California – An illegal construction by the beach will be dismantled soon by authorities after complaints from residents and a notification from the coast officials. A local surfer gang in Palos Grandes Estates constructed the facility and have been using it as a ‘fort’ for over three decades.
The plan was unanimous approved by the city council on Tuesday night, regardless a strong opposition from some residents who urged the authority to defy the recommendation by the California Coastal Commission (CCC). The CCC had urged the city council before to remove the facility or seek approval of it by proposing a package of measures to improve public access and reduce harassment at the beach, something that was blamed on the band.
People have accused the members, some of whom middle-aged, of bombarding outsiders with dirt clods, slashing their car tires and assaulting them in the water, attacks that were sometimes coordinated with walkie-talkies, as reported by Los Angeles Times.
The decision to demolish the construction could be as well due to the city has been the target of a federal lawsuit which asks a federal judge to urge the city to investigate and prosecute complaints of crimes committed by the surfer gangs. City officials have denied their lack of interest in investigating those complaints.
— Robin Abcarian (@AbcarianLAT) July 12, 2016
Not a gang, a club
Even though the decision to demolish the gang’s construction has already passed through, some resident did oppose the decision and commented that the alleged gang was actually a club by the beach. According to resident Pat Stolz, a supporter of the construction, they do not want crowds, and they should think twice when someone comes to the city and tell all of them what to do.
Residents assured that the community had embraced the site as a local landmark, and some of them consider it a beloved location for weddings and memorial services. Stanton Hunton, another resident, told the Los Angeles Times than the Bay Boys are “very pleasant people” and she urged the council to not “succumb” to the coastal commission.
Hunton also stated the city officials should block the CCC’s proposal to improve public access through better pathways, benches, viewing binoculars and other amenities proposed to the place.
“Why the city would allow the Coastal Commission to strong-arm it to allow in nonresidents who don’t know the perils of that cliff is beyond me,” Hunton added.
Last year, a hidden camera from a reporter from The Guardian showed how the Bay Boys intimidated people to stay away from the area. The man also went to report it to the police station and got a negative response. Police told the man “it is what it is” while referring to the lack of access to the beach.
“The reason there’s a lot of space is because we keep it like that. We hassle people,” commented one of the men in the video, who refused to give his name to the reporter in the area.
Surf may be up, but California surfers ‘fort’ is coming down. https://t.co/KkqT8ObdOX
— KRON 4 News (@kron4news) July 14, 2016
Source: Los Angeles Times