No propensity for density

This is a follow-up to my correspondence of last week regarding Michael K. Schwerin’s letter to the editor on Aug. 13. In the last letter I addressed the issue of the $2 million fiasco involving the mobile-home parks and the city.

This letter addresses Mr. Schwerin’s allegations relating to the Lunita Pacific project. He claimed that Ms. Hogin lost the Lunita Pacific 38-condominium project lawsuit, which is presently destroying the open space near Trancas. Factually, he is correct. Ms. Hogin was the attorney of record in the lawsuit which was filed against the city. However, Ms. Hogin had on two separate occasion submitted to the City Council, whose majority included Walter Keller, Carolyn Van Horn and Jeff Kramer, a proposal which would eliminate the 38-unit condominium project in favor of a one-unit per acre, six single-family-unit project. On both occasions, the City Council in closed session refused to approve a settlement.

I have firsthand knowledge of these facts as I was the attorney of record for San Paolo U.S. Holding Company, the then owner of the property. This proposed settlement was made possible, in part, by reason that the then vice president of real estate owned properties for San Paolo U.S. Holding Company was Mr. Duane King, a Malibu resident. Neither Mr. King nor myself believed that a 38-unit condominium project was appropriate for that location. Mr. Keller’s, Ms. Van Horn’s and Mr. Kramer’s foolhardy stubbornness was the cause of this development going forward and nothing else. It was certainly not Ms. Hogin’s defense of the lawsuits which involved a vested tentative tract map, which is governed by state law and required the city to approve the project which had previously been approved by the County of Los Angeles.

Unfortunately, the loss of the Lunita Pacific lawsuit will end up having a domino effect because Trancas Town will now be able to build out, and the density of those two projects will make it nearly impossible for the city to down-zone the rest of the property in that general area.

Once again, I ask Mr. Keller and Ms. Van Horn to step up and acknowledge their responsibility for this fiasco. Once again, I am sure it will not occur.

There is nothing pro-development about Mr. Jennings, the city attorney, or most of us in this city. There is a difference between no-growth and reasonable growth. Certainly being reasonable, when the deck is stacked against you as was the case in the Lunita Pacific condominium project, is a better course of action.


Richard N. Scott

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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