Sometimes the best solution to a problem is the simplest solution. Although our project on Malibu Road is hardly complete, it was a pleasant surprise to be able to provide a bit more coastal access in Malibu in one morning. Joan Cardellino, our access manager, explains how we did it below.
When the road above Malibu Beach slipped seaward a few years ago, the City of Malibu stabilized it and erected a chain-link fence topped with razor wire along some 300 feet of the roadside. (There had been a fence there earlier, but it had a big hole through which the public could get to its beach.) The City installed a gate in the new, stronger fence and someone, we are not sure who, decided to put a lock on the gate. Then, in 2002, the Coastal Conservancy accepted a dedicated piece of property along Malibu Road, roughly in the middle of the former landslide. It took two years to develop the initial plans for a stairway at the site and get the plans approved by the Office of the State Architect. Twice during that time, Conservancy staff had locks removed from the gate so that at least those people nimble enough to make their way down the steep slope could continue to get to the beach. Each time the locks were removed--cut off with bolt cutters--they were replaced with even bigger locks, until staff could no longer remove them.
On May 18, 2006, staff from the Coastal Commission, the Conservancy, and the Mountains Restoration and Conservation Authority pulled down the whole fence and hauled it away, enabling citizens to again enjoy their beach.