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California Briefing / Malibu

City sues coastal panel on camping

July 22, 2009|Martha Groves

The city of Malibu has sued the California Coastal Commission, seeking to force the agency to rescind its approval of a Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy plan to allow camping at three canyon parks. The city had proposed an amendment to its local coastal program that would have banned overnight camping, but the commission rejected that idea in favor of the conservancy's proposal.

Many Malibu residents say the conservancy's plan -- aimed at increasing public access to Ramirez, Escondido and Corral canyon parks, in part by promoting overnight camping -- would increase the risk of wildfires.

They also oppose the commission's decision to approve extensive use of Ramirez Canyon Park for events. The park can be reached only by a narrow, twisting road.

City Atty. Christi Hogin said the suit, filed earlier this month, goes beyond Malibu because it speaks to the issue of who has authority over local land use.

-- Martha Groves

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