The California Coastal Commission approved a deal this week with a Malibu homeowner who agreed to construct a public access route next to her Carbon Beach home and pay more than $1 million in fines after a years-long legal battle with the state.
The agreement requires Lisette Ackerberg to dismantle part of a 9-foot concrete wall and create a vertical public access point neighboring her property, which sits on the exclusive stretch of beachfront properties. It’s the same Malibu beach where Larry Ellison owns at least 10 coveted properties.
Ackerberg will pay $35,000 per year for 10 years to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority for operation and upkeep of the accessway ($350,000 total). She also must pay a $350,000 fine for overall “violation remediation”—that money will go toward public access improvement throughout Malibu, according to the Coastal Commission. Additionally, she’ll cover $170,000 in legal fees for the Coastal Commission and $160,000 per year each year the accessway isn’t open, backdating to Jan. 1, 2013.
In July 2009 the Coastal Commission ordered Ackerberg to remedy several alleged Coastal Act violations on her property, including unpermitted development that obstructed vertical and lateral public access easements. The development included a rock riprap, the 9-foot high wall, a generator and associated concrete slab, a fence, railing, planter, light posts and landscaping.
“There are two open vertical public accessways (accessways running perpendicular to the coast, providing access from the road to the beach) in the area, one located .3 miles upcoast and one .4 miles downcoast from the property,” a staff report stated.
She challenged the alleged violations and her case went as high as a District Appeals court where a panel of judges sided with the Coastal Commission last year. Ackerberg then petitioned the State Supreme Court for a review of the case, but was turned down.
Ackerberg’s legal reps have “worked closely and cooperatively with Commission staff to resolve all Coastal Act claims to reach this amicable resolution and staff appreciates Respondent’s efforts in coming to this conclusion,” according to the staff report.