Public Input Needed for Coastal Erosion Plan

Public Meetings in San Francisco on July 12th and Pacifica on July 19th

The Association of Bay Area Governments and the Coastal Sediment Management Workgroup invite the public to attend a meeting, on July 12th in San Francisco or on July 19th in Pacifica, to provide input on a Coastal Regional Sediment Management Plan, which is being developed for areas located between Fort Point in San Francisco and Point San Pedro in Pacifica.

The focus of these meetings will be to:

  • Describe erosion issues affecting ocean beaches and coastal infrastructure, such as parking lots, highways, structures, storm drains, and sewage outfalls
  • Present implementation options (proposed solutions, such as beach nourishment, multi-purpose reefs, armor, allowed erosion, and managed retreat) and concepts for a regional plan
  • Solicit public comments on plan concepts

The public has the opportunity to attend one of the following meetings:

Thursday, July 12, 6:00-8:30pm
SPUR 2nd Floor Public Assembly Hall
654 Mission Street, San Francisco
Exhibition opens at 6:00, meeting begins at 6:30

OR

Thursday, July 19, 7:00-9:00pm
City Council Chambers
170 Santa Maria Avenue, Pacifica

Please RSVP to Athena Honore: ahonore@waterboards.ca.gov or 510-622-2325.

See the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) website for more information:
http://www.abag.ca.gov/

For a complete chronology and links to many more photos see Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade:
http://adequatebird.com/2009/12/17/evacuation-underway-at-330-esplanade/

See all of my pictures of the Esplanade crisis:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisd2006/collections/72157622920945823/

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Esplanade Ave from the Air – April 3, 2012

To see all sizes of these images, go to the Flickr set at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisd2006/sets/72157629424667198/

To see all of the pictures I took on our flight from Half Moon Bay airport to the Golden Gate see:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisd2006/sets/72157629788697815/

For a complete chronology and links to many more photos see Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade:
http://adequatebird.com/2009/12/17/evacuation-underway-at-330-esplanade/

See all of my pictures of the Esplanade crisis:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisd2006/collections/72157622920945823/

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June 2011 Esplanade Update: 340, 330, 320

340 Esplanade Patio Damage

In today’s San Mateo County Times article “Mother Nature threatens more Pacifica cliff apartment dwellers” by Julia Scott we learned that 340 Esplanade is the latest apartment building to experience substantial damage. According to the article, the area indicated by the yellow arrow in the first image,

The apartment building’s side walkway has caved in, taking a drainage grate and safety railing with it. Residents still have full use of their bluff-top patios…

According to the building’s owner Dennis Thomas, the damage was caused by surface water drainage problems on neighboring 330 Esplanade.

This thumbnail shows the current damage (see the SM Times article for the full size image):

These two images show the state of the same portion of the bluff (click for larger size):


August 15, 2010


February 26, 2011

330 Esplanade to be Abandoned

Farshid Samsami, owner of 330 Esplanade, said he now plans to walk away from the property because he can’t afford to fix the bluff. Samsami said,

Things could be solved in advance with the cooperation of (FEMA and) the other agencies, but they say they won’t do it. … We’re not asking for a handout or a whole repair, but at least help us. … It seems like their hands are tied as well.

Once the property is abandoned it will probably become the responsibility of cash-strapped Pacifica. Pacifica building official Doug Rider said that the city might try to get FEMA funding to protect the property.

320 Esplanade: Apparent Neglect

Meanwhile no work is taking place at Millard Tong’s 320 Esplanade building. Both 320 and 330 Esplanade are enmeshed up in lawsuits with a former contractor over unpaid bills and accusations of negligence.

For more information including an update on the sea wall below Lands End, and additional current photos see the June 23 2011 San Mateo County Times article “Mother Nature threatens more Pacifica cliff apartment dwellers” by Julia Scott.

The graphic of the 340 property line was courtesy of Redfin.com: 340 Esplanade Ave.

For a complete chronology and links to many more photos see Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade:

http://adequatebird.com/2009/12/17/evacuation-underway-at-330-esplanade/

See all of my pictures of the Esplanade crisis:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisd2006/collections/72157622920945823/

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Seawall Armor Below Land’s End (Photos)

Those squares of reinforced steel cement represent portions of a sprayed cement “shotcrete” wall with soil nails. I can see how they’ll eventually link up. I guess they’ll have to go almost up to the 30′ surf line, but that’s a little harder to imagine.

For a complete chronology and links to many more photos see Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade:

http://adequatebird.com/2009/12/17/evacuation-underway-at-330-esplanade/

See all of my pictures of the Esplanade crisis:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisd2006/collections/72157622920945823/

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340 Esplanade May Be At Risk

Erosion continued behind the buildings along Esplanade Ave in Pacifica, CA. Most notable, and downright scary, is a nearly unsupported patio behind 340 Esplanade. (Click an image for a larger version.)

For a complete chronology and links to many more photos see Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade:

http://adequatebird.com/2009/12/17/evacuation-underway-at-330-esplanade/

See all of my pictures of the Esplanade crisis:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisd2006/collections/72157622920945823/

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Those Buildings on the Cliff in Pacifica Are Slipping, Still

SFist: Those Buildings on the Cliff in Pacifica Are Slipping, Still.

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Winter Storm Further Erodes Esplanade Avenue Bluff, City to Call Meeting

Winter Storm Further Erodes Esplanade Avenue Bluff, City to Call Meeting by Camden Swita, Pacifica Patch

Swita reports that Pacifica building official Doug Rider plans to call a meeting next week with Pacifica City Attorney Cecilia Quick, City Manager Steve Rhodes and the owners of the buildings to discuss what the owners can do to save their property and under what circumstances the city would have to step in. Rider said,

Those buildings cannot be allowed to topple into the ocean.

According to Rider, the building owners have not been able to acquire funds to finance a rehabilitation of the bluff face, despite applying for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and California Emergency Management Agency (CALEMA) money. Rider concluded

If we can make it through one more winter, it will give them [the owners] more time to raise that money.

Low Expectations

The news reports of the past hours share a common theme of unanswered requests for comment and reaction from missing property owners (see links here).  If experience is a guide, then we can expect the owners to respond slowly but adequately, and to request more time to look for the funds to rescue the buildings.


For a complete chronology and links to many more photos see Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade:

http://adequatebird.com/2009/12/17/evacuation-underway-at-330-esplanade/

See all of my pictures of the Esplanade crisis:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisd2006/collections/72157622920945823/

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Rainwater Continues to Undermine Esplanade Buildings

News of additional erosion under one or more buildings along Esplanade brought out both TV and print reporters and residents were treated to a hovering helicopter and a news van with bright lights on the dark street. We’re waiting for up to pictures of our own, so for now we’re using a picture taken back on December 1, 2010.

Julia Scott’s story, As Pacifica cliff crumbles, city scrambles for plan B, (San Mateo Times via MercuryNews.com) makes plain the dilemma facing Pacifica officials: how long to wait for the owners to take action before condemning the buildings. Scott learned that the vacant buildings are not in imminent danger of collapse. According to Pacifica Building official Doug Rider’s estimate another “30 or 40 feet” of bluff would need to disappear before they really start to “teeter and fall over.” Note that elsewhere in the story a much more dramatic, but WRONG, assessment of the damage was made by a building’s manger who indicated that one-third of a building is unsupported. Both 320 Esplanade, seen on the left of this photo, and 330 Esplanade (right) have experienced loss of supporting soil.

Amy Hollyfield’s video piece Rains cause more damage to Pacifica apartments (KGO-TV 7 ABC) reported that a building official with the city of Pacifica (possibly Doug Rider) said the piece that fell out was small, nothing too dramatic, but he said the building owner needs to do something to stop the erosion of the bluff.

Meanwhile Pacifica is waiting for the owners to take action, an indication that owners intend to abandon the properties, or for the buildings to become a hazard.

My prediction: the building owners will “walk away” (allow the building loans to foreclose, go bankrupt, etc.) and Pacifica will have to pay for the demolition and removal of the buildings.




For a complete chronology and links to many more photos see Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade:

http://adequatebird.com/2009/12/17/evacuation-underway-at-330-esplanade/

See all of my pictures of the Esplanade crisis:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisd2006/collections/72157622920945823/

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Rain causes headaches along Pacifica coast (Photos)

Rain causes headaches along Pacifica coast

It is early in the winter 2010 season and already unmistakable signs of fresh groundwater erosion are visible beneath the buildings along Esplanade Avenue in Pacifica. Groundwater, water flowing underground, weakens and separates the layers of soil, sand and clay beneath the buildings, and washes away the surface of bluff. Given enough time groundwater will undermine and destroy the buildings just as surely as winter storms surf.

The dangers to the buildings on Esplanade Ave of uncontrolled groundwater drainage have been known since almost the beginning. A project including channels to control and divert groundwater has been completed at 360 Esplanade, but similar work at 330 Esplanade Ave was abandoned unfinished. (For an early reference to groundwater risks see Esplanade Update – Sunday February 7, 2010.)

The owners, community, and city of Pacifica need to remain alert of the dangers posed to the unprotected buildings along Esplanade Ave. Those buildings, in turn, continue threaten the road, infrastructure and well being of the residents in the nearby neighborhood.

Groundwater Seepage Example

Darkened earth and soil, stained by fresh groundwater, is visible in the following photos of the bluff below the south end of 330 Esplanade Ave. To the left is the flaked and shredded unfinished concrete and soil nail project intended to protect that vacant apartment building. These were taken following a dry period, but the recent storms are starting to make a difference.

310 Esplanade south: November 27, 2010 versus August 15, 2010

The still-occupied apartment building at 310 Esplanade Avenue in Pacifica stands atop a sand and soil bluff that shows significant fresh groundwater-related damage. The vacant buildings just south, 320 and 330 Esplanade are also showing recent weather-related erosion. The base of the bluffs are armored with about 30 feet of massive boulders, and so far the winter storms have not produced surf approaching that height.

In this view we see the south end of 310 Esplanade and neighboring, vacant 320 Esplanade.

310 Esplanade south: detail view

The earth – soil, sand and clay – beneath the protruding drainage pipe has receded since August.

310 Esplanade north erosion, August 15 and November 27

The north end of 310 Esplanade is next to the open “dog park”. More threatening, fresh erosion is happening here, too.

310 Esplanade north erosion detail:

An area of more than 20 square feet has fallen away from the bluff, as shown in these photos. The amount of earth (sand / dirt / clay) that has fallen seems small so far.

11/24: Rain causes headaches along Pacifica coast

The press continues to cover the Esplanade Ave story. KGO-TV, San Francisco (ABC) ran the story Rain causes headaches along Pacifica coast: http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/peninsula&id=7806869




For a complete chronology and links to many more photos see Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade:

http://adequatebird.com/2009/12/17/evacuation-underway-at-330-esplanade/

See all of my pictures of the Esplanade crisis:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisd2006/collections/72157622920945823/

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Pacifica Settles Lawsuit with AIMCO and Starts Drainage Pipe Project

Noticed at the south edge of the 380 Esplanade (The Bluffs, AIMCO) was the Coastal Commission’s mandatory notice of planned work, as well as dire evidence of the need for the work (click a picture for a larger version):

2010 CalEMA 400 Esplanade Storm Drain Outfall Project

Found on the Pacifica City website, an announcement and invitation for proposals or bids for Esplanade storm drain outfall relocation and repair:

2010 CalEMA 400 Esplanade Storm Drain Outfall Project

The 2010 CalEMA 400 Esplanade Storm Drain Outfall project will abandon the storm drain located on 380 Esplanade and will re-route all drainage that flows through the 380 Esplanade outfall to a new storm drain system running south within the Esplanade street right of way to 400 Esplanade. The proposed system will install approximate 900 linear feet of new pipe, 4 new manholes, 1 new drainage inlet and a new storm drain outfall on 400 of Esplanade just south of West Manor Drive.

The original document can be found by search on the City of Pacifica website (www.cityofpacifica.org) or get it directly from a copy I’ve saved on this site: CalEMA 400 Esplanade Storm Drain Outfall (PDF, 1.1 MB).

City Council Regular Meeting September 27, 2010

(To go here: Explanation of the settled lawsuit where Pacifica agreed to pay owners of 380 Esplanade Ave, AIMCO, $400,000 for damage resulting from subsidence associated with a municipal storm drain pipe.)




For a complete chronology and links to many more photos see Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade:

http://adequatebird.com/2009/12/17/evacuation-underway-at-330-esplanade/

See all of my pictures of the Esplanade crisis:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisd2006/collections/72157622920945823/

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Winter Weather Outlook in Pictures


For a complete chronology and links to many more photos see Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade:

http://adequatebird.com/2009/12/17/evacuation-underway-at-330-esplanade/

See all of my pictures of the Esplanade crisis:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisd2006/collections/72157622920945823/

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Esplanade Bluff Photos – September 2010

At low tide on a beautiful September evening (9/18/2010) I walked down the “dog park” access road and documented the current state of the bluffs and works below Esplanade Ave in Pacifica. Other than 330 Esplanade, I found things in good state and about as ready for the winter storms as could be…. with several notable exceptions.

  • 330 Esplanade – I didn’t see any signs of fresh dirt falls below 330 Esplanade, but I didn’t see any repairs or new work on the bluffs below it either. It was hard for me to avoid the conclusion that the rainwater and surf effects that closed the building last winter will continue to weaken and ultimately undermine the building. I guess I can’t know that the building will actually collapse down the bluff this winter, perhaps it will take more than one winter’s worth of storms to ruin the building and the gas, water and sewer lines that serve it. It doesn’t seem to be an exaggeration to expect the bluff to collapse though – after all, the buildings were evacuated as unsafe!
  • Access Road – the new beach access road is somewhat damaged by water runoff from a large white pipe. At this point the newly formed gully is on the inland side of the dirt road and out of pedestrians’ way.
  • 30′ Surf Mark – the rock rip rap below is not quite 30′ tall. See the picture for the blue spray-painted marking.




For a complete chronology and links to many more photos see Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade:

http://adequatebird.com/2009/12/17/evacuation-underway-at-330-esplanade/

See all of my pictures of the Esplanade crisis:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisd2006/collections/72157622920945823/

Posted in esplanade, local news, photography | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment