Letter: Over the Edge

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Letter to the Editor

My family and I have lived for nearly 45 years on Sweetwater Mesa Road. I am a professional archaeologist with 35 years of field experience in California and the Pacific. I have served two terms on the National Park System Advisory Board Landmarks Committee. I am a concerned Malibu resident professionally qualified to support the issues raised by archaeologist Chester King in his recent letter to the California Coastal Commission regarding the so-called “Sweetwater Mesa Projects.” These projects consist of “five estates” proposed by developer David Evans, aka “The Edge.” 

Chester King is an ethical professional with decades of experience in Malibu. He objectively evaluated the archaeological report prepared for Mr. Evans by consultant David Stone and deemed it uninformed and incomplete. I agree with Chester King: archaeological testing to determine the parameters of the probable archaeological sites is required. The reluctance of Mr. Stone to conduct further study breaks from the research tradition and raises major concerns.

The proposed Edge development is not on Sweetwater Mesa. It is “on the ridge” above Sweetwater Mesa and within a “highly sensitive” environmental area and view shed. The only way to reach Mr. Evans’ proposed development is via Sweetwater Mesa Road — a narrow, winding residential street where two cars approaching one another must slow and proceed with caution. Sweetwater Mesa Road is not amenable to major construction vehicles such as the massive trucks needed to haul tons of dirt Mr. Evans proposes to remove.

I urge the Malibu community to study the reports posted on the Coastal Commission website. Seek additional information and become informed about the negative impact David Evans’ development will have on all of Malibu. Show your respect for the preservation of Native American patrimony. A Coastal Commission hearing on this project takes place Thursday, May 14, 9:00 a.m. at 105 E. Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara.

Joanne Van Tilburg