Ocean Level Rise Denial At Planning Commission: 18 Inches Is Enough?

Written by on October 8, 2019

Climate change … rising ocean levels … coming home to roost at the Malibu City Hall.

Last night … one planning commissIoner so the city is being unrealistic in approving houses on the beach.

And another planning commissioner responded with a climate change denial argument.

Commissioner Kraig Hill said this current city Standard of planning for an 18 inch Ocean level rise is unrealistic.

He pointed out to recent studies that are embraced by the overwhelming majority of ocean scientists.

If correct … houses built just 18 inches above the current level of highdf waves will be underwater in the not distant future.

Hill said the city’s 18 inch ocean level increase flies on the fact of recommendations from the California Coastal Commission.


“Their standard says that for low risk aversion … in other words … if you want to be reckless about what you are developing … they recommend that you add 40 inches to sea level rise by the year 2100.

“Not the 18 inches we’ve bene using as a standard … but 40 inches.

And they are saying if you want to be medium-averse … they are recommending 80 inches.”

But commissioner John Mazza is a climate change denier.

He says the science is not settled.

And he worries … that Malibu real estate will be enormously impacted by changing the rules on how high above the ocean .… a house has to be.


“You know there is a huge huge amount of money involved here.

“And you tell everybody in the Colony that they can’t rebuild — that’s a lot of money.

“Because our rules go they can go 28 feet – I don’t know what it is in the colony – from ground.

“So that’s a lot of houses can’t be built if you start assuming these numbers.”

And Mazza says global warming science is not proven.


“It’s not proven science.

“The guy … the experts that came in here said it’s gone up a millimeter in the last five years or something.”

It should be pointed out that those experts who testified … are the guys who design and build oceanfront houses here in Malibu.

But commissioner Kraig Hill says the issue is agreed upon by the vast majority of scientists … and that’s what the Coastal Commission is going with.


HILL: “If the coastal commission is saying we want at least 40 inches than I feel in representing the public interest but that’s a legitimate number to apply.

MAZZA: “But … as Bonnie said … have to do a Zone Text Amendment … we can make  it whatever number we want and the coastal commission is going to change it to whatever they want.”

John Mazza there … sparring with Kraig Hill at a city planning commission meeting.

Like with most debates about global warming … the winner of this one will be decided elsewhere.

The Malibu city Council has hired a consultant to try to come up with a plan to deal with global ocean rise.

And as Mazza points out… The coastal commission will have final word.

It is making a key decision on that … in a case out of Del Mar … this week.

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