Palos Verdes Votes To Tear Down Surfer Gang's Fort
The Palos Verdes Estates City Council voted Tuesday to tear down a fort built on Lunada Bay by a notorious group of older surfers, who people say have used scare tactics to drive outsiders away, reports the L.A. Times.
The "Lunada Bay Boys" saga is one that has been going on for decades. Basically, they are group of mostly affluent and middle-aged surfers who want to hoard a portion of the beach for themselves. They'd even built, at the base of a 100-foot bluff, a kind of "no-Homers" clubhouse made of stone.
Other beachgoers allege that the group has done almost everything—from slashing tires to issuing death threats—to hang onto their slice of heaven. They also said that the city and local law enforcement have turned the other cheek for years, allowing the Bay Boys to act with impunity. In March, a couple of surfing enthusiasts (one of whom is also an El Segundo police officer) filed a lawsuit against the Bay Boys. The suit claimed, among other things, that one of the plaintiffs was sexually harassed and that members of the gang had been selling and using drugs at the fort.
Things had gotten so bad that in February, even the Coastal Commission stepped in to say that the Bay Boys are acting like jerks. It said that their activities "represents a change of access to water" and demanded that the clubhouse be demolished.
The city pushed back, saying that the clubhouse is an old, rickety structure and that its removal could threaten the "stability of the adjacent bluff." Well, as it turns out, this concern is unwarranted, because a geo-technical report released last week said that the bluff will be A-OK if the clubhouse gets torn down.
"The report indicates there would be no impacts," City Manager Tony Dahlerbruch said, according to the Times.
That gave the green light for the council to vote on the matter. And on Tuesday they agreed, unanimously, to have the clubhouse dismantled. The vote came in opposition to some residents who actually want the fort to remain. These locals say that the Bay Boys are, like, pretty OK guys and that, you know, boys will be boys, amitire? According to the Times, a resident named Stanton Hunton said, "Why the city would allow the Coastal Commission to strong-arm it to allow in nonresidents who don't know the perils of that cliff is beyond me." It all kind of boils down to "WE WANT TO KEEP THE OUTSIDERS AWAY" and "DOWN WITH BIG GOVERNMENT" which have their undertones of...
Anyway, it looks like the Bay Boys' clubhouse is coming to an end. To remind us of how long this situation has dragged out, here are some news reports from the mid-90s that talk about the Lunada Bay situation. KTLA's Rick Chambers looks super young (and kind of sociopathic in a Bret Easton Ellis way). And check out the hair on NBC 4's Ted Chen!