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San Diego posts demolition notice for damaged Ocean Beach Pier

It’s the first step to fully reconstruct the Ocean Beach Pier. A sign posted at the Ocean Beach Pier said an application was filed for its demolition. KPBS reporter Alexander Nguyen has the story.

A new sign on the damaged Ocean Beach Pier says an application has been filed with the City of San Diego for its demolition.

The notice from the city's Development Services Department says an application for a permit has been filed with the city for the historic designation, demolition and replacement of the pier.

According to a city spokesperson, the posting of the notice was procedural and not in response to the recent storm damage. The demolition notice is the first step prior to completing an Environment Impact Report (EIR). An EIR would have information on the proposed pier replacement project for the public.


There are currently no active plans for demolition of the pier, according to the city.

"The notice also mentions that a decision will be made at a public hearing, which refers to the City's standard requirement to present this as an action item for a vote at the local planning board meeting," read a statement from the city.

There's no timeline for when this would be presented to the Ocean Beach Planning Board. The city also plans to host another community workshop this spring to discuss preferred designs for a future replacement pier.

Point Loma Heights resident Lisa Muñoz was sad to see the notice. She said the pier was an integral part of her childhood.

"We have a lot of fond memories of the lifeguards doing a jump at the end of the pier. My father even did it," Muñoz said. "So there's just a nostalgia around it, and I think that that makes me feel like I wanted to stay the same."


Muñoz hopes that the new pier will look and feel the same as the current one.

San Diego resident Jim Hickey said it’s a good idea that the city wants to replace the pier. But he thinks it should be opened for the time being so people can enjoy it again.

“If they repaired some of the pilings where the heavy surface under the cafe and everything, it might be a good idea until they decide to make a move,” he said.

Hickey said he enjoys walking down the pier and taking in the view.

Closed since October, high surf further damaged Ocean Beach Pier over the New Year's weekend, authorities said. The pier will be closed indefinitely until city engineers complete an assessment of the bridge's safety. It's unknown when the report will be completed, according to a city spokesperson.

Large waves of 8 to 12 feet with sets up to 18 feet have pounded the 57-year-old pier at 1850 Ocean Front St. in recent days.

"The cycle of damage and repairs for the Ocean Beach Pier has been an increasing challenge in recent years — and one that we cannot prevent."
Rania Amen, director of the city of San Diego's Engineering and Capital Projects Department

"The cycle of damage and repairs for the Ocean Beach Pier has been an increasing challenge in recent years — and one that we cannot prevent," said Rania Amen, director of the City of San Diego's Engineering and Capital Projects Department said. "Our teams will monitor the situation throughout the storm season, and be ready to fully asses the structure, both above and below the water, once it is appropriate."

In 2018, a study by consultants Moffatt & Nichol found that ongoing structural problems with the aging pier have caused it to reach the end of its useful service life. That study also determined that potentially replacing the pier is the best option for it in the long-term, given the ongoing costs of repairs and the need to modernize the facility, as well as anticipating future sea-level rise.

An Ocean Beach Pier Task Force comprised of volunteers nominated by local advisory groups and representatives from the city was formed to study the possibility of replacing the pier.

Ocean Beach Pier has been closed several times over the past few years. The city said it has spent $1.7 million to repair the pier during that time.

Ocean Beach Pier was expected to stay closed through the rest of the winter season.

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