BASEBALL FIELDS, A DRIVEWAY, AND LOTS OF PARKING . . .
Because this was State Park property, which cannot be developed, California residents did not anticipate that this site would be held and developed by any other entity.
The City’s proposed use is not allowed under the terms of the transfer from State Parks to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (SMMC). It was transferred to the SMMC for open space, for passive recreation uses, and to preserve the property as habitat. Therefore the proposed uses are not permitted if transferred to the City.
California Dept. of State Parks sold the 84-acre area to the SMMC and the Conservancy declared it an Bluffs Open Space Preserve.
But, the fact that the City’s proposed uses are for an active recreation baseball complex effectively turns a significant bluff top into a City Park.
The Malibu Local Coastal Program allows for tennis courts and volleyball courts and similar uses on land designated as open space but those uses are not allowed in ESHA.
The central portion of the site — where the ballfields are to be located — was destroyed by fire in 2007. The following year that area was graded illegally. The Malibu Local Coastal Program states that if fire destroys ESHA, the habitat should be allowed to restore itself and revegetate naturally.