Ken Ehrlich Says Broad Beach Sand Project Is Unstoppable, Malibu West Is Not Unified In Opposing It, And Malibu West Swim Club Owes $200,000

Written by on April 13, 2023

We reported Tuesday about the Malibu West homeowners … appearing before the city council Monday night.

They accused their Broad Beach neighbors of soaking them … to help pay for a 20 million dollar sand replenishment tax that is 12 years in the making … and has yet to move one grain of sand. 

Speaker after speaker … representing the Malibu West homeowners association and individual homeowners … accused the Board Beach Geologic Hazards district of being a mismanaged fiasco … a fraud.

And they said they want out. 

The lawyer who put together the controversial tax district 12 years ago says that simply cannot legally happen. 

KBUU News asked Kenneth Ehrlich …how does he react to Malibu West saying the district is a failure and should be dissolved.


“Well, Hans, I don’t know I agree with your premise. What I mean is, that I have found over the years, in my experience, Malibu West speaks with many voices. They have a board, but I think if you can correct me if I’m wrong, there are over 200 homes that have constitute Malibu West … 200 families. 

“I think all of them have rights to their beach club. 

“I’ve also heard various different view from their folks over the years, so I think the two or three or four who spoke last night… I hear them and I… I think that the GHAAD understands their feelings.“

“I don’t know that they speak for the majority of their board or the majority of their community.”


EHRLICH: “But to directly answer your question: there is not a way for them to exercise themselves out of the assessment district independently.”

REPORTER: “what do you say to the people in Malibu west and greater Malibu who say this just looks like it is never going to happen?”

EHRLICH: “well I just wish they walked in the shoes of our owners, and the folks who are trying to help our owners make this project happen.

“I can understand the pessimism, it’s easy to understand the pessimism. We’ve been at this more than 10 years.

“We are a completely entitled project. Right now we’re down to working, prior to the issuance of our Coastal permit, which include the last three owners to signed the license agreement to allow the improvements on their properties, and to allow them to consent to the axis package that was agreed to with the (Coastal) Commission.

“And a couple of other details, those details are proving hard. I get it. Look my my my clients are the ones who are bearing all the costs of this, and to all of them who continue to commit to support the project, all I can say it’s a wonderful thing that they are doing to themselves and to the public, because this project once it comes to fruition is going to benefit the product much more than the private owners of Broad Beach.”

REPORTER: “Given the Coastal commissions restrictions on the revetment, is it even possible to reverse direction, to do natural building or something like that? Is that something like that even imaginable?”

EHRLICH: “The fact of the matter is, is that letting nature do its natural thing is not going to fix this beach. And it’s not going to fix other eroded beaches along the California coastline due to sea level rise, CLIMATE change and a whole much of other things. 

“Beach nourishment is, and it’s really one of the only proven methods, in the Coastal commissions own guidance, to do this. 

“Trucking of sand is not the most efficient way of doing this.  Ocean delivery of sand is clearly the more efficient way of doing this, you and I have talked about this before. 

“And we continue to explore and be open to opportunities to do that. 

“But right now our permits allow us afford us to do trucking, and so that’s what we’re focussed on.”

REPORTER: “Yeah …. But the permit (for the rocks) also says that if this (sand project) doesn’t happen, you’re going to have to remove the revetment. Isn’t that true?”

EHRLICH: “Well, if this permit goes away than the rocks that protect the homes than the rocks would be unpermitted. So that creates a whole bunch of other scenarios. 

“I can’t even imagine the other scenarios and I can’t go into them. But in order to have shoreline protection you need it to be permanent.”

The Broad Beach attorney … Ken Ehrlich … says he can’t imagine what will happen if the sand truck project fails to happen. That exact scenario is clearly spelled out by the coastal commission.

When Coastal approved the emergency rock revetment on Broad Beach, they made the homeowners explicitly promise to haul the rocks out if the beach is not restored.

Malibu West is one of the five dozen or so landowners along Broad beach … each lot paying for sand.

The lawyer for the Broad Beach sand district says the Malibu West homeowners are more than 200 thousand dollars overdue … on their legally-binding assessments due to the sand district.  Again … Ken Ehrlich:


“When the GHADD was formed they agreed to be billed separately which they’re getting an invoice from the GHAAD and they’re paying for it. About two years ago they stopped paying it. 

“And so since then we have been in contact with her counselor it’s been very constructive it’s been very businesslike in civil. They’ve asked a lot of questions and they’ve gotten direct answers to every one of their questions.”

Ken Ehrlich … attorney for the Broad Beach sand replenishment agency.

Back when the GHAAD … the sand tax district … was set up … one city councilman told us “no way in hell is the city going to get involved in that thing.”

Now … the city is apparently on the way to becoming very much involved … trying to undo the legal tangle and fix the beach.

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