Wednesday, April 16, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
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State: Google must move ‘mystery’ barge

Google Barge

FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, file photo, two men fish in the water in front of a Google barge on Treasure Island in San Francisco. A state agency says Google must move its mystery barge from a construction site on an island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay because the permits are not in order. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

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February 04, 2014 | Leave Comment

SAN FRANCISCO — Google must move its mystery barge from a construction site on an island in the middle of the San Francisco Bay because the permits are not in order, a state official said Monday

The notice came after the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission investigated numerous complaints about the construction of the floating, four-story building, commission executive director Larry Goldzband said.

The investigation found that neither the Treasure Island Development Authority nor the city of San Francisco had applied for required permits for the work to be done at the site.

Goldzband said Google can resolve the issue by moving the barge to one of the fully permitted construction facilities in the San Francisco Bay.

“It needs to move,” he said.

Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mirian Saez, director of the Treasure Island Development Authority, said, “we did not intend to violate or circumvent the process.”

The authority will try to apply for the correct permits with the commission, she said, noting her agency has not spoken to Google about the issue.

Preliminary planning documents submitted to the port last fall showed plans for Google to build an interactive space for people to learn about technology.

The documents ended months of speculation that the barge would be a party boat, data storage center or a store for Google to sell its Internet-connected glasses.

Google has had little to say about the barge or another vessel off the East Coast.

In November, the company issued a statement that said, “Although it’s still early days and things may change, we’re exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology.”

Goldzband said the construction in San Francisco Bay was not authorized by the agency, and the Treasure Island Development Authority, which allowed the project, could face fines and enforcement proceedings.

The disclosure by the California agency marked the second set of permit problems for the barge project. Late last year, work was halted after the Coast Guard said additional permits were needed.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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