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Staff Recommends Coastal Commission Reject Development Proposal by U2 Rocker

A representative for the project says the owner or owners will go forward with the proposal in hope that the commission will not side with the staff recommendation.

As expected, the California Coastal Commission staff has recommended the 12-member panel reject applications for five large homes off Sweetwater Mesa Road above Serra Canyon. U2 guitarist The Edge owns at least one of the lots (whether he owns all of them is a matter of dispute between the project representatives and coastal staff).

The applications will go before the commission next month in Marina del Rey. The staff recommendation was released Friday afternoon. Coastal staff had also recommended denying the applications prior to a scheduled February hearing. The applications were pulled from the agenda the day before the hearing was supposed to take place. This has happened several times during the past couple of years. But this time it appears the applications will go forward.

"We ... look forward to presenting our proposals and the real facts to the appointed Coastal Commissioners in June," Fiona Hutton, spokeswoman for The Edge and his possible partners, wrote in a press release.

In recommending the denial, staff writes, "[Staff] finds that the proposed projects will result in significant and unavoidable adverse individual and cumulative impacts to [an environmentally sensitive habitat area] and visual resources. ... The proposed developments will not avoid significant adverse effects, either individually or cumulatively, on coastal resources."

Hutton wrote in response, "The five separate property owners have worked tirelessly over the past four years to develop sustainable home designs that will protect the area’s natural resources, blend with the surrounding landscape, and be responsive to the many changes sought by the Coastal Commission staff. The property owners have a clear legal right to develop their land and have cooperated and acted in good faith throughout the permitting process."

The hearing will take place June 16 at the Marina del Rey Hotel, located at 13534 Bali Way.

Look for more on this story, including the dispute on who owns the properties, this weekend on Malibu Patch.

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