City expresses several concerns about Pepperdine expansion project

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City of Malibu staff has released its response letter to the draft environmental impact report (DEIR) for Pepperdine University’s proposed Campus Life Project (CLP), which the City Council will consider and finalize at its meeting Monday night. City staff expressed the following concerns, among others, about the DEIR for the expansion project:

  • Seven intersections within the City of Malibu limits identified in the DEIR will suffer “significant and immitigable” impacts during large events at the Athletic and Events Center (AEC), which occur during peak traffic hours. The letter asks how the county could approve a project with impacts that are not within its jurisdiction, and make a determination that the project’s benefits would outweigh impacts to Malibu.
  • The city notes that the DEIR fails to mention if the AEC will be used for concerts or shows. Residents of the Malibu Country Estates Homeowner’s Association had expressed concern about the traffic generated in the area if concerts took place at the AEC.
  • The city also notes that the DEIR discusses upgrading the soccer, basketball and volleyball venues to NCAA requirements, but does not specify those requirements. It recommends listing those requirements, so that if the planned expansion exceeds the requirements, the university might consider reducing the size of the expansion.
  • The city questions the necessity of the plan outlined in the DEIR to raise the track/soccer field by 10 feet in elevation, saying that the raised elevation could “add to visual and lighting impacts from the field onto nearby residences.”
  • The city notes that the project has been touted as being environmentally efficient, but the only environmental plan is an expansion of a campus recycling program that already exists at the university.

The city council will meet Monday at 6 p.m., in City Hall chambers. Public comment on the Campus Life DEIR are due by Jan. 10.

The DEIR can be viewed at planning.lacounty.gov/case/all, under Project No. R2007-03064.

For this week’s story on the project, go to City to address Pepperdine expansion project

Responses from the university to these concerns will be addressed in next week’s issue of The Malibu Times.