Apartment teetering on the edge of a ocean cliff is demolished

Work crews tore down a vacant apartment building in Northern California that massive erosion had left teetering on the edge of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

The bluff was once big enough to accommodate playgrounds and a swimming pool in the space between three apartment complexes and the cliff in Pacifica, one of the most erosion-prone stretches of the state's coastline.

The two-story building has been vacant since its 12 units were red-tagged after a 2010 storm, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday. It is one of three apartment buildings constructed in 1962.

Neighbors watched Thursday as the building went down.

Kevin Hubbert, who lives across the street from the doomed complex, grinned at his new ocean view.

“That building has been condemned for a long time, and I'm glad they finally pulled the trigger on it,” he said.

“There have been some sketchy people living in those buildings since they got evacuated, and the police have had to chase them off.”

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Last month, a windy El Niño storm dislodged a balcony at another apartment building and sent it plunging into the ocean 80 feet below. City inspectors posted yellow tags, allowing residents to enter only to remove possessions.

Pacifica, which means peaceful in Spanish, is a largely working class city of about 40,000 and a short drive south of San Francisco.

Neighbor Mercy Feeny, who lives 150 feet farther inland, said she wasn't worried about the eroding cliff.

“The Lord has given me this beautiful view, and I'd say it's good for another 50 years, at least,” she said.

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