Malibu homeowners struggle with beach-saving plan
MALIBU, Calif. (AP) - Malibu's celebrity haven of Broad Beach is struggling to survive as nature chews away at the shoreline and a $20 million effort to replace sand appears to be stuck in the mud.
Homeowners have run up against opposition and complicated approval processes as they pursue a plan to dredge sand from elsewhere and dump it to restore the 1.1-mile beachfront, the Los Angeles Times reported ( http://lat.ms/122IzCh).
In recent years, winter storms and rising high tides have reduced the formerly broad beach, where Steven Spielberg, Dustin Hoffman and others have their beach houses.
Waves sometimes lap up to an 8-foot-high 4,100-foot-long emergency rock wall that state regulators allowed homeowners to build about three years ago to protect dozens of multimillion-dollar homes.
"The (wall) is perilously close to certain homes," said Kenneth A. Ehrlich, an attorney for the homeowners. "The homes are certainly in danger. ...There's no beach right now that anyone can enjoy."
Steve Levitan, co-creator of the TV series "Modern Family," recalled taking family strolls on the beach but said he now plans walks to avoid high tide.
With the reduced footage, "surfers can't get out to the good surf spots, and the homeowners can't get there, either," he said. Residents are proposing a $20 million project to dredge tons of sand and transplant it to restore the dunes and shoreline, both public and private.
Manhattan Beach blocked plans to use its sand, and residents now are considering using sea-bottom sand from Dockweiler Beach in Los Angeles.
However, the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors has objected, saying the sand might be needed to restore other public beaches as sea levels rise.
For years, Broad Beach was the subject of feuding between homeowners and the public over access. At one point, security guards were hired to patrol the beach, and sunbathers contended they were harassed.
In 2005, 108 property owners took tons of sand from the public beach and packed it up into a berm on their property. The work was ordered halted by the California Coastal Commission.
When the commission permitted residents to build the $4 million wall, it ordered residents to come up with a stabilization plan that must take effect by 2015.
Homeowners said they have spent about $5 million so far for scientific studies and regulatory approvals but they have not yet completed a formal proposal for the coastal and state lands commissions.
"We have faced a bureaucratic nightmare in attempting to accomplish this project," said Marshall Grossman, a lawyer with a retreat on Broad Beach. "One would think we were attempting to build high-rise condos on a public beach."
Even if Broad Beach residents get their sand, such erosion-fighting measures are going to remain an issue in the future.
"As sea level rises, it's only going to get more challenging to figure how to deal with that," said Charles Lester, the coastal commission's executive director.
Information from: Los Angeles Times, http://www.latimes.com
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Dose of Venom: Montero's clutch hit highlights Diamondbacks' comeback win over Tigers
- Diamondbacks surpass Tigers in wild 8th inning: By The Numbers
- Diamondbacks' Kirk Gibson: Aaron Hill has 'swung the bat better,' been more patient
- Paul Goldschmidt named D-backs winner for Heart and Hustle Award
- Arizona Diamondbacks manager Gibson: If Brandon McCarthy wanted to throw the cutter, he should have thrown the cutter
- Kirk Gibson- D-backs Manager - Tuesday July 22Did the D-backs tell Brandon McCarthy not to throw his cutter?
- Paul Goldschmidt, D-backs first baseman - Friday July 18Paul Goldschmidt talks about the All-Star Game and his expectations for the season's second half.
- Our Guy Harry - Thursday July 17Our Guy Harry joins Dan and Vince in studio.
- Derrick Hall, D-backs president & CEO - Thursday July 17Derrick Hall on Paul Goldschmidt's leadership abilities and the future of Brad Ziegler.
- Tim Kurkjian, ESPN MLB insider - Wednesday July 16ESPN MLB insider Tim Kurkjian discusses Derek Jeter’s impact on the MLB.
- Bickley Blast - Wednesday July 16Did Adam Wainwright intentionally give Derek Jeter a pitch to hit in Tuesday night's All-Star Game?
- Tony La Russa, D-backs Chief Baseball Officer - Wednesday July 16D-backs CBO Tony La Russa talks about Tuesday’s All-Star Game.