City clears out cave dwellers at Sunset Cliffs
by DAVE SCHWAB
Published - 05/21/19 - 11:16 AM | 5527 views | 5 5 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The cave dwelling contained cots, bookshelves, backpacks, laundry hamper, cleaning products, a bucket for waste and bottles of urine, countless needles, blow torches, tools and a scooter and two bikes, among other items. / Photo by Jim Grant
The cave dwelling contained cots, bookshelves, backpacks, laundry hamper, cleaning products, a bucket for waste and bottles of urine, countless needles, blow torches, tools and a scooter and two bikes, among other items. / Photo by Jim Grant
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Three men were recently forced to evacuate an elaborate, makeshift 20-foot by 10-foot cave dwelling dug from the cliff face near Sunset Cliffs Boulevard and Osprey Street.

As revealed on social media, the ramshackle residence contained cots, bookshelves, backpacks, laundry hamper, cleaning products, a bucket for waste and bottles of urine, countless needles, blow torches, tools and a scooter and two bikes, among other items.

Concerning the viability of such encampments, Capt. Scott M. Wahl of San Diego Police Department’s Neighborhood Policing Division said: “It is illegal to lodge and/or camp in the beach or park area. We are familiar with this very remote and hard-to-get-to location. We have handled encampments there in the past, and need the public’s help in notifying us when they return. It is an area that is ‘off the beaten path.’ ”

Added Wahl: “We are currently in the process of getting that site cleaned up. Our beach enforcement team this summer will check the area routinely.”  

“Until a case is brought to our office by law enforcement and specific charges are filed, we can can’t comment on potential penalties,” replied Hilary Nemchik, director of communications for the City Attorney, about prescribed punishment for such illegal habitation.

Asked if encampments like this were increasing, Wahl said, “I don’t know that I would say they are more common place. I used to work the beach team back in the early 2000s and we had encampments out in Ladera and along the cliffs back then as well.”

Responding to what can be done to prevent such encampments, Wahl said: “It is critical we have good communication with the community. We utilize the Get it Done application to receive complaints regarding encampments. It is the best method to notify us of the situation. We can make sure there is resolution to the problem.”

Wahl added police work closely with park rangers and environmental services to make sure trash is disposed of, and that abandoned property is properly abated.

Comments
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Robert Burns
|
May 22, 2019
This is a variant of what is happening throughout the San Diego River valley, around PetCo Park, and in O.B. (e.g., the O.B. Library homeless center). The legal framework is clear that homeless offenses are all but unenforceable without available shelter (which purposely is not provided). And, the reality is clear that the phenomenon of mental illness, drug addiction, and thieves are the face of the homeless. That the City allows it to fester is a cry out for a conservatorship for the City.
Anna Talerico
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May 22, 2019
Why does the City allow cave living to continue? Cement them solid or collapse them once and for all to stop the nonsense and waste taxpayers money with clean up, police etc.

The prior comment is right on. These people do not want to join society, work, be productive but instead steal and do drugs. Get them out of our city. Jail and work chain!
Robert Burns
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May 22, 2019
I don't want to see the beautiful cliffs defaced by addict, derelict, nor bureaucrat all of whom are subhuman. It's time to march this scum into Faulconer's face.
George Wrentmore
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May 21, 2019
give them a place to live. Have them work it off working for the city,county, state. In the thirties, we had the WPA, CCC etc.

The recipients built roads, fire trails etc.

Maybe..because that was a different human being, that wouldn't work today.

At the same time, Mexico gave land to the their poor,(ejidos)..The people there were able to live there and farm....again, different people ?? Mexicans though, WILL! WORK TO SURVIVE, THEY'RE INDUSTRIOUS..maybe different world then .Drugs have a major influence..all over the world. Druggies..round'em up, put on ankle bracelets, MAKE them work...no work no eat..if they run.....incarcerate ! Personally , I'm not good with the freebee society.AND THE MILLIONS THAT WORKING !! TAXPAYERS ARE PROVIDING for

the dregs of today's society
Robert Burns
|
May 22, 2019
Thank you.
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