October 9, 2008

City, Commission Force Homeowners to Pay Big for Right to Protect Their Properties

By City, Commission Force Homeowners to Pay Big for Right to Protect Their Properties
From today's San Diego Tribune:
"Not long after Torgen Johnson moved into his ocean-view house on top of a coastal bluff at Pacific Avenue, a sudden landslide triggered by a rainstorm claimed a chunk of his property. . . .  Johnson is now building a 50-foot-long sea wall below his house to protect it from future slides."
Solana Beach and the Coastal Commission routinely force homeowners, like Mr. Johnson, to pay potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars for the right to protect their properties with sea walls.  The reason?  To mitigate against the alleged loss of sand and public beach resulting from the sea walls.
The Tribune reports that "Johnson believes he shouldn't have to pay any impact fees, saying he is making the beach safer for everyone by reducing the likelihood of landslides and falling rocks.  He said his sea wall will cost him at least $500,000.  'To tack a fee onto people building a multimillion-dollar sea wall to keep the bluff from collapsing onto the beach, I think it's completely wrong.' he said."

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