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Land's End Seawall May Get Long-Term Approval

Pacifica has several pending permit applications for development required after 2010's severe coastal erosion. Tomorrow this Land's End permit may get long-term state approval.

The California Coastal Commission is scheduled to have a hearing on Friday to decide whether to approve a permit application from Pacifica’s Land's End Associates realtors for seawall development.

The permit would provide a 20-year approval for the 40-foot high seawall at 100 Esplanade Ave that was given only emergency authorization at the time it was built. The original development was in response to severe cliff erosion of 2009 and 2010 El Niño weather conditions.

Bart Willoughby, a local resident who helped acquire development permits for armoring along the buff at Esplanade Ave in recent years, is optimistic about the current state of Pacifica’s coast.

“I have to say that things look fairly decent out here on the Esplanade,” he said. “After seeing this really nice sea wall that was by Land's End, I’m more of the impression that we should, as a long-term solution, build sea walls to connect from Dollar Radio to 320 Esplanade.”

If approved on Friday, the Esplanade seawall development would receive authorization limited to 20 years because environmental changes at the coastline are somewhat unpredictable. The California Coastal Commission would reevaluate the permit again at that time. 

“I think there’s certainly ongoing erosion problems,” said Madeline Cavalieri of the California Coastal Commission. As pertaining to the severe erosion of 2009 and 2010 that required a proclamation of a local emergency, Cavalieri said there are still a couple of development permit applications pending with the Commission, including one for armoring at Dollar Radio on Palmetto Ave.

Another erosion-instigated permit application in the works is for the relocation of a storm drain line from 380 Esplanade to the 500 block. The drain was damaged during erosion in April 2010.

“The intent is to move it as soon as possible,” the city’s engineer, Van Ocampo, said about the drain. City staff have received comments from the California Coastal Commission on the application, and are now working to address them. Ocampo said he anticipates the application will be resubmitted this summer.

On Monday of this week, city council approved the continuation of a proclamation of a local emergency in order for the city to remain eligible for California Emergency Management grants for the drain.

The Land's End Associates application is planned to go to hearing on Friday, unless the applicant requests a postponement.

Land's End Associates was not available for comment at the time of this article.

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