An item was added on Friday to Monday’s City Council agenda regarding the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy’s (SMMC) parks modification plan. Known as the Malibu Parks Public Access Enhancement Plan, the project calls for 54 overnight camping sites at Bluffs Park (35), Corral Canyon (17) and Ramirez Canyon (2) among other features.
The plan was approved last month by the boards of the SMMC and its sister organization the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA). California Coastal Commission approval is needed to finalize the plan. The Coastal hearing will take place on Oct. 13 in Oceanside.
A city staff report recommends the council direct staff to write a letter to the Coastal Commission opposing the project on various grounds, including several legal technicalities. The project has been criticized because of alleged fire risks and for intensifying the use of Ramirez Canyon beyond what residents say it can handle. SMMC officials say the project includes enough fire safety precautions and brings much-needed public access to Malibu and its rare coastal beauty.
Some of the major features of the plan include:
2 overnight camping sites (they can only be built after the construction of a secondary access road from Kanan Dume Road; there is a dispute between SMMC officials and residents on where that road should be located), maximum of 16 large events (up to 200 people) per year at the SMMC property (after road is built), 7 day-use picnic areas (an additional 6 after road is built), 54 parking spaces (48 more after road is built), 14 additional spaces along Kanan, retrofitting of two buildings for use as a last-resort fire shelter, a trail connecting Kanan to Ramirez Canyon Park, trail connecting Ramirez Park to the proposed Coastal Slope Trail
Corral Canyon Park
1 day-use picnic area, 17 overnight camping sites with a double restroom and two fire shelters, a permanent structure for the camp host and/or park administration/employee with a restroom
35 overnight camping sites (on the SMMC portion, not where the ball fields are), 40 parking spaces, two new permanent structures, three optional fire shelters, two-stall restroom on Malibu Road
Escondido Canyon Park
Trail improvements to connect the proposed Coastal Slope Trail from Murphy Way to Latigo Trailhead.
Four day-use picnic areas, a restroom on the knoll, a small parking area consisting of four spaces on a lower portion of the property, an accessible trail connecting the small parking area to the restroom and upper day-use areas