Life in the Redzone

Coastal landslides create hazardous conditions.

Stockton, Maine is familiar with the damage that a landslide can accomplish in a designated “redzone”. Recently three houses slid into the ocean and a railway nearby is becoming dangerously close to a very slippery slope.

Coastal landslides are becoming a problem all over the world, but it is the job of the city council for each town to prevent and promote better building practices in order to protect not only the landowner but also the environment. The City of Newport is taking a strong and very unpopular stand on trying to implement better building practices as well as making current homeowners aware of the perilous position they have built a life on.

The resistance has been strong and a group called the “Central Coast Home & Business Association” has raised over $25,000 towards fighting the city. The group has posted anti-measure flyers and has reached far into the coastal community for support. Some residents have written very strong letters against the proposed changes and have indicated they will seek legal action if the measure is approved. Jonathan Allan, a coastal geomorphologist with the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, has been to the city several times mapping and reviewing data. It is the recommendation of the DOGAMI that the zoning changes are put into effect to educate and protect. Citizens however, are extremely worried about property values declining once these laws go into effect. It is a continuing battle that will be resolved within the next few months as more board meetings and negotiations take place. The City of Newport is diligently working to provide a solution for both the landowners and the environment and they are confident that there is a workable agreement to be had.

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One thought on “Life in the Redzone

  1. Casandra

    This article reminds me of a cottage I rented on the Oregon coast (near Newport) many years back. It was a holiday weekend and I decided last minute to headout with the B.F. It was literally the only rental we could find and we did not know what to expect for the whoppin’ $40 we paid. The cottage sat appx 200 ft from the cliff-line. Before I entered the cottage, I noted the awesome ocean view. Unfortunately, the inside wasn’t as awesome, but definitely comical in some sort of sick sense (only because I wasn’t the owner). The kitchen, which was immediatly adjacent to the living room, sat about 1 foot lower on a complete slope. The cottage has since been dilapitated – what a big price to pay for property owners who build their foundations on sandy soil.

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