What happens when you bring sand to the beach

I.B. homeowners claim SANDAG created a flood hazard

A group of Imperial Beach homeowners has filed suit against the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and the City of Imperial Beach over a 2012 sand-replenishment project gone wrong.

The Imperial Beach Shores Homeowners Association claims that the $28.5 million project paid for by SANDAG and designed and constructed by Moffatt and Nichols created big problems. Condominium owners at 1412–1434 Seacoast Drive say that the 450,000 cubic yards of sand taken from offshore sites and placed on less than a mile of coastline created a flood hazard.

Expanding Imperial Beach shoreline along Seacoast Drive was part of SANDAG's Regional Beach Sand Project II. The project consisted of dredging 1.5 million cubic yards of sand from Oceanside and bringing it to Imperial Beach.

By November 2014, months after the beach was expanded, as reported in the Reader, residents found large pools of water surrounding several buildings — some of which had seeped underneath foundations. Residents soon approached SANDAG with concerns that pools of salt water will slowly eat at the building's foundations. A group of residents filed formal complaints. SANDAG denied those claims.

Now, the residents are asking the courts to enter the mix.

The lawsuit alleges that the designer Moffatt and Nichols failed to observe the natural slope of the shoreline. Failing to do so resulted in steep drop-offs in the newly laid and weak compacted sand, which in turn created streams of water that flowed away from the ocean, toward the condominiums.

"...[O]cean water has drained to, and accumulated on or against the foundation walls of plaintiff's property, resulting in damage to, and accelerated degradation of, the plaintiff's foundations and block walls," reads the lawsuit. "Plaintiff is informed and believes that damage has also been inflicted on the driveways, sidewalks, and metal structural components and fasteners in plaintiff's property."

Condominium residents are asking that a judge award damages as well as require SANDAG to repair sinking foundations and weakened fasteners.

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Building homes at the leading edge of a powerful ocean and then complaining about ocean water on their property is insane. Beaches erode at an annual rate and houses will be claimed by mother nature if the beach is not replenished. It's a damned if you do and damned if you don't proposition. No one could have foresaw this collateral issue.

As for immigrants seeking a better life with the hope of contributing to our great nation, a contingency for bringing their foreign sand to IB is just plain ignorant.

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