Monday, October 4, 2010

Pacifica cliff apartments still in danger as rainy season nears

Updated: 10/04/2010 09:02:08 AM PDT

Condominium complex owners along Pacifica's now infamous eroding blufftop on Esplanade Avenue, heeding the lessons of the past, are planning to spend millions of dollars to ensure their backyards won't fall into the ocean this winter, according to city and state officials. 

But the owners of two apartment buildings that were evacuated last winter are no closer to formulating a plan to save them ahead of the rainy season, which officially begins on Oct. 15.

The spectacle of the cliff crumbling inexorably from behind the apartment buildings at 320 and 330 Esplanade Ave. drew wide attention from local and national media attention last December and caused the city of Pacifica to red-tag the dwellings, whose back porches had to be removed to prevent them from falling into the ocean. 

Ten months later, the buildings are still vacant. The foundations are still poking over the cliff. And the owners are enveloped in a morass of lawsuits and countersuits with the companies they hired to help stabilize the cliff amid heavy rainfall and to keep the ocean's destructive waves at bay.

Owners Farshid Samsami and Millard Tong could be tempting fate by delaying a decision on whether to demolish their buildings or to try to build some sort of artificial wall to hold the exposed bluff together for another few years, said city building official Doug Rider

"The city will step in if it became such an endangered species that it needs to removed from the top of the hill. But that's a long legal process," said Rider. 


Submitted by Jim Alex

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