Letter to the Editor: Error in recent TMT article on the California Coastal Commission Hearing

Letter to the Editor: The Malibu Times

Dear Editor:

The article in your Aug. 18 TMT issue on the California Coastal Commission hearing of Aug. 12 contained some errors. The article also conflated item 4 on the agenda, which was “Local Government Workshop,” with reference to the problem of sea level rise, with item 10a. Other than the fact that the two items were on the same agenda and heard during the same meeting, they had nothing to do with each other.

Paul Grisanti identified himself as the Malibu Mayor and spoke on item 4 only. He made it clear that he was speaking as a private citizen and not on behalf of the City. In his words, he was speaking on behalf of a corporation named Smart Coast California which states, in its Articles of Incorporation on file in the California Secretary of State’s office, that its specific purpose is to “serve as a coalition of professionals in the real estate industry advocating for the protection of private property rights in California’s coastal communities.” In short, Mr. Grisanti was promoting the interests of real estate developers on this item.

Mr. Grisanti did not speak on behalf of the city on item 10, although the Times article states otherwise. That is a clear error. I have heard no reason for his declining to speak on behalf of our City. I won’t speculate as to his reasons but do want the record clear that the only speaking he did while our Short Term Rental ordinance was being heard was on another item on behalf of a private corporation that serves real estate interests. The video of item 10 may be found here cal-span.org/unipage/?site=cal-span&owner=CCC&date=2022-08-12 at approximately 3:13:30. I spoke on item 10 on Zoom and did observe that Mr. Grisanti was in the hearing room in person.

Some of the confusion and conflation in the newspaper continued in the article on the Malibu Planning Commission meeting of Aug. 15. The report on the planning commission’s discussions on the above items 4 and 10 conflates those items once again. Your readers, unfortunately, were, I presume unintentionally, misinformed and could easily have been confused.

Bill Sampson, Malibu