KBUU News – Sat April 15 – More Details On MRCA Plan For 102,000 Campers Per Year At Bluffs – State Fed Up With County Agency That Runs Malibu Prison – Santa Barbara Zoo To Open Wildlife Center Near Pt Mugu – Caltrans Aims At 101 Exit Jumping

Written by on April 15, 2023


More Details On MRCA’s Plan For 102,000 Campers Per Year At Bluffs Park



“At this stage in the planning process, we anticipate a facility capacity that can accommodate to 102,000 campers annually, across an eight-month season.”

Every summer night … starting in a few years … the MRCA plans to have 566 people camping at Malibu Bluffs Park.

Every night.

And those 566 happy campers will be charged a fee … says MRCA planner Mario Sandoval … with the money going to subsidize operations of the Mountains Resource Conservation Authority … including a camp for disadvantaged kids that it plans to run during the off-season.

More information today … about the 102 thousand camper visits per year planned for Bluffs park by the MRCA. 

If you missed the KBUU report Thursday … the Mountains Resource Conservation Authority revealed this week that it is planning to allow up to 102 thousand overnight camping visits per year on the campground it plans to build across PCH from Pepperdine … at the John Tyler Drive traffic light.

The details dribbled out during a state Coastal Commission meeting Wednesday.

Mario Sandoval … an MRCA official:.. at Wednesday’s Coastal meeting.


“The future development of a public campground facility at the Malibu Bluffs is one of our biggest efforts, and most exciting projects in Malibu, based on its scale and project’s main goal, to provide affordable accommodations on the Malibu coast.”

Sandoval said plans are to use the profits from the general public for special programs. 


“This is broken down as a six-month low-cost operating season, run on a reservation basis for the general public, with revenues directly funding a low-cost camping program for local foster youth, with organized trips to stay at the Malibu Bluffs and recreate along this beautiful coastline to recreate for a multi-day experience in the mountains and at this beautiful beach.”

So how did we get here???

The Malibu bluff is owned by the State of California.   More than 30 years ago … Malibu residents fought to relocate its Little League fields onto the state-owned land.  A deal was brokered … Malibu got the east end of Bluffs … the MRCA got control of the west end.

About 12 years ago … the city made a deal with the MRCA … and traded control of the west end away … the city gave MRCA the control of Charmlee Park … up in Encinal Canyon.  Charmlee is a wilderness … totally unsuitable for ball fields.

The city had finally won control of the Bluffs … and drew up tentative plans to add Little League and soccer fields on the western end.  But some residents … claiming to represent the neighbors … objected. They wanted the land left vacant and wild.

Ballfield advocates warned loudly that letting MRCA back at Bluffs would mean campgrounds there.

But in a surprise vote … the city council cancelled the swap with MRCA.

And … just down the highway … the last large piece of flat land in Malibu … that is zoned for overnight visitors … was zoned by the city for a developer to build a cemetery.

Malibu … with a critical absence of overnight lodging for beach visitors … rezoned the last place for a motel … for a cemetery.

The MRCA was only too happy to come back with plans for a campground there.

And here we are.

The MRCA’s Mario Sandoval told the Coastal Commission last week that they plan to bypass the City of Malibu .. and go straight to the Coastal Commission for approval of the campground. 


“We expect to finalize our environmental documents for the plan later this year, and maybe for the Coastal Commission next year for consideration of approval of the Malibu Low Cost Accommodations PWP.”

And that PWP is the key.  

Under the state Coastal Act … cities are regulated under Local Coastal Plans that must be certified by the Coastal Commission.

Unless… a project is so big that it affects multiple cities … like a port or a pipeline … or a big university … like up at Santa Barbara.  Then … multiple cities can be ruled by a Public Works Plan .. a PWP … that is approved by the Coastal Commission but bypasses the local city government. 

The MRCA is using that as a loophole … to declare itself in effect the municipal government in Malibu … to approve its own PWP for the campgrounds in the heart of Malibu.

Get ready for one massive lawsuit on that.

And how does the Coastal Commissioner feel about all this?  Effie Turnball-Sanders holds the environmental justice seat at Coastal Commission.


“Well, I would just like to to shower praises on MRCA for all the great work that they have been doing over the years.”

Turnball-Sanders is appointed by the governor.


State Regulators Fed Up With L A County Juvenile Probation, Which Runs The New Malibu Prison

The LA County agency that runs the prison in the mountains above Malibu has gotten a vote of no confidence from state regulators.

But the state is giving LA County one last chance to get its act together … in the way it has been handling youthful offenders.

This is the same county Juvenile Probation Department that has just converted a youth camp of Mulholland Highway at Encinal Canyon Road into a medium security prison for 18 to 25-year-old men with committed violent crimes when they were juveniles.

The LA Times reports that …. Thursday in Sacramento… state officials said they were shocked and dismayed by the probation department track record running juvenile halls in Los Angeles county.


“I struggle trusting L.A. County going forward.

 “You’re talking about a long-range, futuristic plan about how to get staff on board. But I’m concerned [about] your staff today.

“I’m concerned what’s going to happen overnight tonight.

“Your execution has failed these young people in your care and custody repeatedly.”

Those are the words of Linda Penner, chairwoman of the California Board of state and community corrections, as voiced by KBUU reporter.

L A County has continued to allow the conditions at its juvenile facilities to deteriorate.

Violence and drug overdoses have risen. 

The county’s Office of Inspector General last week reported that drugs are being flown into the halls via drone, tossed over walls by buddies, and delivered through the front doors by friends disguised as DoorDash delivery guys.

Despite the roobklems with the LA County department … the state board yesterday made no changes.

This story is based on reporting by the Los Angeles Times Sacramento bureau.


TB Scare At Massive Amazon Warehouse In Oxnard

You know that big new Amazon warehouse up where PCH hits the 101 in Oxnard???

Ventura County officials are scrambling after an employee there tested positive with an active case of tuberculosis. 

Ventura County Public Health officials say they’ve identified 180 people who were potentially exposed. 

Amazon staff members were given TB tests and counseling.

Free testing is being offered.

If you received a package which came through the center, there is no danger of getting TB.

The other version of TB is TB infection. It means someone has the bacteria in their body, but it’s inactive, so they aren’t spreading the disease.

TB can cause serious illness, and even death, but is treatable and curable.

County Health officials say are working to control and track the situation, and that there is no known threat to the public.


Caltrans Takes Aim At ‘Exit Jumping’ On 101

They call it exit jumping … and if you drive the 101 freeway at Liberty canyon  … you’ve probably seen it.

When traffic gets heavy … hotshots barrel down the exit lane… get iff the freeway … run the stop sign … then race back onto the freeway.

Caltrans has been listening to complaint from over the hill.

They’re going to make some lane closures at the bottom … to require turns and ban straight ahead traffic. 

That will make it easier for deputies to hide under the overpass … and catch the hotshots.


Third Plan Competes To Take The Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

We told you last week that the Santa Monica school board is making a move towards acquiring the old santa monica civic auditorium… to convert it into a gym for Santa Monica high school.

Following up on that today.

There are now three competing proposals for the old Civic Auditorium. 

The district’s plan for the school gym.

A group that wants to build housing for homeless people …. They say they deserve the land because of the racist history of evicting black people to make way for the freeway to Malibu.

And now … a third group has emerged.

They want the Santa Monica civic to be rehabbed … spiffed up … and again become the rock and roll temple that it used to be.

No decision from the Santa Monica city council


Santa Barbara Zoo To Open Wildlife Conservation Center Near Pt Mugu

The Santa Barbara Zoo is going to open a conservation center 17 miles up the coast from Zuma Beach.

The zoo will construct a conservation facility that will include facilities for animal care… Containment and breeding.

This will be at the California State university channel Islands campus.

The Santa Barbara zoo will construct a 60,000 foot center… About 1.4 acres… At the western edge of the campus… Not far from Pacific Coast Highway at Las Posas Road.

In the past the zoo has worked with local species including western snowy plovers and California red legged frogs… Both of which are endangered species that live in the Malibu area.

Zoo President Richard block told the Ventura county star the center will be the first university facility owned and operated by one of the 238 organizations accredited by the Association of zoos and aquariums.

Details about the Santa Barbara Zoo outpost at Cal State Channel Islands will be released later this week.

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The Mark and Grether Group offers concierge-level service… personalized attention… to buyers and sellers… landlords and tenants … here in Malibu.

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Malibu Brewing Company is a locally owned craft brewery, proudly supporting our community, and local public radio. 

The tap room at Trancas Country Market is open… 

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A chef prepared menu to enjoy on the patio or inside.

Malibu Brewing Company Malibu California


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