New environmental group desperately seeking solution

The controversy over development in the Civic Center has taken a new turn with the establishment of a new environmental group, whose purpose is, in part, to buy at least one of the properties.

The recently formed Malibu Coastal Land Conservancy is now open for donations. The environmental organization intending to protect ecologically sensitive land along the Malibu coast has received its nonprofit status to make that intention official.

Gil Segel, president of the conservancy trust, says the group offers Malibu residents concerned with preserving certain parcels of land a venue to raise funds for the purchase of land for natural parks, protecting coastal waters from pollution and promoting a healthy environment. “Aren’t you tired of watching kids get sick in the surf? Aren’t you tired of seeing the Malibu Lagoon polluted? From an environmental interest, we’re trying to get a total consensus of everyone’s concern in Malibu,” Segel said.

Among those concerns, Segel pointed out, is the controversial parcel of Civic Center land where events like the chili cook-off have taken place and where developers are proposing a shopping center. According to Segel, the developers, Malibu Bay Company, are more supportive of environmental concerns than people may realize. “Lyn Konheim [Malibu Bay Company] told me he would even go as far as helping to raise funds for the conservancy to acquire their property. They would sell to us,” Segel said. “The resolution is to get the right price.

“We all want the same thing. If we all keep working toward the same thing, we’re going to pull it off.”

As for the specific price, Segel says no figure has been named by the developer yet. And they haven’t asked. Yet.

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Several events are underway, according to Segel, to make the public aware of the function and intention of the newly born environmental group, and to begin the task facing so many nonprofit organizations: the raising of funds. For information, call 453-2172.

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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