Those not-so-smartly placed apartment buildings atop the cliff in Pacifica are making headlines again as one gusty rain storm like the one we had today could be enough to prompt more erosion, and send the now vacant 320 and 330 Esplanade Ave. right down into the ocean. The two buildings were evacuated in April and December of 2009, respectively, and as late has last June there was still talk of how to finance keeping them in place.

Now Pacifica building inspector Doug Rider has been studying the buildings for a few days, and he says the space between them is where erosion is happening the fastest. It turns out that the empty buildings are playing a role in keeping the whole cliff (and the other dwellings built there) from eroding further and tumbling off. "It really helps to have these buildings here and although two of them are vacant, they are covering the top of the cliff and they are preventing rain water from infiltrating from above." We'll see how long that lasts. Take heed if you see any really cheap rents cropping up on craigslist on Esplanade Ave in Pacifica.