Tag Archives: local news

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/

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Digging Towards the Light of Devil’s Tunnel

According to the article on nbcbayarea.com, “Crews are just over a hundred feet from breaking through the mountain. They expect to reach daylight on the other side on Oct. 1. Once crews pierce the mountain, it will take another two years to finish stabilizing the tunnels and building the roadway.” See the link for more info…

NBC Bay Area – Digging Towards the Light of Devil’s Tunnel.

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Esplanade Ave Bluff Erosion – August Photo Update

Latest pictures from below Esplanade Ave in Pacifica, courtesy of a generous local observer (see Flickr Esplanade Ave – August 2010 for larger images and more text):


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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Owner misses deadline for plan to save Pacifica cliff apartments – San Jose Mercury News

Cliffside apartment building owner Millard Tong failed to meet a deadline to submit a timeline for repairs to the cliff behind his evacuated building Monday, but building officials said they don’t plan to enforce it.

From Julia Scott and the San Mateo County Times:


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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November 2009 Bid for work behind 310 and 320 Esplanade

The Current Complaint

On July 2 a lawsuit for breach of contract was filed in San Mateo Superior Court by the subcontractor that did the aerial drilling behind / beneath 330 Esplanade Avenue in Pacifica CA., Drill Tech Drilling & Shoring, Inc., against the the prime contractor. Engineering Soil Resources Inc. Also named in the suit was the owner of 330 Esplanade, Farshid Samsami. The suit alleges that Drill Tech Drilling & Shoring began work as contracted but was never paid. Work behind 330 Esplanade halted in February (Monday or Tuesday 2/15 or 2/16) before it was completed, and subsequently in April failed (for pictures and details see my post Further bluff collapse beneath 320 Esplanade).

You can see the case documents on the San Mateo Superior Court “Open Access” website, Unlimited Civil case, 496610, “Case CIV496610 – DRILL TECH DRILLING VS ENGINEERED SOIL REPAIRS“.

We observed the work with interest since it involved a big red crane hoisting workers in a basket over the coast side apartment building, and it seemed pretty obvious at the time that the work ended abruptly, unfinished. Now it seems we know why the work stopped, but of course do not know why invoices for the work have gone unpaid. Like much else of the story behind the actions on Esplanade, we wait for the details to come out in court.

Buried in the July 2 complaint, however, was a document that appears to reference an altogether different property.

Something Odd: November 2009 Bid

The first attachment in the complaint, presumably intended to represent the contract between the parties (exhibit “A”) does not reference 330 Esplanade at all. Instead it appears to be a bid that Drill Tech submitted to ESR dated November 12, 2009 for a similar soil-nail project to be done for 310 and 320 Esplanade.

November 2009 was weeks before the bluff erosion and collapse that ultimately closed 330, and eventually also shuttered 320 Esplanade.

Here are scans of the pages from the complaint:

..




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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Legal mess over Pacifica cliff work grows

A second lawsuit seeking compensation for unpaid construction bills has been filed over the effort to shore up a crumbling cliff that forced the evacuation of two coastside apartment buildings.

Drill Tech Drilling & Shoring alleges that Engineered Soil Repairs owes it $373,100 for work it did to build a retaining wall, according to a lawsuit filed in San Mateo County Superior Court on July 2. That wall was designed to keep any more of the bluff behind the apartments at 330 Esplanade Ave. from tumbling into the Pacific Ocean.

The owner of the vacant 12-unit building, Farshid Samsami, is also named in the lawsuit.

See the whole article for details:


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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Current Esplanade Aerial Photo

This composite image based on two photos posted on Pacifica Riptide, photographer credit to Tim Brand and copyright to EvanFlys.com.

Labeled features with links to my posts for more information:

  • Lands End “Dog Park” – the open space at the Lands End apartment complex. According to the Coastal Commission permit work is underway to lay a rock rip rap revetment to halt erosion that threatened this open space area plus building 112, not visible to the left of this image. (Lands End Ramp, Patio at 330 Esplanade)
  • 310 Esplanade, Millard Tong owner. 310 Esplanade had emergency work done this winter to add rock to the north (left) end of the rip rap that was already placed below it. (Deadline from Pacifica: Prove it or Lose it, Thursday 4/22)
  • 320 Esplanade, Millard Tong owner. Closed after emergency work to add rock to the south (right) end of of existing rip rap. Both properties had rip rap laid in 2009, and both were damaged when that protection was either insufficient or diminished by the absence of similar protection at the neighboring properties. (Evacuation Order for 320 Esplanade)
  • 330 Esplanade, Farshid Samsami owner. Evacuated 12/17/2010 after winter storms eroded the unprotected beach and bluffs beneath it. (Evacuation underway at 330 Esplanade) In the following weeks the rock and soil nail wall with shot crete cement shown here was added to prevent further erosion. The work was not finished, according to reports, due to lack of funds and subsequently the property has resumed eroding. (330 Esplanade Balcony) Properties on either side of 330 Esplanade laid rock rip rap in 2009. Only sketchy, vague explanations mentioning disagreements among the owners, perhaps related to unusual property lines or access, have been published. (Long Term Displacement + Property Map)
  • 360 Esplanade, Aimco Apartments owner. Additional rock laid and soil nail wall with sprayed shot crete added to halt erosion. (Work to Begin at 360 Esplanade)
  • Sewer, Pacifica. Meanwhile Pacifica has a yet-to-be resolved problem: severe cliff erosion, landslide, ground subsidence and failure of the revetment supporting the City’s storm drainage outfall structures at 380 and 400 Esplanade Avenue in Pacifica. (Pacifica Council Agenda – Prior to the April 12, 2010 Meeting)

Not visible but still actively working to stop / remediate related erosion damage are two properties to the north (left) of this view:

Composite image based on photos originally published at Pacifica Riptide. Thanks to them and the photographers who retain ownership and rights to the images: The Losing Battle: Esplanade Slip Slippin’ Away.



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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Balcony and Patio Removed – 330 Esplanade

The packed-sand bluff beneath the cement patio fell away from the north end of the building on (about) June 12th. The result was a terribly dangerous situation for anyone walking on the beach below the building. Pacifica required that the patio and balcony be removed. (Full size images on Flickr here.)

Here’s what the building looked like before the balcony and patio was removed:



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 , , , | Leave a comment

Geologic Hazard Abatement District

In a story today from the San Mateo County Times (Owners of apartments on crumbling Pacifica cliffs may have found a fix) we learn that one / some of the owners are considering requesting the creation of a special “Geologic Hazard Abatement District”. This special District would have the ability to get loans to pay the cost of a plan for the prevention, mitigation, or abatement of a geologic hazard. The loans are to be repaid by a special tax assessment on the property owners.

The City of Pacifica would create this special District, but would not have any financial responsibility for it.

Notes from Pacifica City Council’s Esplanade Study Session on February 10, 2010:

At the Esplanade Study Session on February 10th, the idea of a Geologic Hazard Assessment District was mentioned. At the time (according to my notes) it was described as a special property tax that would be used to make repairs or to remediate public property such as a street, sidewalk, gas, utilities, etc. but not parks. One of the key challenges to overcome in creating a District was isolating property proportion, i.e. charging property owners according to the benefit they require. It was said that it would require a minimum of 8 owners, though I do not know how that was determined. (See the section below listing property owners.) Bottom line: Property owners cover cost; Council votes to create the District.

I was not familiar with Geologic Hazard Abatement Districts, so I did some research. I’m not a lawyer, just a curious bystander. Anyway, here are some of my notes:

Creating the District

What is a Geologic Hazard Abatement District? It is comprised of the property owners who will BOTH benefit from the District, and pay for the District.

[26571] A district is comprised of an area specially benefited by
and subject to special assessment to pay the cost of an improvement.

Petition or Resolution. 10% or more of the property owners based on property valuation (not based on the number of owners).

[26550.5] Proceedings for the formation of a district may be
initiated by either of the following methods:
(a) A petition signed by owners of not less than 10 percent of the
real property to be included within the proposed district.
(b) By resolution of the legislative body.
A plan of control shall be attached to the petition.

Plan of Control

[26509] "Plan of control" means a report  prepared by an engineering
 geologist  certificated pursuant to Section 7822 of the Business and
 Professions Code or a firm of engineering geologists  which describes
 in detail a geologic  hazard, its location and the area affected
 thereby, and a plan for the prevention, mitigation,  abatement, or
 control thereof.

Enacting (or thwarting) the District

[26566] If it appears at the  hearing that owners of more than 50
 percent  of the assessed valuation of the proposed district object to
 the formation thereof, the legislative body shall  thereupon close the
 hearing and  direct that proceedings for the formation of a district
 be abandoned.

What the District Can Do

Levy and collect taxes

[26650] A district may levy and collect  assessments pursuant to this
 chapter  to pay for the cost and expenses of the maintenance and
 operation of any improvements acquired or constructed  pursuant to
 this division.

Use the money from the taxes / assessments to borrow money.

[26593] A district may borrow money from  or otherwise incur an
 indebtedness to  a local agency, the state, any instrumentality or
 political subdivision thereof, the federal  government, or any private
 source,  and may comply with any conditions imposed upon the
 incurring of that indebtedness.

Acquire, build and fix stuff

[26580] The district may:
  (a) Acquire, construct, operate, manage, or  maintain improvements
 on public or  private lands. Such improvements shall be with the
 consent of the owner, unless effected by the exercise  of eminent
 domain pursuant to  Section 26576.
  (b) Accept such  improvements undertaken by anyone.

Acquire property by eminent domain

[26576] Within the territorial limits of the  district, or for the
 purposes set  forth in this division, a district may acquire real
 property or any interest therein by eminent domain.

In addition, the District can hire staff, maintain an office, and be dissolved in various ways.

Property Owners

Following is my list of properties, but remember that by my reading the power of votes cast appear to be proportional to the assessed value of the property.

Sources

These pages from the State Department of Conversation were quite helpful:

The quotes and links above were from the current code:

Current Code

From http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/calawquery?codesection=prc&codebody=&hits=20

DIVISION 17. GEOLOGIC HAZARD ABATEMENT  DISTRICTS
CHAPTER 1.
 DEFINITIONS  ........................................ 26500-26512
CHAPTER 2. DISTRICT FORMATION
 Article 1. Purpose  ................................. 26525
 Article 2. Lands Included  .......................... 26530-26534
 Article 3. Initiation of Proceedings  ............... 26550-26560
 Article 4. Notice and Hearing  ...................... 26561-26567
CHAPTER 2.3.
 DISTRICT DISSOLUTION  ............................... 26567.1-26567.3
CHAPTER 2.5. EMERGENCY FORMATION
 Article 1. Initiation of Proceedings ................ 26568-26568.3
 Article 2. Notice and Hearing  ...................... 26569-26569.4
 Article 3. Nature of the District  .................. 26569.5-26569.7
CHAPTER 3. NATURE AND POWERS OF THE DISTRICT
 Article 1. Nature  of the District .................. 26570-26573
 Article 2. Powers of a District  .................... 26574-26581
 Article 3. Meetings  ................................ 26582
 Article 4. Officers  ................................ 26583-26586
CHAPTER 4. FINANCES
 Article 1.  Improvement Act of 1911; Municipal Improvement
 Act of 1913; Improvement Bond Act of 1915 ........... 26587-26590
 Article 2. Financial Assistance  .................... 26591-26595
CHAPTER 5. IMPROVEMENTS .............................. 26600-26601
CHAPTER 6. MAINTENANCE ............................... 26650-26654



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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Extension Granted for 320. No determination on 330.

According to the Bay City news service (via CBS5.COM Extra Time Given To Save Crumbling Pacifica Cliff), Doug Rider and the City of Pacifica granted Millard Tong, the owner of 320 Esplanade Ave., a 30-day extension on the deadline in order to submit a plan to rehabilitate the building.

“They’re actively trying to figure out how to finance (the repairs),” Rider said, citing the reason for the extension.

This extension appears to make the new deadline about Saturday July 17th.

Meanwhile previous reporting regarding 330 Esplanade that I relayed here on Adequate Bird has been clarified. According to Ryder, a set deadline has not been imposed for that owner.




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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Owner Requests 30-Day Extension

A Bay City News Service report confirmed the Thursday deadline for the owners of 320 and 330 Esplanade Ave. to submit a plan for the repair of those imperiled apartment buildings.

Millard Tong, the owner of 320 Esplanade (and also of 310) has submitted a request for a 30-day extension, according to Pacifica building official Doug Rider.

Rider planned to meet with the Pacifica city manager and city attorney Thursday to discuss whether to grant the extension.

This Bay City News Service release appeared in several news outlets including KRON 4 and CBS 5, but I picked it first from the San Mateo Daily Journal, smdailyjournal.com: Owners of Pacifica apartments to decide whether to repair buildings.

Image “Minute Hand” by Darren Hester under the Creative Commons license, Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0.


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 | Tagged , , | 1 Comment