Letter: The Importance of a View

The Malibu Times’ article, “Commission Delays Approval of Bluff-Top Homes,” (Jan. 8) claims it met with pushback at the Malibu Planning Commission. My friends and I disagree—it sailed through, mostly led by a partial Chairman Jennings. The Planning Commission voted 3-1 to recommend to certify the EIR and even went on to establish development standards for the project. 

I understand that staff sent commissioners a 2,700 page package, knowing full well they had no time to read it, and yet still recommended a vote of yes on the project. 

Commissioner John Mazza consistently questioned, with surprise, that the project might be approved without the usual considerations. 

It was noted that the developers are offering a donation of one million dollars to the city. The Supreme Court recently ruled that cities are barred from accepting donations. The ensuing discussion attempted to get around that.

Our family has lived in Malibu Colony for over 50 years. That looming development would sit immediate stage right of the sunset for Colony residents and would mar the pristine mountain profile of so many highly prominent and well-populated perspectives within the heart of Malibu.

This bluff top is such an important ridgeline as viewed by so many. As a destination, the park is a cultural landmark that should be considered a public good and, thus, not just relevant to those within the immediate vicinity. I also note that the City admitted that “view was not one of the main criteria considered by them” in 2009 when they allowed the zoning change.


In the discussion of the Ridgeline Ordinance, the Commission considered whether this bluff top should be so restricted, claiming technicalities of slope as reasons why it doesn’t qualify as a “ridge,” per se. The point worth underlining is that the purpose of the ordinance is to protect prominent view sheds as seen on busy thoroughfares like Malibu Canyon, which this development certainly would ruin. 

Please don’t let the interests of a few ruin the views of so many, including the 15 million visitors to Malibu each year, forever! 

Tim Elkins

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

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