Ordinance doesn’t pass grade


As a lifelong resident of Malibu, and having participated in stopping the blatant attempt by Dean Dana (former L. A. County Supervisor) and his cronies to usurp the Malibu citizens’ right to vote on the sewer issue in the eighties and after perusing the proposed grading and ridgeline ordinance Los Angeles County Regional Planning has devised, and the recent letter from Regional Planning Director James E. Hartl published in your newspaper, it is apparent that now our supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, through James E. Hartl at the planning department, is intentionally misleading the general public and the property owners on this issue also. These certain county officials’ statements are patently false. Additionally, I can state from experience that most property owners will be greatly affected, both economically and as to their right to build on their property if this ordinance is passed. What the county fails to inform the general public about the CUP requirement is: Any CUP can be denied by the county without any reasonable cause. Any person and entity (Sierra Club and Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy) can object and stop the property owner from obtaining a CUP. The cost to fight for this CUP can run up to and over $200,000. Recently a client of mine was stopped from building their house by one of the entities above, who then offered a “deal” to my client that they would “stop objecting” for $750,000 as a contribution to that entity. This entity’s stopping of the construction on the house cost my client over $1,000,000 in fees and over an additional three years by the time they settled the matter. The entities were found to be acting unlawfully, and my client was allowed to proceed. I was present at the last two planning commission hearings on the ridgeline and grading ordinance, where over 85 percent of the public was against it. The county completely disregarded all the public testimony against the ordinance, intentionally published notice of the hearing in a South Bay area publication, intentionally withheld proper mailed notice to the majority of affected small property owners. I’m used to politicians’ corrupt actions, but objected to these and many other illegal actions by the commission. I’ll do my part in defending our rights. I only hope the citizens wake up and take one minute to object to these many acts by our representatives.

Gene Ball