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City to Demolish Cliffside Building

Friday, January 6, 2017

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In limbo for a year, the fate of a California coastal apartment building has been determined.

The 310 Esplanade, which sits atop a crumbling and eroding cliff in Pacifica, CA, will be demolished, according to authorities. It will be the third such building along the bluff to be demolished since last February.

On Wednesday (Jan. 4), the city council approved plans to take down the 20-unit structure, which was deemed unsafe for occupancy last January amid El Niño storms, reports said.

Cotton, Shires and Associates Inc. via City of Pacifica Public Agenda

Cotton, Shires and Associates Inc. via City of Pacifica Public Agenda

The City of Pacifica, CA, plans to demolish the third bluffside building in a little over a year, due to rapid erosion.

The $200,000 demolition bill will be paid by the city’s discretionary fund and could start as early as Monday (Jan. 9), according to a local ABC News affiliate. The owner of the doomed building reportedly filed for bankruptcy and does not have the funds to demolish the building himself, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Lead, Asbestos Concerns

The cliff below the 1960s building has been eroding, posing a danger of the structure collapsing into the ocean. Concerns have focused on lead and asbestos-laden building materials used to construct the building.

"If we wait too much longer we're going to have structures on the beach, and the cleanup of that sort of disaster is much more expensive, time consuming and difficult for the environment too,” due to the hazardous materials, Ted Sayer, a geological engineer, told ABC 7.

The bluffs have reported deteriorated rapidly over the past several weeks due to storm-driven waves.

“[D]emolishing this structure is the only way to prevent it from crumbling to the beach below,” City Manager Lorie Tinfow told the LA Times. SV Demolition reportedly won the demolition bid.

Third Building to Go

Two neighboring apartment buildings were demolished in February and March 2016, after being evacuated since 2009-10, according to Mercury News.

The news outlet says residents found other places in the area to live with the assistance of the Pacifica Resource Center, but the loss has taken a toll on the city’s affordable housing stock.


Tagged categories: Asbestos; Building codes; Building owners; Demolition; Erosion; Government; Lead

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