California Rental Sliding Into Ocean

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A group of California apartment-dwellers have gotten a bit more than they bargained for with their ocean-view abodes. The residents of 330 Esplande Avenue in Pacifica, Calif., were evacuated on Thursday amidst fears that their cliff-side building is about to slide into the Pacific.

The building's dramatic perch has been slowly eroding for years, with efforts to slow the process caught up in a tangle of red tape and finger-pointing among the street's various building and land owners.


Wave-deflecting boulders were recently installed at the base of two neighboring cliffs to great effect, but 330 Esplande's owners thought they had more time to work out a solution.

At the heart of the matter is the contested responsibility for the cost of the boulder installation: the coastline immediately below the apartment building isn't owned by the owner of the apartments. That fact is little comfort to residents who are scrambling to pack up all of their belongings and find safety in the midst of the busy holiday season.

An emergency permit is in the works to get the boulders installed as soon as possible, with hopes that residents will be back in the building within a week or so. But after the traumatic emergency evacuation, it's thought that many residents will be too spooked to return to their Pacific paradise.

Yet one more on the long list of reasons why you need to have rental insurance.
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