Santa Monica College Malibu Campus Project Approved

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California Coastal Commission South Central Coast Area Office, Ventura, CA

Last Thursday at the Coastal Commission meeting in Santa Barbara, appeals by the Malibu Coalition for Slow Growth and the Malibu Township Council to stop construction of the Santa Monica College Malibu Campus were denied. 

The four code variances the groups opposed were the height of the proposed building, landscaping requirement, floor-area-ratio and size of the parking spaces. 

The Coastal Commission staff, which uses its own set of criteria to evaluate projects, concluded there would be “no adverse impacts to public views or coastal resources, and no issues of regional or statewide significance.”

Coastal Commission staff and commissioners expressed displeasure about having to invest the time and energy required to investigate and respond to the appeals.  

Steve Hudson, district manager, said after the staff presentation, “From a management point of view, is this the type of project we should be focusing on, given our large workload? … The city should come to us with these projects ahead of time, and we encourage that, and we’re willing to coordinate with them to make sure we don’t arrive at these types of appeals again.”

“The staff acknowledges there are some problems with the City [of Malibu’s] process and the processing of the coastal development permit,” Hudson said. 

Steve Kinsey, supervisor and chair of the commission, also admonished the City of Malibu. “We’ve been characterized unfairly as a commission that perpetuates development, and this kind of appeal just continues that opinion.  We’re allowing all these variances to go forward, and it makes it appear that we’re going easy on the applicant because we like them.”

Kinsey was then the sole dissenting vote on the project, with all other commissioners denying the appeal.

It was unknown at the time The Malibu Times went to print whether the Malibu Township Council or Malibu Coalition for Slow Growth will decide to file a lawsuit over the project.