Threat to freedom

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Malibu’s upcoming City Council race will be one of the most far reaching events in recent California history, affecting our personal freedom and whether the institutions of local government and self governance will retain any meaning in our society.

CAN’s candidates, Liebig, Winokur and Keller, endorse a Coastal Plan that would impact most of us in a very personal way. When Sacramento can fine you $10,000 a day for painting your house blue instead of brown, and for having a horse, a sport court or an orchard, or for refusing to cut down all your trees simply because they’re of post-1492 stock, they’ve taken away not only our right to be left alone, but our humanity. Residents in the Santa Monica Mountains are now required to pay up to and over $30,000 as a “habitat removal penalty” for performing required brush clearance. Liebig, Winokur and Keller have promised to uphold the Coastal Plan that elevates this extortion from an underground rule to codified law.

With a Coastal Plan that can force you to deed restrict your home never to allow cats, dogs or horses on your property, and pay exorbitant annual plant monitoring fees in perpetuity, we must appeal to reason in Sacramento. The governor’s new Cabinet members are listening to Malibu, and he will soon appoint new commissioners. We can elect councilmembers who will assert our rights and spare us from individually paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in court to protect our families, quality of life and our investments in our homes. The Commission delights in our utter disbelief that these things could be happening, but the public record is replete with permits and cease-and-desist orders documenting every example here (call me at 457.2483 for copies).

It is tempting to believe that adopting the Commission’s plan will free us to easily permit, but the public hearing requirement for every permit in the appeals area (most of the city) will create an administrative logjam that could take years. Mayor Kearsley, Jeff Jennings and the rest of the council are holding public hearings to amend the Coastal Plan to make it livable. I encourage you to support their efforts.

Anne Hoffman