… As a resident of Point Dume I, like many in the community, have been following the exchange between the Brolins and the Jacobsons with concern. And when Barbra offered to open her plans up to the inspection of her neighbors, I took her up on her offer.
What I found is that through the haze of misinformation that has been surrounding this issue they are plans for a home that comply with every single one of the municipal building codes. In fact, I learned that the Brolins have not asked for one variance from the city. The plans call for a home that is 5,900 square feet. Which is significantly smaller than other homes in the immediate area. And while I was concerned by the rumors about the basement having an adverse effect on the bluff, I reviewed the geological study which shows that the basement construction will actually have a positive effect on the bluff. The Brolins also showed me the numerous concessions they are making for their neighbor to accommodate their neighbors concerns. I have a neighbor building a 6,600-square-foot house that will stand 26 feet high behind my property. I only wish that my neighbors extended me the courtesy and concessions that the Brolins have extended to their neighbor. And while I am not thrilled about the fact that my neighbor is building a house, and while I don’t care for the design of that property, I do respect their right to build a home that conforms to the building codes of this community. What concerns me is that it seems that the Brolins have been singled out. Why if their proposed home conforms to city code, is smaller than homes in the neighborhood, is designed in a manner that is charming and completely consistent with the character of Malibu, and has farther set backs from the bluff than other homes in the area, why is it still being harassed? Why did no one from the City Council express the same degree of concern over my neighbor’s building plans? Their construction will put a 26-foot-high building right between my home and my view over the Santa Monica Mountains. Why wasn’t there the same level of public outcry? I guess I should have taken those singing lessons anyway. It does beg the question however, that the Brolins are being singled out and that is really why I am putting my thoughts to your readers. The Brolins in spite of their celebrity, their political views, and how you may or may not feel about them, do have a right to build a home as long as it conforms to the code of the land and is in character with the community. They have more than satisfied these requirements. In fact they have been held to a much higher standard than the law requires. They’ve also given numerous concessions to their neighbors the Jacobsons by reducing the footprint of their house and the height in addition to having studies of sun and view impacts. The rich and famous should not get preferential treatment before the council, but neither should they be discriminated against.