The California Coastal Commission approved key amendments to a major Pepperdine expansion project and the school's long-term developmental master plan on Thursday morning.
“I am gratified whenever we get a fair hearing and today, we got a fair hearing," Pepperdine President Andrew K. Benton said.
Despite a letter from the City of Malibu outlining concerns over how much added traffic a new Pepperdine events center might cause on Pacific Coast Highway, Commissioners unanimously voted to approve a development plan that includes an updated traffic management program and requires downward-directed outdoor lighting.
The Campus Life Project proposes nearly 400,000 square feet of new development on 365 acres of existing campus land. The development would add 468 beds, expand athletic stadium seating by almost 2,000 to a total of 5,470 seats, add outdoor lighting to the women’s soccer field, build a welcome center and a nearly 800-space parking lot for the School of Law.
Homeowners in next-door Malibu Country Estates were skittish at the prospect of more unwanted traffic in an already busy area and the increased light pollution from revamped ballfields. Since then the residents have come to an agreement with the university that was “satisfactory to both parties” on light pollution and traffic nearby, said Dick Gary, president of the MCE HOA, Homeowners Association.