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Coastal Commission to Hear Pepperdine's Campus Life Plan This Month

Coastal Commission staff have recommended that Pepperdine University develop consistent lighting standards and state-of-the-art technology to reduce the impact of light pollution in the Malibu area.

Pepperdine University's 400,000-square-foot on-campus development project will go before the California Coastal Commission in two weeks when the governing body meets in San Francisco.

Coastal commissioners will consider the university's request to amend its Long Range Development Plan on Thursday, Dec. 13 at the Sheraton Fisherman's Warf in San Francisco.

Called the Campus Life Project, it was approved in concept several years ago by Los Angeles County.

The project is seeking to overhaul student housing, relocate and create one new Athletics and Events Center with 5,470 seats, provide an upgraded NCAA soccer field, develop a town square and welcome center, an enhanced recreation center area and a parking structure at the School of Law.

A large number of residents in Malibu Country Estates, which is located next to the university, are opposed, and say the project will have traffic, noise and other negative effects on the neighborhood.

Pepperdine says it has already taken those considers into account, including a plan to replace globe lights with newer, less bright ones throughout the entire campus.

In a staff report dated Nov. 30, coastal commission staff requested that Pepperdine incorporate new provisions into the LRDP "to ensure that all new lighting shall be downward directed, shielded, energy efficient, dark-sky-compatible, and shall incorporate state-of-the-art improvements in lighting technology when replaced thereafter." The streamlined lighting standards would also be used for any future development on the campus.

The university is also planning to replace current athletic field lights with Qualite International fixtures, which are recommended by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and International Dark-Sky Association.

"The university staff notes that the proposed Qualite International fixtures better constrain glare and light trespass when compared to other advanced athletic field lighting installations (such as the Musco Sports Lighting installations at University of Arizona and Malibu High School)," the staff report states.

Coastal Staff also recommended a provision that events are planned and scheduled to prevent excessive congestion on Pacific Coast Highway during times of peak coastal visitor travel.

According to the staff report, Pepperdine has withdrawn its request for a 2 million gallon water storage facility within Marie Canyon.

The university is located outside Malibu's city limits and is not within the jurisdiction of the Malibu City Council.

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