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Environmental group files lawsuit concerning OB Pier replacement project

The lawsuit is requesting the city conduct an environmental review before spending millions of dollars to rebuild the pier.

SAN DIEGO — Many people in Ocean Beach said the pier is a staple in the community. Now, an animal rights and environmental group is filing a lawsuit, requesting the city conduct an environmental review before spending millions of dollars to rebuild the pier.

"I ride my bike here couple times a week. I enjoy the fresh air," said Santee resident, Craig Caldwell. 

"People come from all over the world visit here for the largest pier on the West Coast. It's woven into the fabric of Ocean Beach," said Ocean Beach resident, Chelsea. 

The future of rebuilding a new pier is beginning to look like a very lengthy process now that Bryan Pease, an attorney representing the non-profit, Animal Protection and Rescue League, is filing a lawsuit. 

They are seeking to block the $8 million given to consulting firm, Moffat and Nichol, that is working on the replacement project of the OB Pier until an environmental review is completed first. 

Pease also says the city needs to be more transparent.

"This isn’t where we should be dumping our money to build a new pier. At this point, it's time to retire it. We need to challenge this idea of writing a blank check to a consulting firm and require the city council to do basic environmental factors underneath the law. Drilling and such can produces fumes and that will impact wildlife which is something our organization is concerned about," said Pease.

Many people enjoying the pier today have mixed reactions.

"I think they should consider rebuilding. They spend billions of dollars sending rockets up to the moon. This is a beneficial thing that people may enjoy more. I think studies are important. I don’t think it should cost $8 million," said Caldwell.

The city has a few weeks to respond to the lawsuit that potentially could lead to a court hearing which could take several months. 

If the city rebuilds the pier, it wont get started until 2026 which Pease says will likely cost $80 million. 

"The future possibility is endless. We are in dreaming phase and dreaming about the future," said Corey Bruins, President of OB Towne Council. 

"With greater attention, the city council will hopefully come to its senses," said Pease. 

WATCH RELATED: Future of OB Pier up for review, committee meeting Wednesday (Sep. 2022).


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