MRCA Opposes Malibu Strengthening Coastal Act Enforcement

Written by on November 13, 2019

You would think that a plan to give some teeth to the City of Malibu’s enforcement of coastal protection laws would be supported by other local government agencies. 

You would be wrong.

Joe Edmiston sent his MRCA lawyer down to Malibu City Hall last night … to oppose a proposal to allow Malibu zoning inspectors to issue fines to landowners caught violating coastal protection ordinances.

Edmiston apparently feels that his agency … the Mountain Resource Conservation Authority … might be in jeopardy of Malibu enforces coastal rules approved by the Coastal Commission.

M R C A attorney Angelica Ochoa told the council last night that she worried that Malibu zoning officials might have M R C A employees arrested … for violating Malibu coastal law. 

She showed a picture of a park bench that the MRCA installed in Sycamore Park … a supposed park built on private driveways … a park that the city of Malibu considers illegal.


“Had the proposed amendment been in place the workers who installed the bench could have been arrested for doing their job,

“The proposed criminal enforcement increases our workers exposure to exchanges with law enforcement.

“Specifically …  our operations construction staff … who is mainly latino with many who speak English as a second language.”

M R C A apparently feels that its employees bare a risk of arrest if they install park benches without coastal use permits … issued within the city of Malibu.

Assistant city attorney Trevor Russin was all but amused. byu that contention.


“I find it very ironic that MRCA is bringing this up.

“This is an organization that be seeking to protect our environment.

“This is a tool to help protect our environment and to enforce the Coastal Act.”

The city council voted 5 to nothing to ignore the MRCA’s objections … and give the city’s zoning enforcement team the power to criminally prosecute people who violate malibu’s Coastal Plan.

Like all criminal prosecutions …  violations would be subject to a court’s decision.

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