Rindge Dam Removal Surfaces as Next Major Local Controversy Involving State Parks Department
• Agency Appearing to Cherry-Pick Input
BY BILL KOENEKER
Another project that has been hovering over Malibu, the feasibility of removing the Rindge Dam, has resurfaced as more controversy was stirred when a prominent longtime Malibu resident was tossed out of one of the State Park’s technical meetings on the issue. The study, in the making for over 10 years, could be released this summer.
“I know the person who was kept out of that meeting. She is one of the most well respected members of the community. She is a stakeholder,” said Malibu Mayor Lou La Monte, who made the comment at this week’s city council meeting, in front of Craig Sap, supervisor for California State Parks Angeles District, who came to the meeting to address the council.
Sap said the Technical Advisory Committee meetings do not have to open to the public.
“It is a feasibility study. There is no ultimate decision on what we are going to do. We have had public meetings on the feasibility study,” Sap said.
Council members were told a website will be put up for interested individuals to keep track of the progress of the study and public meetings might take place this summer if the feasibility study is released.
Councilmember Laura Rosenthal wanted assurances that it was not a done deal and that a no action alternative would be sincerely studied.
The study has gone on for years on ways to remove the dam, to increase the upstream habitat for steelhead trout, or to save it as a piece of history.
If it is removed, issues include how to take it down, as one piece, by allowing the creek water to erode it over time,, truck it out, helicopter it out and let it flood down stream, which is the concern of many Serra Retreat homeowners.
“To do nothing is an option,” said Councilmember John Sibert. “We may not want to do it.”