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City Mulls Over Last Minute Ways to Stop Malibu Lagoon Project

Just days before the expected June 1 start of the Malibu Lagoon Restoration and Enhancement Plan, residents press the city to take further action.

Just days before work is expected to begin on the Malibu Lagoon, the Malibu City Council explored ways to delay the start of the project.

City Manager Jim Thorsen told the council on Tuesday the California Coastal Commission considered a letter from the city that outlined problems with State Park’s proposed dewatering plan, but went ahead and issued the permit.

“At this point in time, it appears State Parks is going to abandon that dewatering plan and come up with a new dewatering plan,” Thorsen said, adding that the city is working to see the new plan. State Parks is the lead agency on the project, which could get underway as early as June 1.

Seven speakers addressed the council, and pushed for city officials to find a way to stop the project.

Marcia Hanscom and Roy van de Hoek of the Wetlands Defense Fund – one of three environmental groups involved in a lawsuit seeking the revocation of the project’s permit -- asked the council to explore if the city has any jurisdiction to deny State Parks access to the parking lot at the Malibu Lagoon through a temporary or conditional use permit.

Thorsen asked the city attorney to investigate if the state is exempt from needing a permit, or if the city can step in on the issue.

Hanscom and van de Hoek also asked if the city can look into sending a letter requesting that the permit originally issued by the Coastal Commission for the project be revoked.

Thorsen directed the city attorney to investigate that possibility as well.

“If we could get everybody looking at it and report back, that would be great,” Thorsen said.

Mayor Laura Zahn Rosenthal praised the idea.

"Even if we say no and they get an exception, maybe it would just put a little chink in their armor," Rosenthal said.

Others also pushed the city for action.

“The city has just failed miserably on this. I don’t think you have really looked out for us,” Andy Lyon said.

Fritz Gerhardt of the Surfer's Coalition held up a surfboard signed by opponents of the project.

"Slow down. Stop. Let’s think. Let’s back up. I don’t think God made a mistake with what has been going on the past 30 years … I think it actually has healed it. It’s being healed," Gerhardt said.

The Surfers Coalition May 31, 2012 at 12:26 AM
CALL RUTH COLEMAN 800-777-0369 & 916-653-6995 CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS!!!!! email her @ info@parks.ca.gov- CA STATE PARKS ! http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=22217
Marshall Thompson May 31, 2012 at 02:00 AM
After picking up a healthy pair of discarded Red eared slider water turtles from the lifeguards at Will Rogers Beach today for safe homes at American Tortoise Rescue I made a last visit to a peaceful and intact Malibu Lagoon. Dozens of happy tourists and locals with kids in tow were heading for the beach. A few recoiled in horror as I told them that every living thing they were enjoying wold be obliterated in a few days, and at the hands of our California State Parks authorities. None could understand the need for such a savage act. I'll post some nice "farewell photos" later on.
Al Goldberg May 31, 2012 at 06:10 AM
Al Goldberg For Congress Malibu Ventura County Side I hope my opponent Julia Brownley doesn't want to concrete and bull doze the Santa Clara & Ventura rivers which are up here in Ventura County, which are pretty much in their primeval habitat, like they concreted the LA River. Tell all the Malibu residents on the Ventura County side to vote for me. I lived in Malibu in the 1980's when it was county not city and wasn't too happy about them cutting down to the ground the wild reeds that grew in the lagoon. Best Al
The Surfers Coalition May 31, 2012 at 02:23 PM
Hi Mr. Al Goldberg-Thanks for posting your info and thoughts on the Malibu Lagoon project. We are all very upset with what has happened just over the last couple of months, while in court Tuesday, listening to Allen Sarlo, Andy Lyon, Fritz Gerhardt, Sean Kehoe, Roy Vanderhook, Daniel Jones, Georgeanne, Marcia and the others who spoke all brought tears to my eyes, and Im sure it didnt sit right with others on The CIty Council, as the looks on their faces were ALL looking quite concerned. PEOPLE-PLease KEEP CALLING THE NUMBERS WE HAVE LISTED and CONTINUE to WRITE YOUR LETTERS!
The Surfers Coalition May 31, 2012 at 03:34 PM
SURFERS HEALING COMES TO MALIBU SATURDAY, BE THERE!!!!! http://www.surfline.com/surf-news/surfers-healing-12th-annual-pat-notaro-day---malibu-surf-gathering-for-children-with-autism_70996/

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