Development Permits Issued for Crummer Property

The dust has settled and the once-controversial five-mansion Crummer project is continuing its slow march to groundbreaking.

Only three of five planning commissioners were present at the meeting Monday, where the final version of the five-mansion project was approved in a unanimous 3-0 vote. Commissioners Roohi Stack and David Brotman were absent.

A small handful of members of the public came to speak at the Monday night Planning Commission meeting, mostly to offer support for the project.

“I can’t believe that there’s any remaining controversy on this and I urge you to approve it as soon as possible,” stakeholder Paul Grisanti told commissioners in a brief statement. 

Pat Healy, representing the Malibu Coalition for Slow Growth, presented a few demands to commissioners, some of which were already set for approval with the Coastal Commission amendments.

Many of Healy’s requests dealt with landscaping, including requesting mature landscaping that screens Bluffs Park from residences and is maintained between 18-25 feet in height.

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Developer Robert Gold replied that the houses would be “screened to the maximum extent feasible.”

“It’s the same intent that a buyer of the house is going to have that the public is going to want,” Gold said. “A lot of the things Pat Healy is asking for ware already included in the LCP [Local Coastal Program] amendment.”

Questions from planning commissioners about views during what could be a lengthy construction process were answered by city staff. 

“When the houses are being constructed, there will be some landscaping in place,” Contract Planner Jasch Janowicz said.

It seemed after the long tussle over zoning changes, baseball fields and bluff views, the final point of contest was one cabana on one of the properties, which was moved 10 feet to the east and six feet closer to the residence. 

“Since he’s moved the cabana, I’m very much in favor of the project,” one speaker, representing several members of the public, said.

Healy made just one request that was fully rejected by Gold.

“Of course, my final request is to make lot 5 an open space lot to allow residents and visitors to enjoy eastern scenic views including views of the queen’s necklace,” Healy said.

“I’m honestly sad to see that land developed, but I appreciate that the scope of it is significantly smaller than it was,” Commissioner Mikke Pierson said.

Pierson, together with commissioners John Mazza and Jeff Jennings, voted to approve amendments to the coastal development permits on the property, removing barriers to construction.

The five houses and guardhouse will be built on 24 acres of land overlooking Bluffs Park. The various agreements necessary to complete the project included a $1 million donation to the City of Malibu and a $4 million to the State of California. 

Part of the money from the donations will go toward a new campground in Puerco Canyon. The campground will serve area foster children and disadvantaged kids. The agreement helped sway coastal commissioners, who were concerned that the property was originally zoned visitor serving, as opposed to residential.

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