Coastal to consider amending Pepperdine expansion project

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Pepperdine University

To address fears of an increase in traffic on Pacific Coast Highway and view-obstructing athletic field lights, the California Coastal Commission will consider amendments on a major Pepperdine University expansion project at its next meeting on Dec. 13.

Malibu Country Estates residents have been critical of the project, saying the expansion would cause big backups on PCH, noise and view obstruction. 

Lighting amendment

One of the amendments to Pepperdine’s Campus Life Project would require the school to replace all of its existing “globe” style lighting with lights that minimize nighttime “spill” and “glow.” 

“Lighting shall be downward directed, shielded, energy efficient, dark-sky-compatible, and shall incorporate state-of-the-art improvements in lighting technology when replaced thereafter,” a Coastal staff report said. 

The same requirements would apply to whatever lighting is installed on a proposed outdoor athletic field. 

“All sports lighting shall be designed to minimize light trespass into adjacent non-target areas, and to limit the illumination of adjacent open space and sensitive habitat areas,” the report said.

Traffic amendment

The other amendment to Pepperdine’s Campus Life Project would require the university to create a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Program to implement traffic flow plans for sporting events and other special campus events held at a proposed events center during the summer and holiday weekends. 

“The TDM Program shall include measures to decrease the number of vehicular trips generated by people traveling to the [athletic/events center] during peak times by offering specific facilities, services, and actions designed to reduce automobile dependency, as well as to promote alternative travel modes (e.g., carpool, regional shuttle systems, come early and stay late initiatives, etc.),” the Coastal staff report said. 

The school would also have to provide sufficient parking and traffic control for events drawing more than 3,500 attendees.

The Coastal Commission will make a decision on the amendments at a meeting and public hearing on Dec. 13 in San Francisco.