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Former Orcem/VMT site still operating without permits in Vallejo – Times-Herald

According to a Times Herald survey, Vallejo’s Sperry Mill Site, owned by the Vallejo Marine Terminal, appears to be operating for industrial purposes without permission.

VMT has done so since the city of Vallejo sent a cease and desist notice two years ago.

It’s also unclear plans to work with Cal Maritime on a new development of the site after the VMT owner was charged with bribeing the head of public works in San Francisco.

VMT is owned by Alan Valera and William Gilmartin. Both pleaed in May through a former San Francisco public works director, Mohammed Null, who colluded to win a city contract. The pair was arrested by the FBI for bribing Null with a $ 40,000 air-conditioned tractor and a $ thousands of extravagant meals.

Today, the factory grounds at 800 Derr St have large equipment and trucks. Some workers on the scene wear yellow vests. Permission is required for storage of heavy equipment and work done on-site due to particular environmental concerns.

One source existed for the inspection of the Sperry Mill site on August 23, 2019, and the city sent a cease and desist letter to VMT. The person said the inspection officially held the city accountable if unauthorized industrial activity was discovered.

“I personally observed the crew moving heavy equipment and trucks in and out of the field and repairing heavy equipment in the building,” a source told The Times Herald. “Some employees even had caterpillar bulldozers just 15 feet from the coastline, draining runoff from the ground into the river.”

In October last year, a month after being charged, in an email received at the request of the California Public Records Act, VMT told the city that it would like to apply for a provisional permit to use the property. Varela and Gilmartin wanted to sublease to another outfit called ProVen Management, a construction materials company based in Oakland.

VMT told the city of Vallejo that it would like to use the Sperry Mill site for “temporary vehicle and car parking, temporary and occasional storage of dry construction materials, and assembly of minor building materials.”

VMT also requested a “private” meeting with then-mayor Greg Nyhoff in October, a month after the principal was charged by the FBI. Interim Deputy Mayor Gillian Hayes replied, “Greg wouldn’t be able to meet without me, but I would demand it.”

It is unknown what the meeting was or whether it happened.

“The staff doesn’t know if Greg met them,” city spokesman Christina Lee told The Times Herald.

An email from Haze to VMT representatives dating back to 2019 before the permit application arrived from VMT last fall will allow the company to remove trucks and other heavy equipment from the site before the code enforcement arrives. Requested.

Initially, Gilmartin approved the C & D letter from August 2019, and in the same month emailed “Please be aware that VMT will temporarily suspend the operation of the property until this issue is resolved.” I replied. VMT also said it would seek temporary licenses.

But almost two years later, the permit has not yet been issued. Times-Herald visited the VMT site on Derr Street on July 2, but the heavy equipment was still stored there.

Asked if the permit was finalized, Lee replied to the Times Herald on July 9: “The application is still incomplete and has not been approved.”

Hayes had previously contacted VMT and pressured them to complete the permit application.

“Our staff has spent a lot of time helping you on this site, and will continue to do so,” Hayes wrote to the VMT representative in an email in September. “But as always, we are looking for a solution as soon as possible, otherwise execution will continue.”

In another email that same month, Hayes further presses VMT to get the code and removes the carrier from the site.

“As for the shipping company, it was very clear that the use of the fleet was not allowed in the field. The last conversation we had with you was to make sure you moved the fleet off the site. Was … I can’t stop the execution process without instructions. “

VMT has a long history with the city of Vallejo by blowing off meetings and avoiding deadlines. When VMT worked with Orcem to open a “green” cement plant on the fly, it eventually abandoned the project after withdrawing the appeal. The city reported the lack of cooperation and necessary information from VMT during the process, as previously reported. Times-Herald.

VMT has repeatedly become AWOL while the Vallejo Planning Commission has filed a complaint that it has refused to do business with Orcem. In April 2019, in a letter from then-Assistant City Attorney Shannon Eckmeier to Valera and Gilmartin, the city said, “We had minimal contact with you on any of our requests … City. Decided to apply for the VMT / Orcem project. Abandoned. “

In the months leading up from the city’s assistant lawyer to the April letter to Valera and Gilmartin, the FBI received a series of expensive prizes from the VMT principal, who wanted to sign a contract, to the San Francisco Public Works Director. And gave an overview of food gifts. Operates an asphalt plant at the port of San Francisco. It is not clear if the asphalt comes from the proposed Orcem “green cement” plant.

“Gilmartin estimates that he spent more than $ 20,000 on a meal with Null using his ProVen credit card,” reads the FBI’s criminal accusation filed in September.

After the contract with Orcem was terminated, Nyhoff sent an email to Hayes in June 2020 stating that he was “extremely concerned” about the proposed use on the same site.

“A few months ago, there was a discussion between the city and VMT that the property was moved to a new general plan designation and industrial use would not continue,” he wrote. “This (suggestion) seems to indicate a change to our previous commitment to VMT.”

Nyhoff appears to be referring to amendments to the general plan discussed at the Vallejo City Council meeting in November 2019. The plan is to move the site from “Industrial” designation to “Business / Limited Housing” for multipurpose and “use of public facilities”. .. “

Cal Maritime has worked with VMT to build a public-private partnership to build a sub-campus on the site that includes housing, education, office space, and even the long-awaited South Valley grocery store. The current status of its development is unclear and the site is still an industrial area.

Times-Herald contacted Cal Maritime about the status of the project following the plea of ​​Varela and Gilmartin.

“The Sperry Mill site is adjacent to the Calmaritime waterfront, and we look forward to the day when the conversion of this long-desolated historic area progresses,” said university executive Robert Arp. Said in an email statement to the Times. Herald. “Cal Maritime welcomes the opportunity to work with the city of Vallejo and external partners to maximize the development of this property.”

Times-Herald contacted ProVen Management’s Alan Varela about the story, but didn’t get a response by the press time.

Former Orcem/VMT site still operating without permits in Vallejo – Times-Herald Source link Former Orcem/VMT site still operating without permits in Vallejo – Times-Herald

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