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Donald Sterling's Malibu Ad Sparks Controversy

The city manager says the Los Angeles Clippers owner has not submitted permit applications for a helicopter landing pad and other features included in the Los Angeles Times advertisement.

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has raised some eyebrows in Malibu with his advertisement in Saturday's Los Angeles Times that his foundations purchased a property in Point Dume that will be used as a youth camp and include a helicopter landing pad, among other features. However,  Jim Thorsen said that Sterling would need permits for the various features and he has not applied for them.

member Pamela Conley Ulich held up the ad at Monday's council meeting and said she had been contacted by several people living near the property (it is actually two adjacent properties; to combine them Sterling would need a lot-merger approval from the City Council, which could be appealed to the California Coastal Commission) on Pacific Coast Highway off Heathercliff Road.

Thorsen said there is no need for immediate concern.

"Anybody who has built in Malibu knows how tough that is, and [Sterling] will have to come through and obtain coastal development permits and potentially a [conditional use permit] based on all the things he has advertised there," Thorsen said. "So that would go through many, many public hearings and there would be a lot of public comment. At this time, there is nothing planned."

Mayor John Sibert added that the helicopter landing pad would require approval from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the Federal Aviation Administration.

A representative at the real estate office of Sterling—who apparently does not travel with a cellphone—said he was out of town and could not be reached for comment. She said he would likely want to talk to Malibu Patch later this week.

The ad states, "Donald T. Sterling Charitable Foundation and the Los Angeles Clippers Foundation have purchased the 20-acre organic Malibu farm and horse ranch estate as a free summer camp for underprivileged kids ages 6-14."

It features an image of a house with a helicopter landing in the yard. Other images include a large grassy area near an ocean, horses and cows. None of the images appear to be of the actual property.

The ad further states that the property is on "world famous ." It is actually on the land side of PCH and not in short walking distance to that beach or any other beach. Also, the property (if the lot-merger were granted) would be 16 acres, not 20 acres as the ad states.

Other statements included in the ad are that the property is "steps to ocean" and that "planned" for the site are horseback riding, helicopter pad space, pool and tennis court, "superior" vineyards as well as basketball, baseball and golf space. 

Sterling purchased the six-acre site in November. The farm remains open. He bought the adjacent 10-acre site, known as the DeWind property, in May. City officials had been in negotiation with the previous owner of the DeWind property, Zan Marquis (who also owns , located directly on the other side of the highway).

Conley Ulich had hoped the city could buy the DeWind site for a park or other municipal use. Marquis in exchange could build a parking lot, which he needs to meet the parking requirement so that a new cafe could open at the mall. The reason that negotiation fell apart is .

Hans Laetz August 10, 2011 at 03:02 PM
It's nice to see Donald Sterling again buying vanity ads in the LA Times, supporting local journalism. Perhaps you should send him a rate card, Jonathan.
Susan Tellem August 10, 2011 at 09:52 PM
His ads are probably the most tasteless ones running in any media. He pats himself on the back and uses the most grotesque photography. I once interviewed with him for a PR contract before I knew who he was - he kept me waiting for an hour sitting in front of him while he talked on the phone. That tells you everything.
E Barry Haldeman August 11, 2011 at 03:22 PM
You might ask the people who used to own the property he bought on which they still operate the fig/organic farm. I believe they were told that they could stay indefinately on the property. Were they surprised by this ad?
greg olsen August 13, 2011 at 07:48 PM
So, little Donnie plans a camp for underprivileged kids. How noble. It recalls his promise to build a "state of the art" homeless center in downtown LA after a much promoted purchase of real estate there. That was about three years ago (http://www.laweekly.com/2009-01-01/news/donald-t-sterling-39-s-fake-homeless-center/) To date, nothing has been done. Past is prologue. Little Donnie will continue to promote the "ghost" of a project that will never be, all the while stroking his ego with those embarrassments of advertising in the Times. Ultimately he will do what he always does which is whatever is best (and most lucrative) for little Donnie. Maybe that's rental property. If so, a more upstanding landlord you could not find ( http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/11/donald-sterling-to-pay-2725-million-to-settle-housing-discrimination-lawsuit.html) With neighbors like that...
smrvos May 15, 2012 at 05:39 PM
I'm a teacher, and upon seeing the ad, immediately started investigating the camp for the benefit of my underprivileged students. Would my students be eligible, would we need to raise some funds, how to get parents on board..... I'm stunned and saddened to say the least, that at this point it's only an idea, a possibility, and maybe a far-fetched one at that. No wonder why the farmhouse looked photoshopped, fake. I work with these kids everyday (elementary and high school) and love my job. I feel lucky and grateful for that. I will never have to pretend, photoshop or put up big bucks to help these kids. I'm with them everyday and don't need to shout out how noble I am, I really don't. Considering my income and that of Donald T. Sterling, I then find the action of running this ad (prior to permits, etc.) disingenuous, and beyond frustrating for those of us in the mix with these wonderful people, my students. Sandy San Fernando High School (ritchie valens alma mater.)

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