Planners reject Capitola seawall proposal
RAMONA TURNER – Sentinel staff writer
Article Launched: 08/07/2004 12:00:00 AM PDT

CAPITOLA “” No seawall for Depot Hill.

That was decision rendered by the city Planning Commission Thursday night after hearing more than 1½ -hours of public testimony and discussion.

The decision is expected to be appealed.

The Depot Hill Geological Abatement District, made of up 18 property owners, had proposed a privately financed $2 million project calling for a quarter-mile-long, 25-foot-tall seawall that would protect homes and sewer lied against the proposal, offering these reasons:

# It’s not in the public interest to build a seawall on public property to save private property.

# Not all 18 property owners in the district want a seawall, and those opposed should not have to pay for something they don’t want.

# Alternatives to a seawall, such as drainage improvements to the top of Depot Hill, were not adequately studied.

# Installing a seawall would cover an area rich in fossils described by one person addressing the commission as “Capitola’s museum of natural history.”

# Erecting a seawall would not save the public path atop the cliff.

# A seawall would eventually deny public access along the shore.

# It’s not known how another seawall would impact the rest of the coastline.

The commission also said additional options should be studied to protect the homes, and there is adequate time before the properties are threatened for erosion-slowing technology to advance.

On Friday, Bob Tomaselli, president of the abatement district, said the seawall fight will be taken to City Council.

“I don’t think this is the last round by any means,” said Tomaselli.

As for the three property owners who don’t favor a seawall, Tomaselli said excluding their properties from the proposed seawall would compromise its integrity.

Members of the district who oppose the seawall could appeal to City Council to dissolve the district.

Contact Ramona Turner at
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