to road grading


When I saw the grading started on the Rambla road, I was delighted that 27 years of frustration endured by my neighbors who live above the La Costa slide was about to be over. A valuable community improvement had finally overcome all the obstacles to its construction. I thought this was truly a great achievement. By allowing quick access above the slide, this road could possibly save a life in a medical emergency. A timely response by the fire department might stop a fire, saving the homes below. Although it is unlikely that I would ever use this road, the safety benefits were clearly obvious. So, when I heard that the road construction had been stopped over a possible encroachment dispute, I was deeply disappointed. I asked who would object to such a worthy project in our community.

I was astonished to learn that the grading work had been halted as a direct result of the Malibu La Costa Owners Associations. As a shareholder of this organization, I could not understand how the La Costa Board thought they were acting to protect my interests. Attorney Iannacone, in his letter to The Malibu Times, described a scenario that tries to justify La Costa’s actions. His argument is that La Costa assets are somehow at risk because of its failure to stop a minor encroachment during the road construction. Well, anything is possible, but likely? The concerns that he has raised with geology, insurability and maintainability transcend a legal opinion. It shows a prejudice towards the road project. Undoubtedly, Mr. Iannacone does not want the road built, but will following his advice be good citizenship? He certainly does not speak for me or many other La Costa shareholders. The benefits of the road plainly outweigh the abstract and miniscule risk to our properties. This attorney does not offer solutions only insurmountable obstacles.

As is usually the case in neighbor disputes, personalities may have more to do with this than the merits of the arguments. The politics would be entertaining if it were not for the fact that the hillside is partially graded and vulnerable to the winter rains. The La Costa Board should not be worried about a distant litigable event when in the short term a number of parties are currently being damaged by their actions. We now have to confront the sad possibility that La Costa will be instrumental in ending the road project .

As responsible members of the community, the La Costa shareholders should stand up for the welfare of their neighbors and themselves against obstructionism. Contrary to Mr. Iannacone’s assertions, a simple majority of the La Costa shareholders can, in one way or another, choose to resolve this problem. It only takes goodwill and a little leadership. In any case, a solution should be found quickly that does not involve extortion of the road group, does not exploit a “gotcha” through the City and leaves any perceived personal slights out of the process.

Given the opportunity, I will vote my share so that La Costa will be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

David R. Landry