Couple evacuated from home that could fall into Atascadero Creek

February 9, 2017

An elderly couple’s home is teetering on the edge of falling into the Atascadero Creek.

John Shaydak, 71, and Erna Shaydak, 86, have lived in the Ensenada Avenue house for 46 years, according to a GoFundMe page created by their grandson Charles White. On Tuesday, city employees, as well as Red Cross workers and community volunteers, cleaned out the house and moved the Shaydaks belongings into an Atascadero Mutual Water Company storage facility.

For years, the Atascadero Creek bank has eroded along Ensanada Avenue near the Via Avenue Bridge, city officials said. The recent storms and rapid creek flow have caused the creek bank to erode further, and the Shaydaks’ house, as well as a shed on the property, are now situated very close to the edge. The shed appears to be within 10 feet of the creek, while the house is slightly further back.

“If this coming storm is as bad or even worse than the last one, I fully predict that the house will end up in the stream bed by tomorrow or the day after,” White stated on the GoFundMe page.

City officials have red tagged the house and evacuated the Shaydaks. The couple is currently staying in a nearby hotel room that the Red Cross is providing.

John Shaydak told KCOY that he has witnessed years of local government efforts to divert the creek. Shaydak, however, also said it is a violation of federal Environmental Protection Agency standards to divert the flow of a creek.

CalCoastNews has come across a case in which the EPA allowed the diversion of water to prevent riverbank erosion and to stop erosion from causing pollution.

Some local residents who have seen the Shaydaks’ home say the house was built too close to Atascadero Creek, which runs into the Salinas River, and there is no way to divert the water in the area.

White is now trying to raise $100,000 to assist his emotionally-shaken grandparents.

“They raised my mother, and for a time me and my sister in that house. Recently my grandfather decided to renovate the house to make them more comfortable in their later years. At this time they are still paying off those renovations. Now after all these years the creek has finally eaten away the bank enough enough to put their house, their entire world, in danger of collapse,” the GoFundMePage states.

In a span of 14 hours, donors have pledged $1,570.


Loading...
CC_Marauder

Condolences to the Shaydak family.


Hoping they had flood insurance in place.


billygatez

House almost fell into creek in late 90’s, made the news then too. Im so old..


Pelican1

Mother Nature can be very unforgiving and certainly unpredictable.


MikeB

This was never about no new development…nice try though. Didn’t you read the proposal? The exiting buildings were grandfathered, thus they could remain but in the event that they were torn down, particularly by calamity, then the proposed set back would apply.


The proposal by the way, was consistent with many other central coast communities.


Some of the ridiculous spin at the time was that this was a sinister design to allow public trails next to the creeks. Wrong again!


Linked below is information on the original proposal.


You are right there are no easy answers but there is something called common sense and that what was lacking by many who just didn’t seem to get it.


http://www.atascadero.org/files/Memorandum%20on%2035%20foot%20setback%206507(2).pdf


Kaiser Bill

One wonders why the House was built so close to a flood plain in the first place.


I do feel for these people.


kayaknut

Since the current homeowners have lived there for many years, knowing the lived next to a creek, did they set aside a little each year into a personal fund to address an issue they know would eventually happen?


MikeB

In 2007 the city council tried to address this problem by requiring a modest increase in the setbacks from the creeks. The regulation would have addressed new development but older existing structures would have been grandfathered.


The efforts failed as several people complained that the council was trying to interfere with property rights. Apparently they could not see the obvious dangers to life and property should our town endure significant rainfall.


Lon Allan understood the issues and even wrote an article in 2014


http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/community/columns-blogs_/about-the-colony/article39474588.html


Unfortunately, the chickens have come home to roost.


BeenThereDoneThat

O.k. Mike, now that you took the easy answer of no new development, what about existing? This home looks to be maybe 40 years old? Should we just go through and tear all of them down? Who pays for that? City? Insurance? You and I?


There are no easy answers as you make it seem to be in the case of this home!!!


MikeB

This was never about no new development…nice try though. Didn’t you read the proposal?


The exiting buildings were grandfathered, thus they could remain but in the event that they were torn down, particularly by calamity, then the proposed set back would apply

.

The proposal by the way, was consistent with many other central coast communities.


Some of the ridiculous spin at the time was that this was a sinister design to allow public trails next to the creeks. Wrong again!


Linked below is information on the original proposal.


You are right there are no easy answers but there is something called common sense and that what was lacking by many who just didn’t seem to get it.


http://www.atascadero.org/files/Memorandum%20on%2035%20foot%20setback%206507(2).pdf