A Sand Castle

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Home soon to become sand castle, by Julia Radlick

San Obispo, California, 4-24-99

"Between the ocean and Jim Broshers and Harriet Zizicas home lies several tons of sand. Everyday, all day, it acts like a relentless freight train bearing down on the Oceano home.

This sand comes in and builds up a huge dune which is approximately the first story of my house, complains Harriet. The problem is the wind. When the wind blows so does the sand. It can blow so hard and so fast, it literally makes a ten foot wall in front of Jim and Harriet's house. "If we would keep letting the sand dunes rolling in. It would roll onto the porches or the faces of the houses and right through the window," explains Jim.

So why not bulldoze it? A few years ago they did shovel the sand away, but now Jim says the government won't let them. "Agency gridlock. There's so many agencies involved, each one wants to take authority of what should be done."

In all, six agencies; the Water Quality Control Board, the Army Corp of Engineers, the Department of Fish and Game, the state, the county, and the Coastal Commission must give the homeowners permission to move the soil. For Harriet and Jim the red tape has become as irritating as the sand. "We have been having to go on constantly with emergency permits, and this is ridiculous. It shouldn't have to happen," says Harriet.

But it has happened, and it'll be awhile before all the agencies can agree. In the meantime, the sand continues to blow, giving Jim and Harriet's home a dusty future. ..."


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