Thursday, December 30, 2010

As Pacifica cliff crumbles, city scrambles for plan B

Updated: 12/29/2010 11:26:43 PM PST

PACIFICA -- Tuesday's storm dug another chunk of soil out from the foundation of a vacant cliffside apartment building on the city's notorious Esplanade Avenue, leaving a building one-third unsupported and hanging over the ocean, according to a building manager. 

Pacifica officials have been waiting for the owners of the two buildings that were evacuated last winter to come up with a strategy to save them, but now the city may have to come up with a proposal of its own.
"They appeared to be developing a plan, but they weren't able to get their funding together," said Doug Rider, a Pacifica building official. "It's unpredictable, and nobody's doing anything."

Pacifica officials evicted tenants from 320 and 330 Esplanade last winter after a series of storms, coupled with surging waves, pulled away as much as 20 feet of horizontal bluffline. Back porches were removed to prevent them from falling off the cliff.

Once residents were out of harm's way, the city sat back and waited for the owners to do something to stabilize the cliff. But the insurance money hasn't come through, according to Bart Willoughby, a caretaker for the buildings and go-between for the owner of 330 Esplanade and the city.


Posted by Steve Sinai

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