Three years after paying the bill for the Beachwood property, Half Moon Bay is moving forward with plans to fence off the land to protect its investment for a future sale.
Planning officials last week signed off on installing a hog-wire fence on the western and southern sides of the 24-acre parcel. Blocking off those two sides should prevent the most access and ensure the land remains in its present condition, city officials believe.
Estimated to cost about $25,000, that six-foot fence is expected to prevent illegal dumping and reduce the city’s legal liability, said Planning Director Pat Webb. She pointed out that last year city workers had to haul away old furniture and debris dumped on the land.
“This is a city property, so we have to consider all the liabilities for what happens,” she said. “We’ll fence only if necessary.”
City leaders first proposed the idea of fencing the property in 2009, immediately after the city paid an $18 million court settlement and took possession of the land. Half Moon Bay leaders have made clear they intend to eventually sell the Beachwood land, which the city has since dubbed, the “Cabrillo Property.”
“I cannot stress enough that we have to do everything right with this property,” former City Manager Michael Dolder emphasized at the time of the settlement. He first proposed the idea of a fence to prevent possible grass fires, trespassers or off-road vehicles from harming the land. On his recommendation, the city added $90,000 to the 2010 budget to install a fence to surround the entire property.
But the fence was never built even though the city continued listing it as a future capital project.
The fence will still need to be brought before the California Coastal Commission.