Friday, March 19, 2010

Fleecing of America - Beach Fill

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"This is a form of societal madness; to build buildings right up to the edge of an eroding shoreline doesn't make sense."

"By placing sand out there it [nourishment] provides a false sense of security."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Seawall Removal Case History

Scott vs Del Mar is an important case in our seawall position. This case ruled that a seawall built on public property could be removed and declared as a nuisance.

Here is some of the key information in the ruling:

"As discussed above, the evidence established (1) the Public Sidewalk on Map 1450 was dedicated to public use in 1912, and (2) the private seawalls, rip rap and patios on the Scott and Lynch properties completely obstructed public access to the Public Sidewalk area. Accordingly, the improvements were nuisances per se, and Del Mar had the power to declare them such and remove them, after complying with due process requirements."

"Likewise, Scott's and Lynch's claims that Del Mar's removal of the protective structures caused their properties to decrease in value fails to establish a constitutionally compensable "taking or damaging." To the contrary, as discussed above, Del Mar's abatement of the encroachments on public land was a reasonable exercise of its police power, which does not give rise to an inverse condemnation action."

While the seawall was ultimately removed from public property it was later built on private property.

Imperial Beach - Property owners claim threat to property but forget to mention their seawalls and development caused loss of beach

The article below is typical. A property owner builds too close to an eroding shoreline and then blames waves and tides for threatening their home. In the meantime, because they built this house an eroding coastline the beach has completely disappeared in front of their wall and home. The beach needs to shift landward but it cannot. Now the beach is gone. That is the real tragedy here. Nobody except Surfrider will fight to save that beach.

IMPERIAL BEACH — All that remains of a small, sandy beachfront yard once filled with lounge chairs and a fire pit are precariously stacked, protective boulders that residents of a four-unit Imperial Beach condominium complex say have sunk up to 10 feet.
A particularly damaging mix of high tides and high surf and a growing number of winter storms have stripped the sand from much of Imperial Beach, resulting in an emergency situation for Bill and Marty Arbuckle and their neighbors on Ocean Lane. They have asked the city to permit them to temporarily protect their condos with special 6-by-6-foot sandbags.
“This is the first time since we’ve lived here that we’ve had this kind of a problem,” Bill Arbuckle said last week from his home of 12 years as wisps of water from crashing waves reached his second-story sliding-glass door.
Imperial Beach officials, who approved the condominium owners’ request for temporary shoreline protection, say the problem isn’t limited to those at the condominiums.
“Shoreline erosion is a constant in our city but we’ve had consistent high storm and high tide events since December,” said Community Development Director Greg Wade. “Encinitas, Carlsbad and other coastal cities are having similar issues. The surf is so consistently high, there is no time for sand to settle back on the beach, which provides protection.”

Read the entire article:

Monday, March 1, 2010

Strand Closed in Oceanside 2-28-10

High tide and high surf coincided once again in Oceanside, but this time the Strand had to be closed to cars. Never before had I seen waves breaking into the parking lot just South of the pier, but there is a first for everything.

As I was snapping pictures, a lifeguard drove up, got out of his truck, and stood next to me. I thought I was busted because he knew I had been writing this blog and they didn't want bad press or something. Nope, he wanted to take some photos himself. I commented, "so its pretty unusual to have the waves breaking on the road this far north on the Strand, huh?" He replied ,"I've never seen anything like it."

This morning I went back to see how things were and the road is once again so covered in cobbles and sand that its hard to tell where the beach ends and the street begins. The swingset is once again unearthed and a few palm trees are dangerously close to toppling over.

I am glad to know that the lifeguards realize that the dynamic coast is shifting. I'm sure they realize that structures previously thought to be out of the danger zone are now getting closer and closer to the high tide line. What I hope comes from all of this is a meaningful discussion about planned retreat, to remove development west of the bluff. We will see.