Residents needs ignored


It is with great interest that I have been reading about our local septic issues and at the same time participating in conversations concerning this problem. We here on Escondido Beach Road have had our own set of problems for many years now, due to the overpumping of waste material twice a week, every week, by the restaurant above us. I engaged in conversation years ago with the manager of the business and got nowhere in getting some relief. Then, over three years ago I began engaging with many people on many commissions regarding code enforcement, safety and environment. I was consistently dismissed and passed on from one to another without any help and utter disrespect for the fact that we on our street were spending 96 days a year, four to six hours per day, retching and unable to live in our homes.

I have been told I can never lease or sell my home because of the prodigious stench that comes from the restaurant 96 days a year. Three years after beginning my journey to get this problem rectified, I finally got the attention of the Regional Water Quality Control Board and, allegedly, they are holding the proprietors of the restaurant responsible for installing a new system that will correct this egregious old one. But here’s the thing! I was actually told a couple of years ago, by a code enforcement person, that I was not important enough to be paid any attention to. And herein lies the reason why I have chosen to write this letter.

Why was I dismissed by so many? What was it about my problem that merited the response, “This just isn’t important enough.” When did the homeowners become marginalized in Malibu? I know the mom and pop type local shop owners did when the new mall owners tripled their rent. Now our local owners are to the largest degree gone. I know we become marginalized when members of boards and commissions, not local homeowners, not local residents, make decisions for us that do not in any way represent our best wishes and threaten our well-being, but how and when did this happen? Why am I about to enter the process of bringing a great deal of legal thunder on the head of the business that is making us ill with their inferior septic system when I am supposed to have a board, a commission, code enforcement employees, that protect me and serve me as a local resident? It’s so disappointing, so frustrating.

Michael Lembeck