For six years now, U2 guitarist The Edge has been trying to convince the California Coastal Commission to allow him to mar an untouched Malibu cliff with five private mansions (with swimming pools, for extra drought-era affront). He gave money to an environmental group in exchange for their neutrality, he broke up the applications so it looked like five separate plans for one mansion each, he petitioned the state legislature for a new law, and finally he modified the plans just a little. The CCC was worn down, obviously: today they gave The Edge permission to build his mansions, which will range from about 9,000 to 15,000 square feet.
CCC staff originally said the project off Sweetwater Mesa Road "would scar a steep, undeveloped ridgeline visible from much of the coastline, cause extensive geological disturbance and destroy environmentally sensitive native vegetation," but apparently felt that moving the mansions closer together and making it a bit harder to see them from below is good enough. Still, the LA Times reports, "Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, State Sen. Fran Pavley, the Sierra Club and Heal the Bay" all wrote letters to oppose the project; there were even more objections this week when the CCC announced plans to vote on the matter all the way up in Monterey rather than in Southern California.
As part of the deal to get his approvals, The Edge agreed to dedicate 140 acres of his blufftop property as open space with access for public hiking and an equestrian easement that will hit the Coastal Slope Trail.
The city of Malibu and Los Angeles County both still need to give their own approvals to The Edge's project.
· U2's the Edge gets state approval to build controversial homes on a Malibu ridge [LAT]
· U2's The Edge Could Be Allowed to Build Five-Mansion Clifftop Compound in Malibu [Curbed LA]
· Why is U2's the Edge So Determined to Ruin a Malibu Bluff? [Curbed LA]