All sorts of things are beginning to happen around Malibu, so I’m just going to quickly breeze through a check-off list of things to watch for.
From the Publisher/Arnold G. York
War on the seawalls
People who have homes on the coast are beginning to hear about a new bill making its way through the Legislature. Given the innocuous title of AB947, and authored by Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara, the new bill would make it difficult, if not near impossible in many instances, to repair or replace an old seawall or build a new one.
The idea behind the bill is to stop the erosion of the beaches, which the more scientific people of the enviro community claim is caused by seawalls. But the really extreme section of the enviro mafia have a much more aggressive agenda. They have a doctrine they call “managed retreat,” and what they want to do is ultimately get everything off the ocean side-homes, businesses, people-and return the beach to what it was a couple of hundred years ago, when, of course, almost nobody lived here.
In response, some citizens of the coastal zone have begun to organize, forming a new organization called the California Coastal Coalition, headquartered in San Diego (7705 Lake Adlon Drive, San Diego, CA 92119; phone: 888.284.2123). This new group is hurriedly looking to go statewide to do battle with AB947 and other bills that will soon follow. At a recent organizational meeting on Broad Beach Road, the coalition managed to bring together an interesting range of people, from very left of center Democrats to right of right property rights activists, proving, once again, that old adage, “none of our lives or property is safe while the Legislature is in session.”
Malibu Bay Company Development
The battle over the Malibu Bay Company Development Agreement is heating up with opponents screaming for more time to look it all over. Even the Planning Commission unanimously told the City Council it wanted more time and was having problems meeting the council’s schedule. But the truth is, everyone knows it’s ultimately up to the voters who are going to have to make the call on this one. Several years ago, Malibu citizens passed an initiative to put the development agreement onto the ballot, which, in some respects, may come back to haunt opponents of the development agreement. I personally see little value in a prolonged environmental battle, which is really nothing more than a prolonged political campaign. Let’s get the environmental impacts identified as quickly as possible, and then get this thing onto the ballot to be voted yay or nay.
Malibu Road access
Malibu Road, which appears to be the queen of beach accessways, got hit again when the California Coastal Commission, at its most recent meeting, gave approval for new controversial coastal access on a 13,000-square-foot lot on Malibu Road. The commission did put in some conditions, which we will report on later.
His and Her honor
Monday night we got a new mayor, Ken Kearsley, and a new mayor pro tem, Sharon Barovsky, and their inauguration was kicked off at a packed house party Monday night at Our Lady of Malibu. The church was a quick substitute for the original venue at the Malibu Racquet and Tennis Club, where the scheduled outside reception was called off because of rain, which is something you don’t hear of very often in Malibu.
State Parks & Rec is hot
Some of the people in the California Department of Parks and Recreation are mad at us. We did a story about the remaining residents of Lower Topanga being harassed, and parks officials thought we weren’t being very fair with the department because it made them sound like they were bunch of bullies. So we’re going to call them back and give them a chance to explain their side of it. I must confess, I just might be a little prejudiced. I get uneasy when rangers show up wearing guns on their hips, and start talking citing or arresting people for violating orders of the Angeles District Superintendent. Seems to me that’s what courts are for, and the parks department should be just like any other citizen. If they think people are living there who don’t belong there, then go ahead and file some unlawful detainer actions and let a judge throw them out. The state certainly has enough lawyers.
There’s another thing that’s been bothering me. The state is probably in the worst financial crisis that any of us can remember, yet the state departments appear to have an unlimited amount of money to build-out parks and save trout, and try to restore ancient wetlands and bring down dams, while at the same time, cutting back on school support and hospitals, and other basic services. Tends to make you disbelieve the financial crisis they talk about.