Monday, May 17, 2010

The Crumbly Cliffs lawsuits begin

Engineered Soil Repairs (ESR), the company that was hired to prevent the Esplanade apartments from falling into the ocean, is suing the owners of of 310 and 320 Esplanade for non-payment.

Engineered Soil Repairs, Inc vs. Millard W. Tong and Does 1 through 50

Editor's note - If I were Tong, I'd just give the land and buildings to ESR. I also expect Tong and the other owners to sue the city for not granting permission to lay a seawall and make further emergency repairs in a timely manner. Remember, the city delayed the process by crassly trying to extort $60,000 for a hiking trail from the apartment owners as a condition for granting permission for the seawall, and from there refusing permission to allow heavy equipment to access the beach.  By the time permission was finally granted in both cases, it was too late.

Posted by Steve Sinai


Steve Sinai said...

I just noticed - three articles in a row about Pacifica lawsuits, and an article right before that on crime in Pacifica. Maybe we should change the name of the blog to the "Pacifica Legal Reporter" or something.

Pacifica Truth Police said...

Perhaps we can parlay Pacifica’s perpetual legal morass into an economic engine. I’m thinkin’ of something along the lines of “The People’s Court”. Except in our perverted case, we’ll call it “The Peebles’ Court” – appropriately named after an infamous greedy carpetbagger and abuser of all things green who passed through town once upon a sustainable time. We could even build a luxury television studio in the Rockaway Quarry (nothin’ else goin’ on there) and host pay-per-views on TV26. Litigants could stay at any one of the many fabulous choices for lodging at Rockaway. Perhaps the City itself could build its very own hotel complex on the Florida developer’s surrendered land and even have it designed by the same geometric geniuses who gave us the Pacifica Police Station grey box on Highway 1. We could call it "The City of Pacifica TOT Express Inn". This all has the potential of being a total win-win for our City’s financial future. Perhaps even the boyz at the Chamber of Commerce can come up with a snappy slogan like, “Our environmental lawsuits are our economy” or something…

Anonymous said...

What a load of crap! The infighting among the owners delayed their use of a permit granted by the city months before! At least get the facts before you spout off. Just think about it! Where would there even be room for a trail!?! If you mean put the access back the way they found it,well that is protecting the public. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Clearly, Anon, you don't know where that trail was going to be located. Hint: not behind the apartments, as you seem to think.

Look it up and then pass judgment.

Kathy Meeh said...

Truth Police I remember Councilmember DeJarnatt saying something like "our lawsuits are our savings plan" in reference to the North Pacifica LLC "win", a net loss of something like $1.5 million.

Anonymous, Esplanade cliffs have been decaying for years, houses fell more than 15 years ago, USGA warned 10 years ago. Does the city have any responsibility in stabilizing land erosion, or do we wait until the ocean is lapping over highway 1?

The city hold-up on permits mentioned in the article above is similar to something I heard, maybe someone you know could produce documentation which proves that not correct information, and just a circulating rumor.

Roy, Dale, Trigger, Jimmy and Petey said...

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then.
Who cares about the cliffs when we're together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you, 'till we meet again.

Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It's the way you extort the trail that counts,
Here's a happy one for you.

Happy trails to you, 'till we meet again.

Steve Sinai said...

Here is a link to one of the articles asked about -
Julia Scott article on apartments and their problems getting permits

According to the article, the apartment owners had been trying to get permission from the city to protect the cliffs since before January 2008, with no success.

Chris Dant said...

Despite the delay, they did get the permits and rock rip rap did get deposited at the base of the bluff behind Tong's properties (310 and 320) but not behind 330. I understand that issue was not lack of time but a dispute among the owners over the property lines and responsibilities. I've heard several variations on the theme, but looking at the property lines there could have be a legitimate debate as to whether 330 even had an ocean front back in 2008 / 2009. At any rate... lot's of lawsuits to come, I'm sure.

Steve Sinai said...

Thanks Chris. I had heard that the first problem was getting permits, but once that was finally resolved, the next problem was figuring out how to apportion the costs among apartment owners.

I imagine the dispute will be about how much the delay in getting permits affected the ultimate outcome. The apartment owners will say it had everything to do with the final outcome, while the city will say the delay had nothing to do with the final outcome.

GOD (sorry for the caps - just want to make sure you're listening) said...

Let me be quite clear on this one:


You, on the otherhand, are responsible for where you build, where you live and who is running your city/county/state/country. Now please, let me get back to more important things...Pacifica takes up way too much of my time!

crumbling cliffs said...

So the city is to blame for the crumbling cliffs slowly making these properties unsafe.

Tong knew the cliffs around town where unstable. The city may have delayed the permit process, deal with it they delay everyone who applies for a permit.

A quick ride around town. Pedro Point, Rockaway the houses that fell off the cliff right behind Manor Post Office will tell you the cliffs are unstable.

Council Flunky Dog said...

"...The city may have delayed the permit process, deal with it they delay everyone who applies for a permit."


We approved the permits for our quarry grease refinery quietly and quickly. We were so excited, we approved the permits before Council Flunky Dog's friends even applied for them.

We also didn't delay Jimmy V. when he needed permits to work on his house. We just let him go ahead without the required permits at all. Them's the perks of being a council member!

And if you don't like it, you can move out of town.

Kathy Meeh said...

I remember the people who lived in those apartment buildings complaining about city delays at city council about October, 2009. From the article link Steve posted (5/17,10:35pm) above..."The city also asked the apartment owners to install a coastal trail on the public land when the work is done, at an estimated price of $60,000. The main reason for this request is the city has long wanted a trail there and can't afford it, said Ocampo. But he said the city might back down on that particular request.

And, ending the article "If the property owners feel they do not want to do that, all they have to do is say so." So, did the city say "no big deal, whether you pay these fees is voluntary?"
Probably not. Currently the city has tagged on these "trail fees" to property owners who are trying to build--surprise to there already too hefty fees in dealing with this city and the coastal commission! Did city council pass such an ordinance? Or, without a city council ordinance or city vote, is that even legal? From my view it sure isn't ethical.

What will this city think of next to penalize property owners who try to improve their property hence increase city tax revenue, and in this instance save their property and the continued deterioration of our city cliffs?

Where is the economic boost that needs to happen here? Well it didn't happen in the past 8 years under existing city council leadership did it? "Funky dog" may have a point, but rather than mass citizen exodus, it seems more appropriate for city council to move out-of-office.

Council Flunky Dog said...

"...'Funky dog' may have a point"

My name is Flunky Dog...with an "L". Even though I'm a council-lovin' earth-child, I do take several baths a year, so the "Funky" tag isn't totally deserved.

Anonymous said...

Do any of you think Tong and company thumbing their nose at steep fines from the Feds due to illegal bulldozing on his Millwood Ranch project has anything to do with his rant against the city? He has blown off the city so many times it is nuts and now he wants the city to pay. Go figure. The City gave him everything he wanted. The bickering land owners delayed the project.

Anonymous said...

Oh and for "proof" - check the "emergency" permit dates against when they began construction. Guess what? It was months later! Seems to me we tax payers are the ones getting had by the property owners. No I do not want my money paying for crazy people who want to own property on cliffs made of sand. Check when each of those buildings were last sold and then ask, did they know?