Palisades News Letters: Side with Earlham Neighbors

Side with Earlham Neighbors

Regarding your May 3 article, I discovered a 2003 Journal of Geophysical Research report, “An Application of Seismic Tomography to Basin Focusing of Seismic Waves and Northridge Earthquake Damage,” seven years ago while researching the efficacy of the then-pending construction of the underground 1.25-million-gallon stormwater diversion tank to be built under the grassy area by the children’s playground equipment in Temescal Canyon Park.

The report, along with the GE-USGS map, clearly indicate that all of the Earlham and other Potrero Canyon-adjacent plots of land the City recently re-sold, after buying them back from homeowners as a result of the slides in the 1950s, are within one-quarter mile of this known-to-be-active Potrero Canyon fault.

The Earlham property under dispute is located between Friends Street (to the left) and Potrero Canyon (right). The dirt fill from the Caruso Village Project can be seen in Potrero Canyon.
The Earlham property under dispute is located between Friends Street (to the left) and Potrero Canyon (right). The dirt fill from the Caruso Village Project can be seen in Potrero Canyon.

The three home plots in question along the rim of Potrero Canyon are NOT in a slide area but rather an Active Earthquake Fault Zone. And, as the Palisades News is no doubt aware, per California state law it is illegal to build a habitable structure within one-quarter mile of a known active fault zone. The City Engineer and the City Attorney should be fully aware of this law enacted long ago in the interest of public safety.

In my 75-page report filed in 2010 in opposition to the Temescal Canyon Park Stormwater Diversion Project, I notified both the City Engineer and the City Attorney about this active fault. My appeals against Phase 1—the underground tank—were denied, as was my appeal against Phase 2, the chlorine chemical-based concrete storage bunker now nearing completion behind the children’s playground area. In other words, when it is the City against a Palisades resident concerned for the public safety of his fellow Palisadians, he is repeatedly ignored.

It is also well known that the Bureau of Engineering self-certifies their own geo-technical land analysis without resorting to an EIR conducted by an outside party; i.e. the ongoing fight of the PPRA against a 49-unit development at 16990-17010 Sunset Blvd., which is a true slide area more than 1.3 miles from Potrero Canyon, as opposed to these proposed 10,000-sq.-ft. mansions with basements to be built on Earlham along the canyon’s rim.

So, it appears to this Palisadian that the City of L.A has once again ignored public safety by selling back land to new developers immediately adjacent to a known active earthquake fault 50 years after they were forced to buy the property from the original owners whose homes had slide into the canyon.

And what has changed, you ask? Well, the Potrero Canyon earthquake fault is still there, and presumably still active. The question now becomes, will these proposed homes, if built, break apart and slide into the canyon like their predecessors a half century ago, or can the canyon, now landfilled, be able to keep them stabilized?

All I can tell you is that seven years ago I also learned how to use, from Caltech seismologists, the Southern California Earthquake Data Center’s online earthquake post-analysis software. And what it showed me was that at the time of Northridge 1994, the Potrero Canyon fault sustained a 5.6 to 5.8 initial shock with over three dozen aftershocks measuring between 4.3 and 5.4 in the three weeks afterward.

I side with the Earlham and Friends neighbors in their fears.

Patrick Hart

Dog Park Support

Thank you for the updated article on a much-needed dog park in the Palisades!. It’s actually surprising that with all the dog owners in this town that we still don’t have one. It is probably one of the best ways to meet and greet your neighbors and form community ties. I will keep my fingers crossed.

Cheryl Kline

Campbell’s Dog Park Efforts Applauded

We think Leslie Campbell should be commended for her tireless efforts to establish a dog park in Pacific Palisades. If there was ever a community project that deserves support AND approval, this is it. It’s a “win-win–and win” situation for all Palisadians (especially the dogs). Let’s hope the powers-that-be can get this done—and soon. The park would be a nice addition to our growing community.

Rudy Hornish and Nancy Kandal

Palisades News welcomes all letters, which may be emailed to Please include a name, address and telephone number so we may reach you. Letters do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Palisades News.
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