Strong surf damages patio at Ocean Beach hotel

Posted at 6:04 PM, Dec 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-14 21:04:18-05

The owners of the Inn at Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach have some huge repairs to make as their patio was not able to withstand the pounding of the recent rough surf.

"It's taking a toll on our neighbors here," said Meredith Houlton, who lives next door to the Inn.

Houlton has a front row seat whenever the surf kicks up.

"The ocean splashes all the way up here; 20 feet up onto the street when the tide's really high," said Houlton.

This weekend's strong waves battered the Inn's patio until it broke part of the railing and left a gaping hole on the deck.

The nonprofit group Coastal Environmental Rights Foundation says the deck was built without a permit. The group filed a lawsuit five years ago against the hotel's owners claiming they never got the necessary permits to build the patio decades ago.

The group is also suing the city of San Diego, claiming it has failed to enforce the law.

The foundation says it's been waiting for the city's response. 10News called the city but it wouldn't comment on the lawsuit itself.

The hotel's management declined to comment on the lawsuit as well, but did say it's going through the process to obtain the necessary permits to repair the damage from the recent high surf.

The city's code enforcement division acknowledged there is an active case ongoing and the applicant has made a request for an emergency coastal development permit to conduct the repairs. City staff is evaluating the site conditions in order to respond to the request.

The state Coastal Commission, which agreed that the patio was never permitted, is also waiting for the city's next move.