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Seawall Removal Case History

Scott vs Del Mar is an important case in our seawall position. This case ruled that a seawall built on public property could be removed and declared as a nuisance.

Here is some of the key information in the ruling:

"As discussed above, the evidence established (1) the Public Sidewalk on Map 1450 was dedicated to public use in 1912, and (2) the private seawalls, rip rap and patios on the Scott and Lynch properties completely obstructed public access to the Public Sidewalk area. Accordingly, the improvements were nuisances per se, and Del Mar had the power to declare them such and remove them, after complying with due process requirements."

"Likewise, Scott's and Lynch's claims that Del Mar's removal of the protective structures caused their properties to decrease in value fails to establish a constitutionally compensable "taking or damaging." To the contrary, as discussed above, Del Mar's abatement of the encroachments on public land was a reasonable exercise of its police power, which does not give rise to an inverse condemnation action."

While the seawall was ultimately removed from public property it was later built on private property.