Trinidad City Council votes to assist in relocation of memorial lighthouse


TRINIDAD, Calif. - The Trinidad City Council voted Wednesday to assist the Civic Club in moving the Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse that is currently in danger of toppling over due to landslides.

The Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse, owned by the Trinidad Civic Club, has been located in the same spot overlooking the ocean for nearly 60 years but in the past few years it has been discovered that it must be moved.

During the City Council meeting Wednesday the city had Geologist Gary Simpson explain why it is urgent that the lighthouse be relocated.

"The memorial lighthouse is located on the coastal bluff in Trinidad, which is an active geological area with many landslides," Simpson said. "One of which has become reactivated in the last few years."

Simpson is the Geo-Science Director at SHN in Eureka. He was hired by the city to do an analysis of the land that the lighthouse sits on after the area began to slump toward the sea. Simpson said that things are getting worse at an alarming rate.

"A portion of it is already beginning to lean toward the landslide, and I think that eventually it would topple over," Simpson said. "Certainly through the next winter we're very worried about its integrity through the rainy season."

While reinforcing the land is an option, its location and other factors make it an expensive and temporary fix.

"A significant option is to relocate the light house, sorry to all of those who didn't want to hear that tonight," Simpson said to city council and community members at the meeting. However, the lighthouse can remain in the same general area and still be safe.

"It wouldn't need to be moved very far to have significantly more stability," Simpson said.

He added that the lighthouse could be moved only 15-feet to prevent it from falling this next rainy season. During the meeting Council Member Susan Golledge- Rotwein put forth a motion for the city to assist the Civic Club with any permitting that is needed to move the lighthouse.

The motion was approved with all council members voting in support.

The president of the Civic Club, Dana Hope, was extremely appreciative of the city's help. "I don't know that it would be possible for us to take action as quickly as we would need to if the city had not made and approved that motion," Hope said.

While there are other, more-stable places to move the light house, Hope said that they will opt to move the lighthouse as little as possible and still keep it safe.

"It overlooks and pays homage to those who were lost and buried at sea," Hope said. "I think it's the best way of honoring the initial intention of the land use."