Santa Cruz Sentinel


November 11, 2004
Coast Lines

City denies proposed quarter-mile seawall

The Depot Hill Geological Abatement District will have to find a way to reduce erosion along the cliff between Central and Livermore avenues rather than erecting a 1,200-foot long, 25-foot tall seawall.
Thursday, the City Council voted 2-1 to uphold the Planning Commission’s denial of the project. The council also rejected the proposed wall’s environmental impact report.

Supporters tried to sell the wall as a way to save the Grand Avenue path, sewer lines and homes.

But council members Dennis Norton and Gayle Ortiz said the district had failed to prove the seawall provides a greater good for the community as a whole, noting the wall would have removed access to the popular beach in about 50 years.

They encouraged the district to look into replenishing the beach to slow erosion, and removing plantings that encroach the public path.

Mayor Stephanie Harlan voted for the project, saying she’s seen the city support many seawalls during her tenure on the council, which began in 1984.

Councilmen Tony Gualtieri and Bruce Arthur were ineligible to discuss or vote on the proposed project because they live in or near it.