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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
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)
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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 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
More Cribbing-to-scale drawings:
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
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
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
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)
Balance of weight
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.
The CalTrans MerryGoRound!
The CalTrans MerryGoRound!
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.
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
9. April 18, 2007:
Mr. 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.
April 14, 2007. Letter
received from Mr. Bijan Sartipi, District Director. See
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"
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.