Ask Chris: A Seaside Mystery

Hundreds of abandoned houses a few blocks from the beach

Q: What’s up with those abandoned, boarded-up homes on Western Avenue in San Pedro? If I weren’t so terrified, I’d launch a Scooby-Doo-style search party.

A: You meddling kids should know that the 245 ranch-style houses, tucked between a cemetery and a refinery, were once inhabited by Cold War-era naval officers. When the nearby base was turned into a parking lot for shipping containers, developers purchased the land and have spent decades fighting neighbors over construction plans. For now the area is in limbo.