SMM Group's Letter Criticizes Sweetwater Mesa Development
• CCC Set to Hear Project Next Week
BY BILL KOENEKER
An out-of-area group called Save Our Mountains, Inc., or SOMI, has expressed opposition to what they call The Edge Project, Sweetwater Mesa.
The California Coastal Commission is expected to hear the matter next week. Rock musician The Edge, whose name is David Evans, is scheduled to be in Southern California playing a concert with his band U2 the day after the June 16 hearing. It is not known whether the guitar player/developer will attend the CCC hearing.
SOMI, which is a Mandeville Canyon-based team composed of four homeowner groups, with offices in Century City, sent a letter this week to all Coastal Commission members about their objections to the proposed five-home subdivision.
"We hope you will adopt your staff recommendation and disapprove the applications by 'The Edge' and his partners to build five massive structures [above] Sweetwater Mesa. For a variety of reasons, this project is deceptive, disastrous and ill-conceived," states the letter.
The group indicates it has a petition signed by 11,000 Angelenos who have signed the document for "preservation of wilderness open space."
SOMI indicates it was successful in stopping a planned gated community of 37 mansions on a 371-acre parcel of mountain land that became Westridge Canyonback Wilderness Park, which connects 1500 acres of open space in the eastern Santa Monica Mountains, bordered by upper Mandeville, Sullivan and Mission canyons, and San Vicente Mountain Park.
The objections to The Edge project stem from the grading on prime wildland "towering over the heart of Malibu."
"Unfortunately this project broadcasts, in blinking red neon, that a developer of sufficient wealth and celebrity can play from a different playbook and skirt the rules applying to everyone else," the letter goes on to state.
"The commission must send the message that [it] is not 'for sale' and cannot be bought. Coastal protection must not become a negotiation between a scofflaw and the constable designed to find the price at which the constable will look the other way. The commission is the public's last bulwark and protector of the coast. We urge it to vote 'no' on this inauspicious, deceptive and ill-conceived project," wrote Eric F. Edmunds, Jr., who is the chair of SOMI.