Making point of view


If Malibuites thought that our city had a view protection ordinance, the pending case of the Casadio family of Dume Drive has been a rude awakening. The Casadios’ entire primary ocean and mountain view stands to be obliterated by the construction of a new home on an adjoining property. Not just any new home, but an almost 8,000 square foot, 28-foot high structure, positioned at the top of an acre lot, which is already at a high elevation in the neighborhood.

What “planning” process had allowed this project to proceed particularly with a variance to 28 feet in height? Over a three-year period, the planning staff had been to the site “many, many times” but not once to the Casadios, the only neighbors who stood to lose all.

A move down-slope could preserve neighbors’ views while retaining same for the new homeowners. A memo from the city geologist said it could be “feasible” to build lower on the property. The votes of two planning commissioners (of only three present) approved this project. Chairperson Schaar, in her dissent, called this case “shocking” and said it was causing her to lose faith in the system. She is not alone.

Scenic views in Malibu should be protected from new architecture, as well as foliage. Under the current code, an 18-foot high “box” can be placed almost anywhere, even right in the path of a primary view. Now it seems the 28 foot high “box” is the new 18 foot “box.” The obliteration of the Casadios’ view, which will result in the diminution of their property rights and value, and the loss of the enjoyment of their property, is egregious.

Some cities already have restrictions on the height of buildings and foliage. For now, Malibu must rely on the City Council to protect views that deserve protecting, such as that of Jone Casadio. The City Council will continue hearing this matter on January 14, 2008. We will be there

to support the Casadios’ appeal.

Robin Spivack, Kathy Anderson, Bob and Mary Edie, George and Diane Kieffer, William and June Korb, Monte and Klair Markham, Dr. and Mrs. Paul Rynearson, Joseph and Fay Sagati, Robert and Barbara Short, Ahmed and Susan Shraibati, Jeff Stockwell, Buddy and Karen Weiss, Bob and Pam Whitham, Liz Ziemska