September 15, 2014
SOLANA BEACH, Calif. (AP) - The powerful California Coastal Commission is imposing 20-year caps on permits to build concrete walls that prevent homes from sliding into the sea.
Since 2010, the agency has set expiration dates at homes and apartment buildings from Santa Cruz to San Diego.
A key test has emerged in Solana Beach, a San Diego suburb that's imposing 20-year limits on permits for all new sea walls. Homeowners are suing the city.
It sets up a classic debate over public beach access and property rights as sea levels continue to rise and relentless surf threatens to erode a way of life along 1,100 miles of shore.
While the limits aren't edicts to tear down walls in two decades, they have alarmed homeowners who see a threat to their property.