Staff Urges Coastal Commission to Reject The Edge's Malibu Plan

The proposal includes five multilevel homes ranging from 7,220 to 12,785 square feet to be built on 156 acres in the Santa Monica Mountains

A development plan backed by U2 guitarist The Edge still hasn't become a hit with California Coastal Commission officials.

On Friday, Commission staff members recommended the board reject the project's application at its June meeting. Staff members made the same recommendation earlier this year.

The project calls for mansions overlooking Malibu. It includes five multi-level homes ranging from 7,220 to 12,785 square feet.

Edge and his development partners have described the mansions as some of the most environmentally sensitive in the world. Opponents, including the National Park Service, have said the project will have biological and visual impacts in the Santa Monica Mountains.

The Associated Press reported that major hurdles for the Coastal Commission involved the number of homes on the site and the belief that the plan is a large development being coordinated by The Edge instead of proposals by individual property owners to build a single home on their separate lots.

The development team recently gave the Santa Monica Mountains Conservacy $1 million and agreed to dedicate nearly 100 acres to open space and provide public access to hiking trails.

A spokeswoman for the property owners accused commission of applying unreasonable standards to the project.

"Alarm bells should be ringing among defenders of basic property rights everywhere in California,'' spokeswoman Fiona Hutton said in a statement. "This precedent could affect land owners and property rights in the coastal zone and elsewhere in California, if local zoning authorities adopted the same unreasonable demands and standards as Coastal Commission staff is trying to apply.''

In February, commissioners made the same recommendation before the item was pulled from the agenda at the request of The Edge and his development partners. Project manager Jim Vanden Berg said at that time he believed they could work with staff to "clarify misunderstandings."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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