Google Told To Move ‘Mystery Barge’

Google does not have the proper permits for a mystery barge at a construction site on an island in San Francisco Bay, a state official said, and must move the floating, four-story building that drew wide attention and fueled weeks of speculation when it was erected last fall.

"It needs to move," Larry Goldzband, executive director of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, said Monday.

The commission investigated numerous complaints and 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 and could face fines and enforcement proceedings, Goldzband said.

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

Google Inc. said it is still reviewing a letter from Goldzband outlining the commission's concerns about the secretive project.

Google has been vague about plans for the barge or a similar vessel off the East Coast and says they may change, but preliminary planning documents and a subsequent statement from the company said the barge would be an interactive space for people to learn about technology as it traveled from dock to dock.

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

But now it has apparently become another headache for the search giant in its dealings with San Francisco, 40 miles north of its corporate headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Google also has been at the center of a city controversy over private buses that several large tech companies use to transport workers south to Silicon Valley. Some community members say the buses are congesting city bus...

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