City Council to Finalize Charmlee, Bluffs Park Swap

The City of Malibu is considering a proposal to trade Charmlee Wilderness Park for 83 acres of state-owned land at Bluffs Park. Above, locals attend an event at Bluffs Park in 2011.

On Monday, March 10, City Council will review the final documents to approve a controversial Bluffs Park-Charmlee lease swap between the city and Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC). 

The Malibu City Council previously voted unanimously to approve the concept of swapping its 532-acre Charmlee Wilderness Park for 83 acres of the SMMC’s Bluffs Park. As part of the same motion, the council also agreed to settle a years-old lawsuit with SMMC over the uses of Ramirez Canyon Park, and enter a five-year lease agreement with SMMC where each party would lease the other’s park in a kind of trial swap. 

Under the terms of the swap, no development can occur for five years on either Charmlee or Bluffs Park. The city plans on researching possible uses of developable land at Bluffs Park. 

Supporters of the trade covet Bluffs Park as a potentially valuable asset in creating more athletic and recreational fields for public use, something many residents believe the city lacks. But swap opponents fear handing over control of Charmlee would increase potential wildfire risks in Malibu if the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC) bui lds campsites at Charmlee, which the conservancy has pledged to do.