U2 guitarist, The Edge whose given name is David Evans, along with family members and friends have hopes of building luxurious homes on parcels on top of Sweetwater Mesa in the hills of Malibu. These are hopes that may never come to fruition if the California Coastal Commission has anything to say about it. The Coastal Commission recently voted 8-4 against allowing such construction to take place.
David Evans and the other applicants have been attempting to gain permission to erect four opulent homes on a 156 acre plot of land overlooking Serra Canyon, though gaining the permit is proving to be an arduous task. The commission staff, the main obstacle to the applicants’ goal, recommended that the coastal development permits not go through. The staff argued that the project would disrupt the fragile habitat.
“In 38 years of the commission’s existence, this is one of the three worst projects that I’ve seen in terms of environmental devastation,” Peter Douglas, the Coastal Commission’s executive director, told the Los Angeles Times after the vote. “It’s a contradiction in terms-you can’t be serious about being an environmentalist and pick this location given the effects on habitat, land formation, scenic views and water quality.”
The applicants questioned the real motives behind the suggestion to deny permission though as they have spent time working with the Coastal Commission staff to help develop and go forward with the project while leaving the smallest possible footprint. In addition, the Commission has suggested the approval for 60 separate applicants of the same size property in the same general habitat according to Fiona Hutton whose public relations firm represents Evans.
Evans and friends may decide to file a lawsuit with the Coastal Commission which Hutton claims is “still one of the options” along with resubmitting new plans.