City wants conditions on approval of Pepperdine project


Trying to limit environmental impacts of Pepperdine University’s Upper Campus Development, the city of Malibu last month urged the County of Los Angeles Regional Planning Commission to impose certain conditions on its approval of the project.

Relaying a city council resolution adopted Oct. 26, City Councilwoman Carolyn Van Horn and Planning Director Craig Ewing urged the county planning commissioners on Oct. 28 to have Pepperdine:

  • Reduce the size and scope of the project. Under this reduced expansion alternative of the university’s Draft Environmental Impact Report, the campus’s grading envelope would be reduced by 59.5 percent and the building pad area would be reduced by 61 percent.
  • Deed-restrict the remainder of the campus as open space.
  • Donate land or money to the city for a private land trust in the Civic Center area.
  • Provide a shuttle bus program, including a Park-n-Ride lot near the Malibu Canyon Road/Highway 101 intersection.
  • Provide funding to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to supply an an additional three shifts of traffic patrol.

City Manager Harry Peacock told The Malibu Times last week the city was asking the university, “What can you do, if you can’t mitigate?”

The university “ought to be part of the solution” noted Peacock. It owns nine acres behind City Hall and has an obligation to preserve open space in the vicinity of the campus. It also should pay its fair share to regulate the traffic burden, he said.

In September, Pepperdine officials and their consultants made their presentation to the five-member county commission. The basis of their argument was that the upper campus was part of a Long Range Development Plan approved by the county Board of Supervisors in 1987 and the California Coastal Commission in 1990, and that the completed project would enhance Pepperdine’s graduate programs and augment its reputation and service to its students.

Another county planning commission hearing is set for Dec. 9. At that time, the university will answer any additional questions from the commission and offer rebuttal to opposition arguments.