Marina trial should end today

Susan Wood, Tahoe Daily Tribune

The Lakeside Marina trial in El Dorado County Superior Court took a step back in time Wednesday morning.

Bob West and Bob Pruett of two pioneering families in Tahoe — West and Park, respectively, said they understood that many members of the public used the marina boat ramp in the lake’s heyday as far back as the 1940s.

The two men submitted statements to the court in a legal battle waged between the Lakeside Park Association, the group of motel and homeowners who own the marina access and offices, and the Lakeside Yacht and Harbor Club, which leases the slips from the California State Lands Commission. The yacht club’s 16-year lease for marina access expired June 30, and the LPA is suing the yacht club for defacing and slandering the 91-slip marina’s title.

The LPA has expressed interest in other expansion plans.

Brendan Riley, one of the boaters who leases a slip and serves on the yacht club board of directors, testified before Judge Suzanne Kingsbury that he also believed the “ramp was used by anybody who wanted to go down there.”

On the stand, Riley told plaintiff attorney Dick Glasson that the LPA showed a “failure to deal with us fairly.”

When asked if a boater planned on harming the marina if an agreement couldn’t be reached, Riley said it was a bogus claim that didn’t reflect the position of the yacht club.

Later that afternoon, Kingsbury toured the marina with the attorneys to get a glimpse of the area in question.

The trial should wrap up this morning with closing arguments.

In its suit filed last August, the LPA seeks total control of the property and punitive damages amounting to $500,000.

Yacht club members, numbering 70 people, say they’ve spent at least that much in upgrades to the slip structures and fueling system.

The two sides spent years embroiled in negotiations and legal wrangling that led to the trial.

The outcome may result in a change of profile of the modest, middle-class marina located at the end of Park Avenue.

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