Seawall Bill Could Have Major Impact on Coastal Cities

A bill currently winding its way through the California Legislature is causing enormous trepidation among homeowners and city officials along California’s 1,100 mile coastline.

Assembly Bill 1129 was introduced by Monterey Assemblyman Mark Stone and is being backed by the California Coastal Commission. It would place major restrictions on the construction of seawalls and other barriers meant to protect homes from rising tides and natural hazards.

The bill’s supporters say seawalls threaten coastal habitats and inhibit public beach access. But residents argue they have a right to protect their homes. If the bill were to pass, owners of houses built after January 1, 1977 might not even be able to repair existing seawalls if they become damaged, leaving them exposed.

“It’s an absurd notion that they can do this,” said Peter Sandmann, general counsel for Stinson Beach’s Seadrift Association.

Opponents of the legislation say the bill would also spur costly litigation and liability issues for public agencies.

Read more about the controversy over AB 1129 here


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