Scores Protest Santa Monica Mountains Zoning Changes

Protestors outside the Las Virgenes Water District during a community meeting about revising the Santa Monica Mountains North Area Plan

An estimated 130 people came out to protest changes to the county’s “Santa Monica Mountains North Area Plan,” which regulates zoning and development in the 32 square miles of unincorporated Santa Monica Mountains just outside Malibu city limits. Protesters appeared at a community meeting held at the Las Virgenes Water District on Thursday, Oct. 25. Carrying signs with slogans such as “North Area Plan Threatens to SHUT DOWN Compliant Businesses,” protesters expressed concerns that the tightening of regulations introduced in the proposed update could cause problems for businesses operating in the mountains.

Information from the county states, in part, the guiding principle behind the update is to “Let the land dictate the type and intensity of use,” by protecting more tree species and the most sensitive types of habitat—and cutting back on noise.

According to information provided by a local business owner, the plan could put local businesses at risk of closure due to tightening restrictions on decibel levels, music amplification, offsite parking and permits—requiring special permits to park regular guests.

The county will host another community meeting to discuss the proposed changes at the Topanga Library on Wednesday, Nov. 14, from 5:30-7 p.m.