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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

State Wants MRCA to Take Geffen Access Management Away from Access for All

• Board Set to Accept Offer and Grant

BY BILL KOENEKER

The governing board of the Mountains and Recreation Conservation Authority is expected to approve a resolution this week authorizing acceptance of transfer of the David Geffen vertical accessway located at 22126 Pacific Coast Highway from the group Access for All.
A MRCA staff report written by its executive officer, Joe Edmiston, indicates the State Coastal Conservancy has requested that the MRCA accept title to the Geffen vertical accessway and undertake the management of the accessway.
At the same time, the MRCA governing board is also expected to approve another resolution authoring acceptance of assignment of State Coastal Conservancy grant funds for operation of the Geffen vertical accessway.
Access for All, which was instrumental in getting the David Geffen accessway opened on Carbon Beach, has run afoul of the state over its dealings with another beachfront owner about an accessway at the same beach, also known as Billionaire’s Beach, according to state officials.
A hearing before the state Coastal Conservancy was scheduled for July 21, but has been postponed until September for the Conservancy to consider and make a determination as to whether Access for All has “failed in its obligation to properly manage the Ackerberg easement located at 22486 Pacific Coast Highway for public access to the shoreline and, if so, possible authorization for the Conservancy to accept the easement or designate another entity to accept the Ackerberg easement.”
Apparently, the state has decided to move forward with the Geffen accessway.
The questions involve what Linda Locklin, the coastal access project manager for the California Coastal Commission, calls AFA’s “side deal involving [Lisette] Ackerberg.”
The idea was Ackerberg was to pay Access for All $250,000 for the organization to pursue another accessway on Carbon Beach held by Los Angeles County instead of opening up one next to her home.
The revelations came after the California Coastal Commission won a lawsuit filed by Ackerberg challenging the state agency.
Judge James C. Chalfant recently upheld a Coastal Commission cease and desist order, which directed the Carbon Beach homeowner to allow opening of a public accessway from Pacific Coast Highway to the beach, and remove all of the items currently obstructing the easement, including landscaping.
Ackerberg has since indicated she is prepared to appeal that ruling.

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