Boat Owners Get More Time at Shipyard Quarters

The owner of the Shipyard Quarters Marina in Charlestown who has spent the last year allegedly ignoring orders from city and state agencies to clean up his marina received an order from a judge this week.

A judge has ordered that the shipyard’s owner, Martin Oliner, to halt any attempt to evict boats.

Judge Elizabeth Fahey also ordered the owner to take immediate steps to ensure the structural integrity of the severely dilapidated facility.

Over the past year concerns from boaters and residents have been raised because the shipyard has become a public safety and environmental concern for local residents and boat owners.

Recently Attorney General Martha Coakley stepped in after the issues were brought to her attention.

“Shipyard Quarters Marina continues to suffer from serious structural problems placing the public at risk,” said Coakley. “This latest action is another example of this owner dodging his responsibility to correct this dangerous situation for boat owners and the general public. Our primary concern is for the safety of the boat owners and we continue to explore all legal options. We’re also working with Mayor Menino’s Office and the MassDEP to provide services for them.”

Mayor Thomas Menino said the owner of Shipyard Quarters Marina has continued to demonstrate complete disregard for the safety of the residents of Charlestown.

“For more than a year, we have urged him to take responsibility for this property and make the necessary repairs,” said Menino. “I look forward to working with the Attorney General’s Office to restore the marina and bring some justice for the residents who have suffered from the irresponsible actions of Mr. Oliner.”

MassDEP Commissioner Ken Kimmell said that one year ago, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection ordered the owner of Shipyard Quarters Marina to fix the safety issues at this property.

“The owner has failed to comply,” said Kimmell. “We appreciate the Attorney General’s intervention and look forward to this longstanding problem being remedied. We will closely review the engineering submissions that are required by the court order to ensure that this facility becomes safe for its users and the public.”

According to a  lawsuit a request for a preliminary injunction against marina owner Martin Oliner of Lawrence, N.Y., Shipyard Quarters Marina, L.L.C., and LDA Pier 9, L.L.C., were filed together in Suffolk Superior Court on Aug. 1. According to the complaint, Oliner was appointed as the trustee of the Shipyard Marina Trust and Shipyard Quarters in August 2005.  He is now the sole manager of Shipyard Quarters Marina, LLC and LDA Pier 9, LLC, which are also named as Defendants in the Commonwealth’s Complaint.

Last week, Judge Elizabeth Fahey issued a temporary restraining order (TRO), requiring the defendants to hire an engineer to assess the structural integrity of the marina. The order also effectively froze the financial assets of Oliner and his two companies.

Pending the inspections, the TRO required Oliner to make safe, if possible, a portion of the marina sufficient to accommodate remaining vessels until the end of the season.

Last Tuesday, however, Oliner gave boat owners 48 hours to vacate the marina. At a Wednesday hearing, the AG’s Office alleged that Oliner violated the terms of the TRO by issuing the eviction notices and requested that Oliner give owners a reasonable amount of time to locate alternative accommodations if an inspection reveals that no portion of the marina may be made safe.

Coakley’s Office also requested that Oliner pay their relocation costs and fully refund license fees paid for use of the marina facilities for the remainder of the season.

Judge Fahey extended the TRO indefinitely last Thursday. Despite the order, the AG’s office learned that Oliner intended to move forward with evictions, and lock owners out early Friday morning. In response, the AG’s office filed an emergency motion last week to halt those evictions. That motion was granted last Thursday afternoon pending the outcome of another hearing which has been scheduled for Monday.

The court order postpones the use of the facility after Oct. 31 until renovations have been completed and continues the freeze on the financial assets of Oliner and his two companies.

The preliminary injunction filed would require regular inspections of the marina as work is performed and for the engineer to certify which sections of the marina are safe for vessels currently docked.

The complaint also seeks to fine Oliner $25,000 for every day that the marina’s condition violated state law, which could total millions of dollars.

The lawsuit follows inspections of the marina by MassDEP over the last year, which discovered numerous safety hazards at the marina including broken and nonexistent pilings as well as corroded electrical systems.

According to the complaint, the marina comprises piers 6 and 8 of the Charlestown Navy Yard and the section of the Harborwalk that runs on and between the two Piers. The complaint alleges that on pier 6 numerous “finger floats” and “vessel slips” used for docking boats are either twisted or missing pieces of their deck and were generally unsafe for use. On pier 8, the complaint alleges that many of the steel pilings that hold the docks in place are rusted through and that some of those pilings have already collapsed due to deterioration.

Furthermore, wooden beams and pilings that support pier 8 have allegedly suffered significant deterioration and are rotting, creating a serious safety hazard for the general public.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.