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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Tom Petersen says seawall can fail.

By Chris Frost



Oxnard-- Public comments during the Nov. 27 Oxnard City Council meeting had their share of controversy and concern about safety for the residents as Channel Islands Harbor resident Tom Petersen said his corner lot on Ischia Street has a pilaster (a column on a wall) that is breaking apart.

The issue has gotten worse over the last two years, he told the council, and he submitted a letter to the city so that they would be aware of the situation.

The Nov. 26, letter to the city said the cracks run the entire length of the pilaster and are getting worse and now you can see through the crack to the other side of the pilaster which has shifted about one-half inch from the pilaster itself.

“I received a letter back from Hoon Hahn, and it says the city has inspected the corner piece of the seawall at (his address) and does not appear to have any structural damage,” he said. “Your inspector should be fired. That seawall is in pieces, it’s cracking, and it’s about to fall apart.”

He pointed out that when corner pilasters on a seawall go, the whole seawall will fail.

“This particular area was also part of a 2012 survey that was done by expensive consultants the city hired who I believe remain in that mode,” he said. “At that particular time, that pilaster was rated as a four on a scale of one to five of imminent failure at that, and it’s gotten worse.”

He said it’s not his pilaster.

“It is because of the safety of my family if this thing fails in the middle of the night and the house goes into the water,” he said. “It is for our property and property values; the lot and house are expensive on a personal basis.”

He said the issue is larger than the pilaster. 

“We’re talking about six years this issue has been researched, surveyed and monitored and nothing has happened,” he said. “A non-decision is more dangerous than a wrong decision. Non-action is going to end up causing major failures in this harbor. Major failures are going to reduce property values, reduce people’s interest in coming to the harbor and reduce business. That’s major tax flow into this harbor.”

Mayor Tim Flynn told Petersen that city staff would meet with him about the problem and said he would follow up with a phone call.

An email to Hahn seeking comment has not been returned.