A stone “fort” used by a group of territorial surfers in Palos Verdes Estates will be dismantled and carted away under a plan approved by the city’s elected leaders.
The council’s unanimous decision Tuesday came despite strong opposition by residents, who urged their elected leaders “not to buckle” in the face of the California Coastal Commission, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
The commission has urged the city to remove the unpermitted facility or seek approval by proposing a package of measures to improve public access and reduce harassment, according to The Times.
Witnesses accuse the Bay Boys surfer gang of congregating at the three- decade-old structure and bombarding outsiders with dirt clods, slashing their tires and assaulting them in the water — sometimes coordinating the attacks with walkie-talkies, the newspaper reported.
Police reports over the years show that the illegal structure has repeatedly been a site of alleged drug and alcohol use. But dozens of residents said the community has embraced the site as a community landmark, and some said it had been a beloved location for weddings and memorial services.
The structure consists of cemented stone retaining walls, a cemented stone patio with a stone table, fire pit, a stone bench and a wooden shade canopy, and an adjacent seating area with a wooden bench.
City staffers quoted by The Times said they plan to hire a contractor for about $50,000 to take jackhammers to the structure and carry away the pieces. They recommended the plan following meetings with representatives of the Lunada Bay Homeowners Association, who urged the city to preserve the stone structure, and the Surfrider Foundation, which has pressured the city to take concerns about harassment more seriously.
—City News Service