SMM Conservancy Pockets $750K to Back Off Project
• Won't Oppose New Carbon Package
BY BILL KOENEKER
The board of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy agreed this week to endorse what is being called a "public benefits program" offered by David Evans, better known as the Edge—the rock guitarist of U2, for his Sweetwater Mesa mega-mansion subdivision.
The framework of the so-called public benefits program would consist of Evans handing over $750,000 to the SMMC for the acquisition and development of the Coastal Slope Trail between Evan's property where he plans to build five mansions eastward to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority's Tuna Canyon Park, and earmarking $250,000 of pre-acquisition and trail design services for Schmitz and Associates, which has been spearheading Evan's permitting process.
In return, the Conservancy and MRCA will "take a neutral position on the project but may ask the [California Coastal] Commission to consider its 2009 comment letter."
The CCC staff report had recommended denial of Evan's plans for five 10,000- to 11,000-square-foot homes and he and his agents then withdrew the applications.
The SMMC documents also indicate the Conservancy and the MRCA may not oppose another development consisting of a single family residence on each of the three pads located along Carbon Mesa Road. No other information is available about that project.
The SMMC is also obligated to "support the public benefits program by resolution and in writing and by speaking in favor of the public benefits program."
The SMMC documents indicate the deal is contingent on final approval from the Coastal Commission, the County of Los Angeles and the City of Malibu.