After $21 Million And 6 Years, Broad Beach Sand Replacement Project Still Rocky

Written by on October 21, 2020

After six years and 21 million dollars spent on engineering and legal fees … the Broad Beach sand replenishment project is still at least two years away from placing one grain of sand.

And if the legal meeting yesterday is any indication … the 30 million project may be bogged down in a morass of lawsuits  and other huge problems.

A three hour long Zoom meeting on Sunday morning.

Three lawsuits challenging the project . .. which is funded by a tax agency set up by the city … and paid for by the Broad Beach homeowners.

The west end of Broad Beach wants to pay less than they’ve been assessed … because no sand can be placed on the beach there due to fish habitat.

The east end of Broad Beach wants to pay less than they’ve been assessed …. because they didn’t get protective rocks and won’t get much sand.

Some homeowners in the middle say the proposed open-ended commitment to rebuild Broad Beach may end up costing 100 million dollars … over 10 years.

Already … homes are being taxed up to 60 thousand dollars a year for sand that has not arrived … and that cost is going to go up … way up.

A third group of homeowners has also sued … they want to put a limit on the amount of sand trucked in.

George Novogroder speaks to their frustrations.


“Are we fighting a losing battle?

“if we put in 300,000 cubic yards of sand and it washes away?

“Certainly none of us hope for that.

“Certainly our engineers and consultants hope that it will work.

“However it if it doesn’t … it may be time to give up.”

That third group has already won a first court decision … that the cost assessments for the sand project were not applied correctly.

The Broad Beach Geologic Hazard Abatement And Assessment District … the “Gee-HAD” …  is starting over again on that issue.

Years ago … the state allowed the homeowners to place protective rocks in front of their houses on the condition that the rocks be covered up with sand …

And the district thinks the best source of sand is bringing it by truck from way up in Ventura County.

A lot of sand … and a lot of trucks.

22 thousand truckloads the first year … possibly more than 85 thousand truckloads of sand over the 10 year lifespan of the project.

The problem is  … if that sand washes away … the state will require that those existing rocks be moved closer to the Broad Beach houses.

And … a beach access trail on top of that … right next to the pricey houses. 

The dissident group wants to place that coastal access trail behind their houses and across the street … along the north side of Broad Beach Road.

Would the Coastal Commission walk away from the current plan and approve that??

A real question.

Probably not ,,, says the district’s lawyer.

Meanwhile … residents of a small neighborhood at Trancas are largely unaware of the possible arrival of 85 thousand truckloads of sand in their little corner of the Malibu.

The Broad Beach plan is to unload the sand next door … in the parking lot at Trancas Beach.

Front end loaders would pile up the sand … and load it into small haulers for a ride up t0 Broad Beach.

Mike Messina lives down at Trancas Beach … and despite the fact that this project has been in the works for nine years … no one ever contacted him to tell him that 85 thousand dump trucks of sand are to be unloaded and transshipped in front of his house.


“For 12 hours a day during the workweek … I usually would be at the (movie) studio where I work.

“But given COVID I work from home.

“So that’s a further impact. “

“It’s not solely going to be an impact on my quiet enjoyment of my property when I’m here, but when I am working during the day as well.”

The huge expense and nasty environmental issues of trucking in nearly 23 thousand truckloads of sand in two years … and maybe 85 thousand over 10 years … may kill the sand replacement project.

Lawyers for the district are negotiating with the city of Los Angeles to get sand barged in from off the shore of L-A-X … as a replacement for the replacement sand.

Upshot from Sunday’s meeting … after 21 million dollars and six years … the proposed project has major …  major problems.

Meanwhile … out on Broad Beach … mild summer winds and currents have allowed a small sliver of Broad Beach to reappear.

This editorial note.

This reporter lives at Trancas and participated in the meeting. 

This creates an obvious conflict of interest … which also confers a responsibility to acknowledge that conflict of interest.

And to be fair and accurate to all persons on this issue.

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