Recently created ‘View Protection Ordinance’

Letter to the Editor: The Malibu Times

Dear Editor, 

Below is my letter that was sent to officials Joyce Parker-Bozylinski and Richard Mollica at the City of Malibu on Saturday, Oct. 29. I have been in discussions with the City concerning the increasing loss of white water ocean view from our property as a result of volunteer trees growing since the Wolseley fire. Many other Malibu residents will eventually suffer the same fate if these trees are allowed to grow unchecked.

In my opinion, this matter requires the attention of Malibu residents. If a mutually agreed upon opinion develops, together, we will be much more persuasive: 

Dear Joyce and Richard, 

Please review the three-dimensional images representing the fire burn-out house plans our team has been developing for our project at 7004 Birdview, Malibu.

As you can see, the first floor is where we have been planning the main living area. The first floor is where we have designed the entry, kitchen, dining room, and living room. It was expected that from these rooms, we would have a whitewater view of the coastline. It was on the basis of the view that I paid two million dollars for the property.

Obviously, if the City of Malibu has written an amendment to the recently created View Protection Ordinance and the addition allows property owners ten years to grow back the trees and hedges that blocked valuable ocean and mountain view corridors from Malibu taxpayers in the first place, we’re back to square one.

When the majority of Malibu tax-paying residents voted to establish a View Protection Ordinance, we were handed a compromised version, and now somehow, it has been compromised further.

The volunteer Monterey Cypress trees, growing all around the street corner and in the ravine surrounding our properties, are growing like a forest. Their numbers far exceed the original specimen trees growing prior to the Wolseley Fire.

If these trees continue to grow in, the number that have volunteered since the view corridor will disappear entirely.

I’ve been a Malibu resident for almost 30 years. Before my home on West Winding Way was approved, I was lied to in writing by Chester King, Malibu’s City Archeologist.

At the advice of the then City Manager and the City Planning Director, I allowed one year’s time to resolve the matter using “Administrative Remedy.”

During that time, I suffered greatly, both financially and emotionally. My entire family suffered.

Thanks to several city council members and local residents who shared my plight, I was able to endure. In many ways, I haven’t been the same since.

At 70 years of age, I no longer have the fight in me. I have a heart condition.

The only reason I mention this is to remind you that the City of Malibu, even with the best intentions, has a history of writing Ordinances which have been overturned by the courts and the California Coastal Commission.

Whoever is responsible for the additional verbiage to the View Protection Ordinance, giving a homeowner ten years to grow back the trees which destroyed the views of their neighbors in the past only to repeat the same assault on their neighbors again, must have not been very well thought out.

Richard, in your email, you mentioned that many Malibu residents have been denied the opportunity to establish the View Protection of their property, as have I.

Of course, this is true. The question is, what are you going to do about it?


Jack Skene, Malibu