Since moving to Malibu, I have been a consistent reader of letters to the local papers, both for education and entertainment. I reluctantly find myself writing just such a letter, and for the usual reason, a land use issue.
A recent issue of the Surfside News carried an article in which the Malibu Coastal Land Conservancy was proposing to obtain the property commonly known as the Harris Tree Farm for use as a sports and community center complex. Setting aside the obvious intent to derail the Chili Cook-off/Heathercliff proposal, the Harris site is unsuitable for several reasons not noted in the article: 1. It is in the middle of a residential area; 2. It is not flat and would require substantial earth moving; 3. There is no means of ingress/egress that would handle the traffic for this type facility.; 4. There are easements held by one or more of the neighbors, one of which runs through the center of the property, that would affect the usable space; 5. The east side of the property includes at least as much of an ESHA as exists on the Heathercliff site; 6. There are known archeological sites on the Harris Property; and 7. As much as I believe Malibu needs to secure proper space for recreational and community activities, neither I nor my neighbors are going to sit idle and let someone else’s agenda ruin our property values, or our peace and quiet.
Gary Van Otten