Take firm stand

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I was very surprised to read in The Malibu Times last week that Laura Rosenthal and Mike Sidley have gone on record advocating cost-sharing proposals to fund rangers with the SMMC/MRCA to supervise their proposed camping as an alternative to the city’s current legal action against the Coastal Commission.

The locations proposed for camping in Malibu are unlike other existing camping sites in the local area. Sycamore Canyon, Malibu Creek State Park, and Leo Carrillo State beach have all located their campsites far from residential neighborhoods and in safe zones in the flat open parts of the topography adjacent to the main egress routes of PCH and Malibu Canyon. The SMMC proposals for Malibu put the camping sites in steep areas of terrain, surrounded by brush and away from the egress routes. For some unexplained reason, the SMMC/MRCA’s 500 acre King Gillette Ranch in the center of the Santa Monica Mountains which is a natural “safety zone” with excellent flat, wide open areas with great access for emergency vehicles is off-limits to camping.

From a public safety perspective, the SMMC Plan is a bad idea. The Coastal Commission’s decision to approve the LCP override is an inappropriate use of a process, which is designed to accommodate things like the expansion of LAX or the construction of a Nuclear Power plant, not to support one person’s idea of some camping spots — especially when it is resisted by so many local residents on the basis of safety.

I would say to Laura Rosenthal and Mike Sidley: if you think this camping plan is the end of the SMMC’s plans for Malibu — think again. The SMMC is just getting started. If you give in on this, prepare to give more later. The real irony is that I think the SMMC and CC’s position is getting weaker because of the state’s budget crisis and the huge legal expenses incurred on their behalf by the State Attorney General.

John Mazza and Steve Scheinkman are both strong supporters of the current City Council’s suit against the Coastal Commission. I agree with them.

Rick Mullen

Malibu Public Safety Commissioner