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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Malibu Passes Broad Beach Permit Processing on to Coastal Agency
•  Members Entrust State Agencies with Oversight

BY BILL KOENEKER 

The Malibu City Council this week approved processing  a consolidated coastal permit by the California Coastal Com?mission for the Broad Beach restoration project.
Council members were told the city had 17.7 percent of the project within the city limits
A planner explained to the council that the Coastal Commission said it will process the permit on its own even if the city processed its permit. The staff recommended the matter should be consolidated,
City Attorney Christi Hogin said the city was not really being asked to give up any decision-making.
“Does it make any sense for the city? It is almost a waste of your time,” Hogin said.
However, Malibu resident Hans Laetz, whose home is in the vicinity of the project, said the council might find itself in another political situation like when activists were demanding it take a stand on the issues involved in Malibu Lagoon and take action.
“The project has changed. They are talking about a buffer zone. The city should have a say in this. The City of Malibu can be an equal partner,” Laetz said.
Ken Erlich, the attorney who represents the Broad Beach Geological Hazard Abatement District, said, “I agree with everything the city attorney said. There will be multiple hearings. Everything is transparent.”
Council members expressed comfort that the biggest issue for Malibuites would be public access and the CCC would be ever watchful of that.
“I feel comfortable with the Coastal Commission and coastal [public] access,” said Councilmember Laura Rosenthal.
 A leasing arrangement must go before the California State Lands Commission, whose staff anticipates that the project may be considered at a scheduled meeting of the commission in early 2013.
The commission staff met recently at Malibu City Hall. The hearing was about the staff's analysis of the restoration project, proposed by the Broad Beach GHAD, which is the project applicant representing 114 homes, spanning from Lechuza Point to Trancas Creek.
If the applicant’s request is authorized, the commission “would allow the Broad Beach GHAD to implement a shoreline protection plan along Broad Beach for a period of up to 20 years.”
Some environmental groups want more information on how the project could impact the surf and wildlife.
Representatives from Heal the Bay, Surfrider Foundation and others want more details on the project.
The State Lands Commission notice calls for an alternative onshore sand source. The sand could be collected from a stockpile adjacent to Calleguas Creek in Ventura County located near the intersection of Las Posas Road and Hueneme Road and transport the sand by truck via Highway 1 to Broad Beach.
A reservoir of sand will be built to restore the dune habitat with native plant species.
The beach itself would be widened to provide enhanced public access and recreational opportunities along Broad Beach.
“Recent higher erosion rates during the 2009-2010 winter season necessitated that emergency precautions be taken to protect residential structures and onsite wastewater treatment systems located seaward of the residences,” CSLC report states.
Consequently, the homeowners obtained emergency permits for the installation of a rock revetment about five feet high and 25 feet wide, to protect the existing homes along the beach.
The property owners are now working on getting permits to allow a permanent buried rock revetment along with the periodic sand nourishment. The California Coastal Commission is the permitting agency and will oversee the project.

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