PALOS VERDES ESTATES ( — A “fort” used by a surfer gang in Palos Verdes Estates will be dismantled and carted away under a plan approved by city officials.

The council’s unanimous decision Tuesday night came despite strong opposition by residents, who urged the council to defy the recommendation by the California Coastal Commission, which had urged the city to remove the unpermitted facility or seek approval by proposing a package of measures to improve public access and reduce harassment.

Witnesses had accused the Bay Boys surfer gang of congregating at the three-decade-old structure and harassing outsiders. Police reports over the years show that the illegal structure has repeatedly been a site of alleged drug and alcohol use, but residents defended the site as a community landmark that has occasionally been used as a beloved location for weddings and memorial services.

The structure consists of cemented stone retaining walls, a cemented stone patio with a stone table, fire pit, a stone bench and a wooden shade canopy, and an adjacent seating area with a wooden bench.

Before the vote, Mayor Pro Tem James D. Vandever said that each of the council members had been to the site and that he understood why many people had strong feelings about the patio.

“But the truth of the matter is, the city does not want to own a structure like this and cannot afford to own a structure like this,” Vandever said.

A staff report estimated the cost of removing the patio at about $50,000.

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