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East Cliff Neighbors Upset with Pleasure Point Road Construction

They say they weren't told of the paving over of the "Dirt Farm" next to surf pioneer Jack O'Neill's house, the removal of a monument or the drainage directly to the ocean.

The bulldozers started at the beginning of the month, but neighbors around Pleasure Point are furious, saying the $3.1 million in changes to East Cliff Drive are not going the way they were promised.

They have called a meeting with county planners Monday at 7 p.m. at the Simpkins Swim Center at 979 17th Ave.

East Cliff is the coastal drive with an expansive view of Monterey Bay, and a favorite spot to watch surfers in one of the area's best spots to catch a wave.

"The Pleasure Point community is extremely disappointed in the way the RDA and the Board of Supervisors have handled the East Cliff Parkway project," said Jennifer Corrina Sanchez.

She said the neighbors have not been advised about many of the changes being made and the process has been rushed through without enough public dialog.

Some of the rush was the result of the state dissolving Redevelopment Authorities, through which this is being funded.

"The fundamental problem with this project is that it was planned and implemented without adequate involvement from the community or public disclosure. Even at this moment, the Pleasure Point community has no idea what the full project scope involves and had no access to the plans until after construction was initiated last Monday."

Some of the biggest problems, according to Sanchez:

The fences will be too high for good views, particularly from the new benches being put up.

Escape routes and access to the surf will be blocked.

The Jay Moriarity memorial tiki and palm trees are being removed.

The Dirt Farm picnic area is being paved over.

Storm drains are flowing directly to the ocean, contrary to the area's community plan.

"The confusion, angst and frustration in the community is evidence that we did not have enough information ahead of time & that we STILL do not have adequate information.

"Given the large scope of the project and the impact of this project on our neighborhood, environment, and way of life, the County needs to reinitiate dialogue with our community BEFORE the project proceeds any further," said Sanchez in an email.

East Cliff Drive is a far funkier coastal route than the touristy West Cliff Drive. Pedestrians and bikes are separated from one way traffic only by a line in the road and orange posts.

The new work will upgrade the street from 32nd to 41st avenues, with benches, a new parking area and more distinct separation of cars and pedestrians.

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