15 minutes of shame?

My wife and I attended the recent hearing regarding the appeal of plans of the home for Barbra and Jim Brolin. Prior to that we visited their residence, looked at the site and reviewed their architectural plans. We are familiar with Barbra’s efforts to appease her neighbors, the Jacobsons.

After listening to Mr. Jacobson’s presentation at the hearing and knowing the background, it is clear that Mr. Jacobson is searching for his 15 minutes of fame. His objections are a moving target. First, it was blocking the sky; actually, it was more like the sky was falling. When that was proven inaccurate, the issue moved to the height of the building and the imagined setbacks therein. When compromises were offered by the Brolins, even though the home conforms to city codes, he then changed his complaint to the “bulk” of the home. All along he objected to the size of the home while misrepresenting the average size of the homes in the neighborhood. As the transparency of his objections became clear, he became a geologist and questioned the stability of the soil.

It is totally inappropriate for any person to presume to exercise this type of power over a neighbor’s proposed development. More importantly, there is no law to support it. It can only occur if the City Council listens and chooses to give these baseless complaints power. Frankly, it shouldn’t be within their power to pass it on to others.

The plans conform to the city code and were approved by the staff. The city should approve those plans. The Jacobsons’ 15 minutes are up.

Mr. Jacobson spoke of acrimony in the neighborhood — they, in fact, are the source of that acrimony. If they went into their home, closed the door and stopped peeking over their neighbor’s fence, the neighborhood would be at peace.

It is time for the council to respect the existing ordinances, which are already too invasive regarding Malibu owner’s property rights, and permit the Brolins and other residents to build their homes to suit their needs as long as they conform to the ordinances.

The city has much more demanding and important issues than to listen to one neighbor’s self-serving and hollow complaints.

John O. Lewis

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

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