Opening up California's coastal access up and down the coast has captured the media's attention recently, with several outlets targeting Malibu as the main offender.
In an Aug. 12 story, National Public Radio (NPR) highlights the new interactive "Our Malibu Beaches" app, which was created by Jenny Price. The story highlights fake "No Parking" signs and other methods it claims residents use to keep visitors out.
Pat Veesart, supervisor for the South Central Coast's enforcement arm of the California Coastal Commission, told NPR that there is little that can be done to enforce the Coastal Act, which ensures public access to beaches.
"The number of violations out there far exceed our ability to address them," Veesart told the radio station. "It's very frustrating."
Malibu Councilwoman Laura Zahn Rosenthal stood up for the city's residents, challenging the popular view that Malibu hoards its beaches from its 15 million annual visitors.
"Malibu has a lot of people that moved here 40 years ago," Rosenthal said. "They are not rich. They are not celebrities. Most of Malibu is very, very welcoming."
During the Malibu City Council meeting last week, Rosenthal commented on the NPR story, adding that she gave a lengthy interview, most of which did not make it into the story.
"After giving a 30 minute interview, I heard that I got one quote," Rosenthal said. "... Life in politics, I suppose."
A new bill making its way through the California legislature would allow the Coastal Commission to levy fines on beach access offenders.
Malibu is currently working on a parking survey to compile a list of public parking spots along the city's coastline.
Do you think Malibu is doing the right things to open up access to public beaches? Tell us in the comments.