone remembers any posting or public hearing conducted by CalTrans anytime in the last 50 years regarding limiting ferry access for manufactured homes, or back then, mobile homes...no one recalls anything like that.  Some of the farmers have manufactured homes for their staff...and some of those homes came across on the ferry in the last 20 years!

     Note that the Rio Vista ferry regularly allows transport by all varieties of oversize equipment or items.  See photos of ferry transporting.  School busses, CalTrans trucks, backhoes, excavators, gasoline trucks, HomeDepot delivery trucks, large motor homes, trucks pulling large boats, and manufactured homes labeled "park models"  (made just like manufactured home sections, but smaller, and labeled differently) have often come across the ferry with permits.  Also note that we have been looking into other ways to transport the homes to Ryer Island, like hiring a barge and crane.  However, since the companies are all committed to major contracts for levee repair, we have not been able to find a time when a barge, tug boat, tug boat operator, crane, excavator, transporters, and ramps would all be available at the same time and place anytime soon to transport these homes to Snug Harbor for setup.  In addition, the cost of such transport will potential add $20,000 to $80,000 to the cost of the two homes, everything said and done.

    
     All the above is written to explain why, if the homes can not be delivered some way to Snug Harbor by the first or second week of April, 2007, we will have to begin cancelling the reservations of all the families who already booked the Snuggle Inns.  We are very, very sorry to have to do this, but it is not in our hands.  It is in the hands of CalTrans and they do not care if it takes weeks months or years to resolve this problem. 
 
 
 
  Snug Harbor Resorts, LLC
3356 Snug Harbor Drive, (& Port Lane, Starboard Lane and Marina View Circle are roads located within the resort grounds)
Ryer Island in Solano County.  near Rio Vista, CA      
  reservations@snugharbor.net
GPS:   Use Port Lane, Walnut Grove, CA  95690, even though we are located near Rio Vista, Solano County  
 
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