The Edge, aka David Evans, aka the guitarist who makes U2 sound all crappy like that, has been mildly inconvenienced today in his quest to ruin a pristine Malibu bluff with five large mansions (including one for himself). The California Coastal Commission delayed a decision on the development until January, when they will probably approve it, despite having every reason not to. Nobody seems to be in favor of this thing—the LA Times quotes the CCC's senior deputy director, the state senator for the region, a former Malibu mayor, and a former CCC commissioner who lives in Malibu, all saying they're against the project. (The CCC senior deputy director, Jack Ainsworth, said "he would rather not see any development at all on that ridge. But property owners have a right to build in that area, so the staff negotiated the best deal that it could.") Heal the Bay, the Sierra Club, the National Park Service, and the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains have also all complained about the development.
The many opponents are particularly angry because today's CCC meeting comes two days before the commission is set to look at new guidelines that would give LA County a lot more control over what gets built in the Santa Monica Mountains, including on The Edge's site off Sweetwater Mesa Road. The county will probably be a lot more consistent/rigid in its development decisions than the CCC has been. One of the houses in the development would be higher than the new guidelines allow and two would "have a greater impact on habitat." (Ainsworth said he doesn't think any of this will make a difference, since The Edge's plans were filed years ago, although it's not clear whether he's right on that.)
The Edge is maybe taking his supervillainish name too seriously after all these years, with an unyielding plot to potentially destabilize the land, destroy the view, tamper with plant and animal habitats, and raise the fire risk in this section of Malibu: he submitted plans for the five houses under five separate names to try to skirt development rules, he gave a huge cash gift to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy in exchange for their neutrality on the matter, and he lobbied the state legislature for a new law that would help pave the way for his paving of paradise (the bill ultimately failed).
Finally this year he submitted slightly modified plans, with houses ranging from 8,786 to 14,980 square feet and a 20-foot-wide access road. CCC staff apparently thought that was the best they could hope for and recommended approval. Now The Edge waits until January, probably in a large captain's chair with a cat on his lap.
· The Edge gets closer to approval of Malibu mansion complex [LAT]
· U2's The Edge Could Be Allowed to Build Five-Mansion Clifftop Compound in Malibu [Curbed LA]