News Briefs


Arraignment continued for suspects in paparazzi-surfer brawl

The arraignment hearing was continued on Tuesday to Nov. 3 for the two Malibu residents charged with misdemeanor battery for their alleged involvement in the June brawl between surfers and paparazzi on Little Dume Beach.

Skylar Peak, 24, and Philip “John” Hildebrand, 30, were represented by their attorneys and did not appear before Malibu Superior Court Judge Lawrence Mira.

The suspects face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $2,000 fine if convicted.

City loses development lawsuit on appeal

A three-judge appellate panel on Friday reversed a 2007 decision by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge that a Trancas developer can no longer sue the city regarding a project. The jurists also ruled that the city has the “ministerial duty” to approve developer Trancas PCH’s map application for the building of 52 town homes and 15 houses on the 35-acre property located on Pacific Coast Highway, just west of Trancas Canyon Road.

The struggle to develop on this property has been an ongoing saga since 1985 and one in the court system since the early 1990s.

Judge Linda K. Lefkowitz last year barred Trancas PCH from further litigation against the city on this development under what is called collateral estoppel. A judge can apply this when the same parties have already litigated a case previously and it would be financially best for the matter not to go to court again. But Lefkowitz could do nothing to prevent the developer from appealing her decision.

The Court of Appeal opinion written by Judith Ashmann-Gerst states there are still some factual issues that need to be resolved, making the use of collateral estoppel inappropriate.

The decision does not necessarily mean the City Council must approve the development. Lawyers from both sides could not be reached for comment.

Trancas Park heading to Planning Commission

The Planning Commission on Nov. 4 will vote on the proposed Trancas Canyon Community Park. The proposal for the park on a 13-acre piece of land on the east side of Trancas Canyon Road calls for a two-acre multi sports field with a natural grass surface, a one-acre open space for dogs, a parking lot and other features.

The project has been controversial, with some people, including Mayor Pamela Conley Ulich, wanting the park to be used for league play. But the City Council as a whole in June sided with the vocal neighbors and voted for it to be used only for practice.

-Jonathan Friedman