Pacifica proposes to finally tear down apartments on Esplanade

PACIFICA, Calif. (KGO) -- Meteorologists are expecting another very wet winter and that has neighbors along Esplanade Avenue in Pacifica worried. The first fall rain has come and it is adding to the sea cliff erosion along Pacifica's coast.

The last El Nino in the winter of 2009-2010 caused a large part of the cliff to fall and all of the residents at two apartment buildings had to be evacuated.

It's as if time stood still at the apartment building at 320 Esplanade in Pacifica. The sand bags have never been taken away and the drain pipes are still there. No one has lived in the building since it was deemed unsafe several years ago, when the storms and the high tide eroded the cliff.

With another El Nino weather pattern expected this winter, the city of Pacifica is proposing to finally tear the building down, along with the one next to it. Residents were invited to a hearing a week ago to weigh in. The director of the planning department did not respond to our calls.

Many neighbors support taking it down quickly.

"That's more a concern to me, that it would fall down and go into the ocean, and that's not good either," Esplanade Avenue resident Caryn Boundy said.

Boulders placed at the bottom of the cliff have kept erosion to a minimum.

Terri Soldevilla lives in the apartment complex next door. She said, "It's kinda stable, those were falling into the water, so they want to knock them down and I can understand why. It's not livable."

Juliet Kalotkin moved into the neighborhood just a year ago. From her balcony she can see the apartments that were red tagged.

"I was told that they put a retaining wall in these bluffs here, I'm not sure so much though," Kalotkin said.

She fears even with the buildings gone, the cliff will continue to erode.

"I continue to live here until they tell us to move out," Kalotkin said.

Some predict that may happen sooner than expected because of the potential sea level rise from climate change.

Past stories:
Rains cause more damage to Pacifica apartments
Erosion causes mandatory evacuations in Pacifica
More erosion threatens Pacifica condo
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