Letter: Crummy Decision

Letter to the Editor

My initial reaction to the recent decision by the California Coastal Commission (CCC) to allow construction of private mansions overlooking Bluffs Parks is both perplexing and cynical. Perplexing with respect to a curious interpretation of the CCC’s mission statement that reads: “The mission of the Coastal Commission is to protect, conserve, restore and enhance environmental and human-based resources of the California coast and ocean for environmentally sustainable and prudent use by current and future generations.”

Cynical because of the horse-swapping mentality on full display at the hearing as the commissioners essentially offered a deal to the developers that they could purchase their acquiescence by agreeing to what amounts to a good old fashioned kickback. By doubling a contribution to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) for “rehabilitation and/or development of lower cost visitor serving coastal amenities” in the nearby area, the deal was sealed.

It is difficult for one to imagine that either the letter or the spirit of the environmental mandates contained in the charters of these entities is best served by this decision. More disturbing and problematic, however, is the sour taste that such a decision leaves in the mouths of those who invest their time and efforts in protecting the gem of a community that is Malibu. And in a political environment that is currently corrupted by campaign contributions and a wide chasm that separates those who control decisions and those who are impacted by them, decisions like this begs public cynicism.

Those elected to represent the public trust in a system of governance that benefits the community as a whole and not just those who can afford to influence them are essential to representative democracy. Today the public trust was not upheld, and a few individuals will reap the benefits at the expense of the vistas that are currently available to all. In the tomorrows to come, those vistas will be lost to all but a few. That is an unfortunate legacy left to those who are fortunate enough to either live or visit this ‘bu-tiful piece of the planet.

Lance Simmens