Lawsuit filed to halt construction on San Diego’s Ocean Beach Pier

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California Construction News staff writer

The Animal Protection and Rescue League has filed a lawsuit in San Diego Superior Court to stop work on the planned replacement of the Ocean Beach Pier.

The suit filed Nov.15 alleges the city “failed to follow basic transparency rules or to consider environmental factors as required by state law” in proceeding with a study by Long Beach-based engineering consultant Moffatt & Nichol.

On Twitter, APRL said the lawsuit challenges San Diego’s “$8M giveaway to consulting firm to “study” better ways to benefit the sportfishing industry while critical stormwater infrastructure needs go unmet.”

They are seeking an injunction to stop what the group calls an “illegal and wasteful use of taxpayer money without complying with the California Environmental Quality Act.”

According to the suit, APRL wants to protect the environment and prevent extreme noise and fumes caused by drilling and boring – which “would harmful and disturbing to companion animals and wildlife.”

A 2019 inspection found cracked pilings and erosion along the pier’s 1,971-foot length — but particularly at the junction where the downward-sloping pier from the land meets the slightly upward-sloping pier heading out above the water.

Construction to replace the pier is expected to begin by 2026. In a report from Moffat & Nichol that was released publicly last year, the firm concluded the pier “has reached the end of its service life” and required “corrective action” to prevent further degradation.

“While disguised as merely a ‘study,’ the contract approved by the city involves auger boring, drilling, sand excavation and other invasive activities that will also cause fumes and noise pollution in Ocean Beach, without any environmental review,” Bryan Pease, the attorney who filed the suit on behalf of APRL, said in a statement.

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