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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Lagoon Project Critics Prep for Court Date

BY SUZANNE GULDIMANN

Opponents of the State Parks Malibu Lagoon Restoration and Enhancement Plan,, which is scheduled to begin draining, dredging and reconstructing the western portion of the Malibu Lagoon on June 1, will have their day in court in San Francisco on May 20 in an attempt to prevent the project from breaking ground.
The preliminary injunction hearing was originally set for May 9, but was delayed to allow transfer to Judge Ernest H. Goldsmith, who reportedly has more experience and a more comprehensive knowledge of California Environmental Quality Act issues.
Project opponents Marcia Hanscom, whose Wetlands Defense Fund and CLEAN, and Steve Hoye, whose public access advocacy organization Access for All, filed the request, are requesting the injunction to halt constructing until the lawsuit they have filed against the project is heard in the fall. The California Coastal Commission, which granted the permit for this project, issued a notice to this city this week of an amendment to the permit.
In the interim, an amendment to the California Coastal Commission approval for the project has been approved by CCC executive director to “Remove the existing, approximately 800-ft. long chain link fence along the southern property boundary; revise project plans to delete approximately 800-ft. long perimeter wall/barrier along the southern property boundary and construct a new approximately 800-foot long, three-foot-wide, dirt/gravel—surface maintenance corridor along the southern boundary for the purpose of maintenance and security patrols.”
The new path “will be located in an area where development(including a perimeter wall, berm, and grading) has been previously approved and, thus, no additional removal of any native vegetation will occur as a result of the proposed changes.
Although the change may leave some Malibu Colony residents with a “maintenance corridor” in place of a backyard fence, the amendment is considered “immaterial,” according to the document, and the permit will be “modified accordingly” if no written objections are received within ten working days of May 9 notice.
More information on the amendment is available by calling the coastal agency at 805-585-1800.

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