SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) --A San Clemente family is taking on the California Coastal Commission, saying their plan to replace one beachfront mobile home with a new, smaller one has turned into a legal nightmare.
When Eric Wills decided to replace his dilapidated mobile home along the coast, he didn't anticipate the legal battle he would enter.
Wills chose to replace it. He lives at Capistrano Shores, a 90-space mobile home park. He went to the commission for approval and received it but with a stipulation.
"As part of their conditions, they said we'll allow you to put in this mobile home as long as you agree that you can never, ever protect it," Wills said.
The commission gave approval as long as Wills could show a sea wall did not need to be expanded to protect their new home. To be sure, he was asked to waive his rights to shoreline protection.
Legal filings said this was necessary in the future to ensure the sea wall complied with the Coastal Act, preserving the public space. While the wall's in good condition, Wills worries about protecting his home and others in the park years from now.
"The Coastal Commission wants to see this park ultimately gone. They're leveraging their permit power when these property owners are vulnerable to take their rights to protect the park someday in the future," said Larry Salzman with the Pacific Legal Foundation.
With the help of the Pacific Legal Foundation, Wills is suing the coastal commission over being asked to waive his rights to repair the sea wall.
The two sides met in court Thursday, where the judge said he is prepared to make his ruling. The commission declined to comment.
The judge will release his decision in the next 10 days.