Over the past few months, much has been said about the Tsunami Landing structure downtown.
Bill Stamps Jr., whose family owns the three buildings along the south side of the walkway between H and I streets, got the discussion rolling late last summer when he announced plans to fill the long-empty buildings with several new retail businesses and offices. The catch was, Stamps wanted the city-owned Tsunami Landing canopy in front of his buildings torn down. He even offered to remove it at no cost to the city.
The City Council has done some talking, too, but so far hasn't taken any action either to allow the canopy to be removed or to reject Stamps' proposal. Instead, the council has tabled the matter over and over again.
It's high time for a decision when the matter comes back before the council again on Monday night. We urge the City Council to accept Stamps' offer to remove the canopy.
The 40-year-old canopy is in extremely poor condition. Stover Engineering inspected the Tsunami Landing canopy and found that the structure is not capable of handling earthquake or wind loads defined in the 2001 California Building Code, and that "the structure could be nearing the end of its design life." North State Termite Control found fungus and termite damage, evidence of wood-boring beetle activity, dry rot, attics that are inaccessible due to extensive rusting on the doors and rain gutter down spouts rusted through.
Both inspections were commissioned by Stamps, but inspectors hired by the city came to essentially the same conclusion. The bottom line is that it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to bring the thing up to code. Tearing down the structure would eliminate what has turned into a community eyesore and possibly a civic liability.
What's more, Stamps' plans for redevelopment of his properties would pump some life into a dead block of Crescent City's downtown, which desperately could use just this sort of jump-start. Other downtown business owners have generally endorsed the proposal.
It's not unreasonable for the city to ask for a basic outline of his plans. Any work that would normally require construction permits or specific approval by, say, the city Planning Commission should be processed through normal channels. At the same time, the city should offer Stamps the same support in expediting the process that any other commercial property owner acting in good faith to improve downtown might expect.
The Daily Triplicate