The Sierra Club is suing six companies linked to the U2 guitarist known as The Edge, and the California Coastal Commission, over plans to build a nest of mansions on a mesa perched above the Malibu Pier.

David Evans, “The Edge” with U2. Photo by Wikimedia Commons
The lawsuit is the latest in the pitched battle between the musician, legally known as David Evans, and surfers, coastal advocates and many Malibu residents who object to the residential development perched above pricey homes at “Billionaire’s Beach,” Malibu radio station KBUU-FM reported Friday.

A Los Angeles-based spokeswoman for Evans had no immediate comment, but said a statement from her client was pending.

The five houses were approved by the Coastal Commission in December, and commissioners said they would be far less visible than the original cluster of mansions proposed by a series of companies linked to Evans.

Commissioners noted the houses would be on less than 1 percent of the total property, with the rest reserved as perpetual wilderness or recreational trails.

But the houses are still contingent on approval by the City of Malibu and Los Angeles County for the access road to be carved into the scenic mountains above Billionaire’s Beach.

In the Superior Court lawsuit, the Sierra Club claims the project’s environmental impact report fails to meet California law, because it did not include analysis of the access road. Those plans were not prepared as part of the Coastal Commission action on the project, officials told KBUU, because the commission had relocated and down-sized the houses several times.

But the Sierra Club lawsuit filed Thursday seizes on that division. Project opponents have pointed out that CEQA specifically requires that a project’s impact be evaluated in its entirety, and not in a piecemeal fashion.

The lawsuit also alleges that the impact of construction truck traffic on air quality violations was not calculated; the houses would be in danger of burning in brushfires; and building the compound may induce other development in the mountains above Malibu.

The Sierra Club also alleges the project is in protected wildlife habitat and on a ridgeline, both in violation of the Los Angeles County Local Coastal Plan for the unincorporated area outside Malibu, where the houses would sit.

— City News Service

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