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Neighbors, Surfers Cry Foul Over Planned New Home on Malibu Road

More than 35 people have signed a petition protesting the proposed two-story home, which is located on Malibu Road in a spot where surfers normally go to check the waves at the Colony.

Plans for a new two-story home on Malibu Road are coming under fire from neighbors and surfers who claim the proposed residence will block views and public access at a popular surfing spot known as the Colony.

The Malibu Planning Commission will consider a coastal development permit and variance for the proposed 4,277-square-foot home at 24024 Malibu Road at its Dec. 3 meeting at 6:30 p.m. at Malibu City Hall. City staff have recommended approval for the project.

The plans call for a two-car garage, concrete bulkhead, staircase to the beach, swimming pool and spa, view corridors and the installation of an alternative onsite wastewater treatment system, according to city documents.

The property, which is currently vacant and only houses a fence, guardrail and concrete retaining wall, is owned by Ardie and Tania Tavangarian. The couple drew criticism from some of their Pacific Palisades neighbors in 2005 for planting a Tuscan-style vineyard on their property, according to the Palisadian-Post.

In Malibu, some of the couple's neighbors are concerned that the proposed two-story home may compromise the stability of the slope and disrupt their views.

The vacant property offers a rare, unobstructed view of the ocean that is otherwise blocked by miles of beachfront homes along other parts of Malibu Road.

According to a petition started by Malibu resident Oliver Damavandi, the home will block a public viewing area and access area to the popular surf spot known as the Colony. The property is within feet of public access way that is recorded with the State Coastal Conservancy.

"As proposed, the safety and security of this land and beach are not being met. Beach goers will have difficulty accessing the beach and surfers will no longer be able to check the waves," the petition states.

The petition had been signed by 36 people as of Friday night.

City staff wrote in a Commission Agenda Report prepared on Nov. 21 that story poles, which are meant to show the visual impact of a project, were put up in 2011. The poles have since been taken down.

"Staff determined that the proposed residence would result in a less than significant visual impact to public areas of the beach and road," the report states.

The retaining wall was constructed on the property by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works in 1987 in response to a landslide.

The project requires one variance because of the steepness of the slope leading from Malibu Road to the beach. The slope was made during the construction of Malibu Road, according to the report.

The Tavangarians have offered to dedicate a lateral public access along the shore, the report states.

Cece Stein December 01, 2012 at 04:11 PM
While I appreciate the fact that this land is private and the owner has rights to build, permits should be contingent on a Public Access Easement. This land is one of the very few breaks in a wall of houses that shuts out so much of the public from this elite stretch of beach. While I think many Malibu Road residents would be upset with loosing this view as they drive by, I would be willing to bet that some Colony residents would like this gap to be closed from outsiders .
John Martin December 01, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Why on earth do people still think they can alter reality and nature for themselves? By definition, the edge of the continent crumbles into the sea. Look at the Broad Beach nightmare. Or New Orleans. Jersey Shore. Maldives... I just read about what these people did off Bienveneda, turning a beautiful mountainside into a silly vineyard plaything for rich people. I still don't get how they were able to do that. I think it's time for the Coastal Commission to step up and get some priorities right. There are some places that are simply inappropriate for some things. But arrogance and money seem to trump logic and sense.
John McDonald December 01, 2012 at 06:12 PM
So....buy the property. The owners did, but did they know that they may not be able to develop it? Would they have paid the same price if they knew? The government should leave them in peace.
John Z. Shafai December 01, 2012 at 08:14 PM
If these "neighbors" are really so concerned about the public viewing or public beach access, perhaps one of them would be so gracious to demolish his/her own home for such purpose. But please do not dictate to others what they do with their property. The last time I checked, this was still the United States of America.
John Martin December 01, 2012 at 08:43 PM
I totally agree. I just hope they don't whine 10 years from now when they need an emergency permit to trash the beach to protect their house from nature and the inevitable.
James Sanders December 01, 2012 at 09:37 PM
2012. Unless a prospective buyer has been held in captivity in a mud hut in Siberia, the strict codes for building along the California coastline is "finger-tip" knowledge. Codes enacted to address specific concerns that are pertinent to building along a fragile and worn coastline with decimated public views. A poor real estate investment in this region can solely be attributed to foolishness or arrogance. A United States of America code of ethics simply and profoundly states, "Play by the rules". That USA mandate still applies to the 1%, or did the last time I checked.
Paul Grisanti December 01, 2012 at 10:49 PM
What am I missing? The article says the property is "within feet" of a dedicated public accessway. The owners are offering a lateral easement (ie in front of the house) to the public. What will stop people from using the dedicated public accessway to check the surf?
Frank P. Angel December 02, 2012 at 07:22 AM
Has Malibu's planning department become the last redoubt of climate change deniers? To squeeze a three-story, 4,200+ sq.ft. private residence with a septic system that can’t even be maintained without shoreline armoring (bulkhead) on a minuscule 0.1-acre, eroding, ocean-flooded shoreline lot is not exactly the "least environmentally damaging" project alternative (staff report!). Anyone remembers Sandy’s visit to Staten Island? Other California local governments responsibly plan for managed retreat from the shoreline in the face of rising sea levels. Why not Malibu? The cost, if any, of saying "no" to this one will outweigh the cost to city taxpayers (and the suckered spec house buyer) of saying "yes."
Frank P. Angel December 02, 2012 at 07:32 AM
You're missing the scam: go figure where the "lateral access easement" will end up.
Lynne Hayashi December 02, 2012 at 09:50 AM
Who's getting paid off? I cannot believe that with the stringent rules and regulations of the Coastal Commission that a monstrosity and eyesore would ever be allowed to be built. It is the responsibility of the Coastal Commission to see that the preservation and the beauty of the coastline be preserved and that the houses are tasteful and reasonable. It would affect the integrity of the coastline, it's ridiculous. They should not bother to contact FEMA when it collapses.
Lester Tobias December 02, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Check the staff report. In 2011, Coastal Engineering and Environmental Health approved the bulkhead at 32 feet from Malibu Road . The applicant resubmitted plans 6 weeks ago that show the bulkhead at 47 feet from Malibu Road. In the alternative feasibility analysis, the staff report states that 47 feet is the minimum pullback for the protection of the septic system, but no revised documentation or agency reviews supporting this expansion is included in the staff report. There are other problems with the staff report, as well. The planners are allowing approvals for elements that have not been proven to be feasible in terms of location on the site, and hence are not shown on the plans. I do not believe this is legal. Two that pop out are the beach access stairs and the rooftop pool and spa equipment and screening.
elena corral December 02, 2012 at 09:35 PM
Were it not the only monstrosity on the shores of Malibu, you would have a more valid point. The beauty of the coastline was compromised about 2,000 beach houses ago.
Frank P. Angel December 03, 2012 at 12:29 AM
@ Elena: now that's a hell of an argument. Just because you've lost 2,000 jewels, is not a good reason to trash your last remaining ones. In fact, it's every reason to hold onto what you've left.
Malibu December 03, 2012 at 09:20 PM
nah, it's the guy's property and if you bought it and paid taxes on it and had a bunch of NIMBY's coming crying you wouldn't care either. Is the city prepared to give him an equal or greater plot of land on the water in reparation?
Kelli February 21, 2013 at 04:17 AM
This planned project also needs to go the way of the downed Esplanade project!!

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