Letter: Proper Lighting

Letter to the Editor

After one year of waiting for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District to present a revised lighting plan to the California Coastal Commission (CCC), it’s disturbing that the City Council is requesting that Malibu Community Alliance (MCA) drop its appeal, rather than requesting the district to finally present an environmentally sensible lighting plan. Apparently the city has had a revised lighting plan from the district for more than a month and has not made it public or involved MCA so we may resolve this issue together. MCA has consistently asked the district to adhere to the same appropriate lighting zoning that was just approved and is being implemented at Trancas Country Market Shopping Center, one mile away from the school. MCA spent many hours working hard alongside the residents of Malibu West and used much of its own financial resources to attain this goal. The lighting plan MCA is asking for is not only reasonable, it’s in the best interest of our entire community. 

Factual background: MCA appealed the Campus Improvement Project lighting plan in April 2013, after the Planning Commission signed a resolution that would allow the district to adhere to its proposed lighting plan to “the extent feasible.” This language allowed the district to not have to adhere to any lighting standard. In October 2013, the district submitted its plan to the CCC. Within 10 days, MCA submitted comments to the plan at its own expense. All parties, including CCC, the district and even Laura Rosenthal, agreed there were obvious incompetencies in the plan. This environmentally bad lighting plan would have been implemented if not for the appeal. 

The CCC has made it clear — and the city planning director concurs — that the appeal is not preventing the district from moving ahead with any necessary contamination remediation. For the last year, the district has been able to resubmit a competent lighting plan to the CCC and has not. 

Cami Winikoff

President, Malibu Community Alliance