The Coastal Commission has taken a close look at the development, deeming it a “coordinated development scheme.” With the identity of the owners now revealed, it is not known how the agency will address the project.
By Knowles Adkisson / The Malibu Times
The unnamed owners of the development on Sweetwater Mesa Road above Serra Canyon, of which U2 guitarist The Edge owns one lot, have gone public. Documents sent to The Malibu Times last week by Fiona Hutton, whose public relations firm was retained by the owners about a month ago, identify the owners as Tim Delaney, Gillian Delaney, Chantal O’Sullivan, Lisa Menichino, Dean McKillen, Patrick McKillen, Anthony Kilduff and The Edge, whose real name is David Evans.
The development has been the subject of controversy because of the scope of the project, which requires large amounts of grading, and because of an access road the owners want to build from Serra Retreat to Sweetwater Mesa.
The project is scheduled to be heard by the Coastal Commission at its meeting next month in Marina del Rey. It has been scheduled several times in the past few years to go before the commission, but has been withdrawn each time. It has received both local and international media attention, due to the celebrity of Evans, and also because the commission has branded the project a “coordinated development scheme,” i.e., one owner with the intent to build five houses and sell them at a profit.
The owners propose to build five large estates-three exceeding 12,000 square feet, and two smaller ones of approximately 8,000 and 7,000 square feet-on separate parcels on the 156-acre property, in addition to the 1,600-foot long access road.
Local residents opposed to the project have also expressed concerns over possible landslides resulting from the grading, while environmental activists say the construction would harm the property’s fragile ecosystem.
The owners of the properties are all either friends, family or business associates of Evans.
Gillian Delaney is Evans’ sister, while Tim Delaney is her husband and a former executive at the record labels Mercury Records and Polygraph Records. Chantal O’Sullivan is an antiques dealer in Dublin, Ireland and was the ring bearer at Evans’ wedding, while Hutton said Menichino is a friend of O’Sullivan.
Patrick McKillen is a prominent real estate investor in Ireland and the father of Dean McKillen. Kilduff is also a prominent Irish investor and former software entrepreneur.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Evans bought the property in 2006 for $9 million with his wife. Hutton did not confirm who originally bought the land, or when the other investors bought their parcels.
Previously, only the names of companies, Delaware limited liability limited partnerships, had been known to the public, but Hutton said the owners had revealed themselves to the California Coastal Commission in the fall of 2010. While the documents were not posted with the staff report for the project on the Commission’s Web site, Hutton said public concerns over secrecy were misplaced because the information is part of the public record and could have been obtained upon request.
Affidavits were sent by the owners to the commission in October and November of 2010, revealing their identities.
Morleigh Properties LLLP is co-owned by Chantal O’Sullivan and Lisa Menichino. Mulryan Properties LLLP is co-owned by Tim and Gillian Delaney. Dean McKillen and Patrick McKillen identify themselves as co-owners of Ronan Properties LLLP. Hutton said Evans owns Vera LLLP and Kilduff owns Lunch LLLP.
Hutton said Kilduff bought his parcel from Derek Quinlan, a prominent Irish real estate investor who has been associated in previous news accounts with the development. The English newspaper, The Times reported that Quinlan moved from Ireland to Switzerland in 2009 due to financial troubles, and began selling off his properties, which would explain the sale of his parcel to Kilduff.
Further controversy ensued recently when the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy voted to drop its opposition to the project in April in exchange for $1 million in donations, and consulting work and a slew of conservations and development restrictions around the homes that would allow for the construction of a trail through the property in the future.
Critics of the deal, which is contingent on the Coastal Commission approving the project, charged that the owners of the project had effectively bought off the SMMC, while SMMC head Joe Edmiston countered that the donations would be valuable and beneficial for future users of the trail.
Hutton denies the commission’s characterization of the project as a “coordinated development scheme.” She stated that the owners do not want to sell the houses but to live in them. The purpose of circulating the documents to the media, Hutton said, was to prove the parcels are separately owned.
“The Coastal Commission is applying a different standard to these property owners,” Hutton said.