ROCKAWAY BEACH, Ore (KOIN) — A homeowner off the Pacific coast is getting close to losing his home to the ocean.
The $1 million house off NW 6th Ave is in danger of tumbling to the side and into the water due to erosion. The owner, Tai Dang built the oceanfront property 7 years ago.
“I was concerned about this beach area but it wasn’t eroding at that time and that was a few years ago,” neighbor Arnold Suhrbier said. He owns the lifted home behind the one that’s in danger and has lived there for about 40 years.
The homeowner was given a permit from the city to build on the location years ago, but now he’s having trouble getting approval to save it.
“I remember the old house that was here was burned down and someone purchased it and someone wanted to rebuild and the city at that time said they couldn’t,” Suhrbier said. “Next thing I know they got a house, so they got a permit. But that was a city employee, so they should be responsible for allowing it to happen.”
Now the owner wants to build riprap — big boulders that go up the side of his house to make sure the land doesn’t erode anymore. The problem is that it’s a public beach, so it has to be approved by the state. Neighbors, the city, state and conservationists opposed his proposal.
According to conservationists, riprap in one location can increase erosion in other areas.
“Two things are unusual, the city made an error and the other hand the fact of the property is the is built illegally, nothing was criminal but it violated the state plan,” said Phillip Johnson with the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition.
“No it doesn’t qualify, it’s on the wrong side of the ocean set line,” Johnson said. “The city may have made a mistake to allow him to build there but he still doesn’t qualify.”
The homeowner could not be reached for this story.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.