Friday, June 18, 2010

Owners of apartments on crumbling Pacifica cliffs may have found a fix

By Joshua Melvin
San Mateo County Times
Updated: 06/17/2010 11:13:34 PM PDT

The owners of the apartment buildings perched on a crumbling Coastside cliff may have found a way to come up with the money to keep their structures safe from demolition and, for a time, Mother Nature.

The owners on Esplanade Avenue are looking at using a little-known state rule that allows communities threatened by landslides, earthquakes or other geologic catastrophes to set up a collective that can apply for federal and state money but, more importantly, can raise cash by selling bonds, officials and owners said Thursday.

That money could be used for the multimillion-dollar project to bolster the cliff, erosion of which forced the evacuation of the buildings at 320 and 330 Esplanade. The decision to have residents leave came because city officials and engineers could no longer guarantee their safety after massive chunks of the bluff disappeared into the Pacific Ocean.

In both cases, renters had to find new lodging in a hurry, though some had anticipated the problems and chosen to leave.

This may be the last and best hope for the owners, who have struggled to come to an agreement on and find the money for a long-term fix to erosion that is eating away the ground beneath the apartments. The emergence of this new possibility, known as a Geologic Hazard Abatement District, comes as options dwindle and time runs out.


Submitted by Jim Alex

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