By Kipp Robertson, July 28, 2014, Kingston Community News
The Port of Kingston filed an eviction lawsuit against Kingston Adventures owners Beth and Rob Brewster after the Brewsters refused to move their equipment from port property.
Notices for the Brewsters to vacate port property by June 30 were not heeded, according to Kitsap County Superior Court documents. The Brewsters were served on May 19 with a notice to vacate port property — specifically, eight kayak storage racks at the port’s small-watercraft facility. The Brewsters are fighting the attempt to evict them.
The trial, which began in early July, resumes on Aug. 1 at 9 a.m.
The Brewsters, through their lawyer Dennis McGlothin, asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit. That request was denied by the judge.
The eviction lawsuit follows a lawsuit filed by Kingston Adventures against the port in June. In that lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, Kingston Adventures alleges the port and its three commissioners “engaged in purposeful discrimination against [Kingston Adventures] because it was being run by a woman.” The lawsuit alleges the port is not equally enforcing laws for its tenants.
Both lawsuits follow months of back-and-forth over Kingston Adventures operating out of the port. The dispute is partly related to two agreements Kingston Adventures had with the port: One, a commercial use agreement that allowed it to conduct business on port property; and two, an agreement that allowed it to store kayaks in the port-owned small-watercraft facility.
Beth Brewster believes one of those agreements entitled her to launch from a 220-square-foot float that was located next to the small-watercraft facility for two years. The port said the float was not included in any agreement; the float is owned by the City of Poulsbo and is used by the city parks department for its sailing program in Kingston. The city pays a moorage fee to the port in order to keep the float there.
Kingston Adventures alleges the port moved the float away from the small-watercraft facility after Beth Brewster began questioning how the port operates. Port and city parks officials said the float was moved because the city sailing program was going to resume after a two-year hiatus. Brewster is not able to use the float now, and she said that moving the float violated her month-to-month agreement, according to her lawsuit.
According to information from Kingston Adventures, the business operated at the port on a month-to-month basis after its initial commercial use agreement expired in 2012. However, there was no month-to-month commercial use agreement, according to the port.
While the port wants Kingston Adventures to remove its equipment from the port’s small-watercraft facility, the company is allowed to launch small watercraft from the public boat launch and the business continues to operate.