Brush Areas Continue to Attract Transients and Trash above PCH

A cooking stove and tent were found in the dry brush in the parkland above PCH.

Another homeless campsite, with a cooking stove, was found by the LAPD beach patrol officers Tyler Yi and Adam Margin in the dense, dry brush below Via de las Olas on Thursday, June 17. This area is in a Very High Fire Severity Zone and camping is prohibited.

The male transient was not at the site when his camp was discovered. Sharon Kilbride, co-president of the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness, wrote to CTN: “I got the tent and stove out, but still more to clean, if you feel like getting dirty.”

The next morning at 7 a.m., CTN met with Kilbride and fellow resident Bruce Schwartz to complete the cleanup. Food containers, toilet paper, matches, a lighter, bug spray, dead black beetles and jugs of urine were hidden in the brush.

Kilbride told CTN that lately, police have been finding at least one encampment a week in thick brush at several Palisades locations. This particular site was below the most recent burn area just below Via de la Olas and well-hidden from PCH.

While Kilbride and Schwartz tackled one pile of trash in another site, CTN went to the now-abandoned campsite and filled a large black plastic trash bag with garbage.

Instead of placing three water bottles full of urine in the black bag, we decided to dump the contents at the site to discourage future transients from “moving in.” (Editor’s note: Most who camp use bottles to collect urine, because they don’t like the smell near where they sleep.)

Also in the area was a large storm drain, with no cover over the hole that led to the six-foot drainage pipe. Around that area there was heavy trash, Styrofoam food containers and bottles. LAPD Officer Margin discovered on Thursday that he was able to walk from below Via de las Olas through the pipe, under PCH, to the ocean.

CTN also helped clean the plastic litter that had accumulated in that area, before moving to the area above the k-rails and adjacent to the brush, filling another bag.

If there had been heavy rain this year, that trash would have gone directly into the ocean.

CTN contacted Resilient Palisades, the town’s new environmental group, to see if anyone would be interested in doing a trash pickup.

Residents routinely do beach cleanups, but the trash on the other side of PCH is intense and thick, and with normal rainfall will flow directly to the ocean.

Kilbride called Caltrans about the missing manhole cover and about picking up the trash bags, the shopping cart and the wood that was found along the roadway. A representative said it would be taken care of on Monday, but late Monday night, the trash and debris were still on PCH between Potrero and Temescal Canyon.

The brush on this L.A. City Recreation and Parks property is so thick that CTN contacted LAFD brush clearance on June 22 to see if there are plans for clearing it. The Deputy Chief of Operations of the West Bureau responded immediately, saying “I will look into this and get back to you.”

Trash along Pacific Coast Highway will most likely end up in the ocean.

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4 Responses to Brush Areas Continue to Attract Transients and Trash above PCH

  1. Steven Dersh says:

    My wife and I watched a suspicious looking transient walking into the Temescal Canyon trail early this evening. Anyone reading this in the area should be prepared in the event of a fire.

  2. Lynn Mack-Costello says:

    Sue, you are amazing. If only more read CTN and were inspired to take action.

  3. Karin (Olson) Espinosa says:

    Last time I checked….you are a writer but now seem to be doubling as serious cleaning crew! Truly, I appreciate all of what you are doing to remedy an intolerable situation. Thank you for staying on LAFD! Without your watchful eye, those piles of trash etc would remain.
    Forever appreciative,

  4. Sue says:


    All are prohibited from trespassing. Call LAPD. Also alert Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness, too. They are great about responding.


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