In a surprising move, the Santa Monica Conservancy is reversing its position on U2 guitarist The Edge's controversial plan to put up five "eco-friendly homes" in the Malibu hills. What is the conservancy getting in return for its support? About $1 million. From the LA Times: "In a deal with the rocker narrowly approved this week, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy agreed to take a neutral position on the high-profile project in exchange for a $750,000 payment, $250,000 worth of work by a consultant who works for the musician, 97 acres of conservation easements, and development restrictions around the homes that would eventually allow a short length of trail to be built through a sliver of the property." But according to the paper, "critics characterized the deal as Evans buying the agency's silence." The Edge still needs the approval of the Coastal Commission, which has final say on the development, and which has spoken out against it. LA Times columnist Steve Lopez also isn't such a fan.
· Agency won't oppose Malibu-area compound, in return for funding and dedicated open space [LA Times]
· Rock Star Turned Developer: Edge Wants a Colony Near Malibu [LA Times]