Along the PCH


The most beautiful sight you will ever see in all of Malibu? Look west toward Point Dume from the vicinity of Sea Vista/Malibu Cove Colony and capture the panorama on a clear day within 30 minutes after sunset. The sight of the darkening Point, sandwiched between glorious rainbow colors on the horizon and glassy gray-blue waters in the foreground, wins my vote as the most breathtaking vista ever in Malibu.

In February, Webster School conducted its annual talent show; 104 kids participated – with 99 different first names! There were three Alexandras, and pairs of Laurens, Annies and Sashas. Otherwise, the other 95 kids had a name to themselves with their own unique spelling. Amazing. It is a new century and our future leaders will have names such as Maclain, Dalyah, Rayna, Kaitlin, Savannah, Kyra, Haylee, Dasha, Quemars, Mackenzie, Zane, Shelby, Skye, Tessa, Jalina, Indiana and Cullen-to name but a handful from that night.

Now that there are nice, new bridges at the entrance of Solstice Canyon and in the back of Serra Retreat, there are fewer opportunities to go driving through local creeks. The locations at Rainsford and in Ramirez Canyon remain. Keep them in mind for those special moments of high water next winter.

Have you noticed the beautiful beach house on Malibu Road partly painted bright red, blue, yellow, green, purple and orange?

A woman told me recently that her home under construction took five years to get permits from the city of Malibu. Five years! It used to be we projected six months. Then a year, then two years. Now more than three years is not out of the question. Is this the kind of treatment we wish from our government?

Through the years, interesting Malibu news tidbits during spring: 2001-Las Flores Park is approved by the city council. Lower Topanga area residents and businesses are given notices to relocate. 1992-Pepperdine’s baseball team wins the national collegiate championship. A double murder is committed at Zuma Beach. The MGM slate of Carolyn Van Horn, Jeff Kramer and Joan House wins the city council election under the banner of “keep Malibu rural.” Soon after, Mayor Larry Wan resigns. 1982-The Little League season opens with a threat from Gov. Jerry Brown to turn the lagoon ball fields into a parking lot. The Malibu Vista professional building at 22761 (next to KFC) opens. 1977-The location of the planned McDonalds is under debate. The original plan was for a new facility in a vacant lot just east of Allegria (then called Cardi’s).

As I reported a few years ago, the geographic median of Malibu homes sales remains approximately Geoffrey’s Restaurant. Half of 90265 home sales are east, and half are west of that point, stretching to the top of the mountain.

Other real estate news: By mid-March, less than 100 homes in all the 90265 zip code were listed available for sale. That is unfathomable, considering that about 4,000 homes exist. That lack of inventory is well beyond “extreme” or “severe” or whatever term you can think of.

Doesn’t it seem inevitable, despite all the political posturing, negotiations and study groups, that the Chili Cook-Off site is absolutely destined to be a large public central park? And a wastewater treatment plant will not be on the site, though it will surely include ponds or lakes full of the treated water?

Remember when Stuart Ranch Road was a dusty dirt road that led to Dr. Hodges’ trailer that he used as a doctor’s office? That was the Dr. Hodges who built the castle in the mid-’70s. The road ultimately served the Racquet Club, well before the current paved edition that leads to the city of Malibu and Chamber of Commerce offices, as well as many others.

More news from the springtime past: 1970-The Malibu Township Council conducted exploratory meetings to determine how best to bring a sewer system to central Malibu. The county proposed to the utility companies to place all utilities underground to preserve Malibu’s natural beauty (that was sure effective!). A motorcycle park, with obstacle course and concession stand, was planned for the upper part of Encinal Canyon, near Decker. 1962-Rhoda Adamson passes, the daughter of Frederick Rindge who owned all of Malibu at the turn of the century. The Security Pacific National Bank opens in the Colony Market parking lot (in the spot of the current Bank of America). 1961-Malibu Realty opens an office at the base of Big Rock. Malibu Presbyterian Church has a fashion show to raise money for a charity (donations to attend: $1.50).

Going back even further: 1958-Due to traffic and massive land slides between Sunset and Chautauqua, a causeway is proposed along the coast in lieu of a four-lane highway. A new development is open to public sale: the Horizon Hills overlooking Malibu Park. It is a rare offering of the Marblehead Land Co. that includes one acre-plus lots with great ocean views for about $8,000. 1954-A 32-foot yacht is launched by the Malibu Yacht club on the beach just east of Casa Malibu Motel. The Webster PTA holds a fashion show and tea for the whole community. The Malibu Roundup rodeo brings 400 riders to the Crummer Field alongside the bottom of Malibu Canyon Road (now Civic Center Way). 1953-The Chamber of Commerce hosts a meeting to introduce new county supervisor Burton Chase. The Malibu Times moves offices from PCH/Rambla Pacifico to a small, run-down, worn out building up Las Flores Canyon (okay, so some things never change).

The first time Malibu was ever used for a movie set was in 1926 for the Warner Bros. movie, “Across the Pacific,” directed by Roy Del Ruth. Hundreds of palm trees were transported to the Colony and wind machines were used to whip up sand for the tropical beach set.

According to the city of Malibu Web site (, where frequent road conditions and other news updates are posted, the median age in Malibu is 42.9 years, based on the year 2000 census.

Don’t worry. Eventually all the bluffs along the PCH will have slid down. All the hillsides will have been re-contoured by Caltrans. And the whole road closure nuisance and stigma will become a thing of the past.