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Coastal Commission Rejects U2 Rocker's Malibu Area Development Proposal

One of the five home applications is removed just before the vote.

By a vote of 8 to 4, the California Coastal Commission rejected the applications for four large homes and an access road off Sweetwater Mesa Road above Serra Canyon at its meeting Thursday afternoon in Marina del Rey. David Evans, better known as U2 guitarist The Edge, owns at least one of the properties.

An application for a fifth home was withdrawn by the applicant's attorney just before the commission's vote. Don Schmitz, a planning consultant for all the applicants, then asked if the meeting could be continued so his clients could negotiate with the Coastal Commission staff. The commission rejected the request by an 11-1 vote.

The commissioners who opposed the project said the homes were too large and the developments would cause too much damage to the environment.

"This is really not a good place for humans to have huge developments," said Commissioner Dayna Bochco about what the Coastal Commission staff has called an environmentally sensitive habitat area. "God did not intend for us to have houses on every mountainside."

Those who favored the project said it was a matter of property rights.

"I don't see how in the world you can with good conscience deny these people to build on lots that they have the right to build a house on," Commissioner William Burke said.

Fiona Hutton, a spokeswoman for all the applicants, released a statement shortly after the hearing.

"The property owners worked diligently to develop home designs that would meet some of the highest standards for sustainability, blend seamlessly with the natural landscape and preserve the vast majority of their private lands as open space. They undertook this effort with a deep personal commitment and sense of responsibility to protect environmental resources and develop environmentally superior homes. This commitment was recognized and praised by many of the commissioners during their lengthy and complex deliberations. The property owners remain steadfast in their vision and will be vigorously exploring all potential options.”

Look for more on this story soon.

M Stanley June 17, 2011 at 01:05 AM
I'm shaking my head at the pull of the Edge's house application, but leaving the lot line adjustment for same property with another of the "applicants" (I don't believe the separate owner theories, they could easily prove it by producing the documents requested over and over - and refused to provide any documentation supporting the separate ownership claims repeatedly including today at the podium). Great job Ben and Jonathan, thank you for spending a tedious day and keeping focus. Huge thank you to all the residents who showed up to speak and/or observe as well as the written comments provided to the Commission prior to the meeting.
Jonathan Friedman June 17, 2011 at 01:24 AM
I have added a comment from Fiona Hutton, spokeswoman for the applicants.
Reza Gostar June 17, 2011 at 03:05 AM
Great coverage as usual.
J. Flo June 17, 2011 at 05:26 AM
Patch, once again thank you for always being on the pulse. Fascinating meeting today.
Candace Brown June 17, 2011 at 05:56 AM
Remarkable "real-time" blog from Ben Marcus. I must forgive him for all of the typos. He must have been going nuts trying to spit out the info so quickly. I could not attend the meeting. Had to work our retail store and was frustrated as hell to be unable to attend. Yet I almost felt like I was there in the room. Once again, thanks guys. Candace Brown
Dale Hauskins June 17, 2011 at 07:31 AM
How this professional east Los Angeles guitarist wished to God he only had one room;let alone just a home and house to live.God has truly blessed you here in my sunny home state of southern California Mr.David Evans.
Bill Kerbox June 17, 2011 at 03:01 PM
Great coverage. Our wonderful mountain space has been spared
Pamela Campbell June 17, 2011 at 11:09 PM
Our California Coastal Commission served the people of California once again and preserved this pristine area from the Evansville housing project. Thank you to the Commissioners, staff and of course, Mr.Douglas, for for being a real warrior all these years, fighting for the preservation of our California coast.
Hans Laetz June 18, 2011 at 06:06 AM
Thank goodness the Coastal Commission takes its duties, set out in the California Constitution by the voters, seriously. When I look at the excessive faux Tucson McMansions mestastacizing towards the coast on Kanan Road, I thank goodness that their power extends as far as it does. They are not perfect. But they are far more responsible for preserving the coast and mountains than most of the recent planning commissioners at Malibu city hall. I look at the new ridge top construction approved by Malibu to the east of Kanan and just shake my head.
gina bryant August 18, 2011 at 07:15 PM
I highly value property rights. Every land owner does. But the ocean belongs to everyone, and there is no "green" in new construction.

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