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(32,759 posts)
Fri Jan 12, 2024, 09:45 AM Jan 2024

Is it madness to build on this $2.65 million dollar lot? Calif Coastal Commissioners are rethinking the approval

An empty lot at 35075 Beach Road is the site of a proposed two-story duplex development which was approved by the city, but is being appealed by the Coastal Commission at Capistrano Beach in Dana Point, CA, on Friday, Dec. 15, 2023. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)


Beachfront living dreams wiping out? Dana Point plan shows building challenges on the coast

When the empty beachfront lot hit the market two years ago in Dana Point, it was touted as a rare opportunity to build a dream home right on the sand.

“Enjoy ocean breezes, sensational sunsets and unbeatable panoramic vistas of the Pacific Ocean,” the listing read. “Coastal California living doesn’t get much better than this!”

The dirt lot sold in 2021 for $2.65 million.

But plans for a two-story duplex envisioned for Beach Road – a stretch of coast once the epitome of oceanfront living – hit a roadblock when two California Coastal Commissioners argued that despite several considerations for sea level rise incorporated into the designs and the previous approval of Dana Point officials, the development could pose a “significant impact” and needs further review. A commission hearing will be scheduled.

Their objections speak to whether builders should have the right to develop along the coast, despite threats from the sea, and how sea level rise and beach erosion are blurring the line between public access rights and private property in some areas.

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(28,660 posts)
1. Anyone considering building on that lot is insane.
Fri Jan 12, 2024, 10:17 AM
Jan 2024

It's already half washed away, insurance will be through the roof. I wholly support blocking this development (and all ocean beachfront) development/redevelopment. It's just a darn shame that the developers blew $2.65M on it.


(38,577 posts)
2. It's sacrificial housing protecting the highway and railroad tracks from the ocean.
Fri Jan 12, 2024, 10:20 AM
Jan 2024

They are actually saving the state and railroad a lot of money.

I'd post this as sarcasm except I can imagine some overly wealthy person actually making this argument.

I note with some wonder that the lot is next to a storm drain too.

It's just begging the weather gods to take it.


(70,917 posts)
3. we have to stop building like this.
Fri Jan 12, 2024, 10:27 AM
Jan 2024

there was a map here the other day of places that have flooded repeatedly. we absolutely have to stop rebuilding in places where the water has already taken 1 bldg.


(3,188 posts)
5. Build on sand in a major earthquake zone next to the ocean... what could go wrong?
Fri Jan 12, 2024, 10:45 AM
Jan 2024

There really should be new guidelines for much of existing coastal development, that if you are in a high risk area for earthquake, rising ocean levels, other flooding, etc. You can live there as long as it lasts but if these risks take out the property, you don't get to rebuild there. In many places I think insurance companies by withdrawing their protective coverage are essentially saying that so that only those with money to burn can enjoy that risk ongoing but zoning and other guidelines should support lowering risks long term.


(11,074 posts)
8. Considering what's already built along that stretch, I don't see this as pristine land.
Fri Jan 12, 2024, 11:26 AM
Jan 2024

That whole area is already built up, just look at the neighbors. If they want to take a risk that the parcel might be underwater in a few decades, that's their call.

At least they're not trying to develop untouched land in Yosemite or something.

wackadoo wabbit

(1,175 posts)
13. Underwater "in a few decades"? More likely by the end of this decade!
Sat Jan 13, 2024, 01:39 AM
Jan 2024

Climate change is proceeding much faster than most people realize. And every climate milestone that we pass is always, inevitably declared to have been "sooner than expected."

Once the Thwaites Glacier collapses, sea levels could rise as much as 5 meters. (That's 15 feet in freedom units.)


Fla Dem

(24,494 posts)
9. At some point all those homes will be sliding into the ocean.
Fri Jan 12, 2024, 11:30 AM
Jan 2024

And across the Coast Highway all those million dollar homes are built on a slowly eroding mountain of sand, they'll be gone too. Maybe not in my lifetime but at some point.


I live in NE Florida and along the coast in Ponte Vedra the same thing is happening. Every major storm takes more of the coastline away, yet developers and investors continue to rebuild along the coastline. Some home are just on stilts with stairs leading up to the living quarters.


(2,306 posts)
15. They are building on stilts, caissons, as required. It should outlive the neighborhood.
Thu Feb 15, 2024, 10:05 PM
Feb 2024

I live adjacent to a row of such homes, one street back from the beach, and the most recently built home was built a full 12 feet or more above its neighbors.


(11,040 posts)
10. Who remembers "The Price is Right"
Fri Jan 12, 2024, 11:32 AM
Jan 2024

For all its leadership, California has the most corrupt commissions, starting with the PUC.


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