Last week, I attended a City Council meeting for a project at 20220 PCH—an empty lot for 35 years, the original home having slid into the ocean during the 1983 landslide. The proposed structure is nearly twice the square footage and height than previously with a rooftop deck that would make it the tallest of all the homes south of Moonshadows to Big Rock. The caissons required to support such a structure would bore through the shorings of the foundations of the surrounding homes. If another landslide (or earthquake) hit, what would happen to all these families? 

Two people only, Skylar Peak and Karen Farrer, made the decision to deny the appeal and approve the mega-mansion, despite new scientific evidence presenting the catastrophic risks of the project to other homes, the beach and water quality. Left unchecked, it establishes a precedent for a wall of concrete homes at the base of the landslide whose weight and size are sitting on illegal slopes by today’s safety standards, all because small rural beach houses were built 50 years ago. The sea wall that will be constructed to protect this home’s OWTS would also stop the natural replenishment of sand, thus hurting shorebirds and wildlife there. 

Malibu’s vision statement leads with the phrase “The people of Malibu are a responsible custodian of the area’s natural resources for present and future generations.” How are we upholding the mission that “Malibu is a unique land and marine environment and residential community whose citizens have historically evidenced a commitment to ... preserve unaltered natural resources and rural characteristics?”

Perhaps the hard truth is Malibu is actually about investment, wealth accumulation and treating homes as commodity. Thanks to our city manager making this a priority, we have recently secured a stockpile of money in the city’s general fund. 

All city employees should look at the Vision and Mission Statement of Malibu, especially the council members who denied or abstained on this appeal, citizens representing our at-risk communities who could have made a real difference on Monday when given the chance.

What can you do? Come out to the next planning commission or council meeting, pay attention when story poles go up, write to council members to put an end to this and support your neighbors when they ask for help. Contact me if you would like more information or to sign a petition: joannedrummond@yahoo.com

Jo Drummond

(1) comment

Jacky Tomlinson

Hi Jo, I’m having trouble understanding this. Are you saying that a giant house is being built at the detriment to the city of Malibu and the homes around it because Karen and Skyler approved it and nobody else said anything?


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