The City of Richmond’s on-call contractor, Bay Hawk, has installed temporary tarps on the historic Winehaven cottages at Point Molate before this week’s rainy weather.
After a historic preservation group filed a lawsuit to protect the cottages, the Richmond City Council voted in October to spend $438,000 to protect the turn-of-the-century cottages during the winter storms.
Tom Butt and Rosemary Corbin, both former Richmond mayors and heads of the Winehaven Trust, filed a lawsuit alleging that the city was not fulfilling its obligation to maintain the buildings.
Located in a National Register historic district, the cottages were built between 1907 and 1919 to house winery workers at what was once the world’s largest winery. They later housed military families when the Navy acquired Point Molate for a fuel depot during World War II.
The base closed in 1995 under the U.S. Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure Act. Ownership was transferred to the city in 2003. The fate of Point Molate has fueled contagious debate ever since.
A court found last month that the environmental impact report for the proposed development of Point Molate was flawed, which environmental groups say paves the way for the creation of a new shoreline regional park.
Butt said if the tarps remain on all damaged roofs throughout the winter and do not blow off or split, they will probably prevent any additional water damage from occurring.
“However, both the roofs and the rest of the cottage exteriors are in deplorable shape and will continue to deteriorate. There is no long-term plan or funding,” Butt said. “It is clear that the Richmond Progressive Alliance and the Point Molate Alliance have pretty much written off Winehaven. It is not a priority for them.”
Butt said the lawsuit is still pending.
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