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Condo complex files suit over seawall fee

A Solona Beach condominium complex is suing the California Coastal Commission saying the state agency illegally levied a $248,000 fee on a seawall project. KPBS Reporter Erik Anderson has details.

A Solona Beach condominium complex is suing the California Coastal Commission saying the state agency illegally levied a $248,000 fee on a seawall project. KPBS Reporter Erik Anderson has details.

The commission tacked the fee onto a $750,000 seawall project designed to protect the Las Brisas condominium complex. The 36 unit structure sits on an eroding bluff near Fletcher Cove. The panel levied the fee to compensate the public for losing recreational use of the beach. Las Brisas attorney Norbert Dall says the lawsuit argues the commission overstepped its authority.

Dall: "The legislature specifically did NOT give that authority with regard to beach recreation impacts as the Coastal Commission says occur here in Las Brisas."

Dall says the fee - if unchallenged -- could potentially cost private property owners a billion and a half dollars as they move to protect homes from erosion. A similar fee levied on a Monterrey project is also being challenged in court.
Erik Anderson KPBS News