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Big Rock Mesa

December 8, 1988 | KENNETH J. GARCIA, Times Staff Writer
They were spared severe damage when the landslide struck. Million-dollar houses on Big Rock Mesa toppled around them on that frightening day in 1983, but somehow, the home of Elizabeth and Russell Nichols survived the shifting tons of earth. The damage to their lives has come since then. The fear of the next slide. The mounting bills from agencies trying to prevent further movement of the earth. The wrangling with attorneys over one of the most complex legal cases in the nation.
February 28, 1985 | LYNDON STAMBLER, Times Staff Writer
Caltrans maintenance superintendent Victor Althaus said he has learned a thing or two about landslides in his 29 years of clearing California highways. But one sliding bluff in Big Rock Mesa has him stumped. "This slide is entirely different from any I've ever worked on," he said, gazing at the craggy, 200-foot cliff that geologists say could fail at any moment. "This one worries me." The bluff was weakened by the massive landslide that hit Big Rock Mesa in Malibu in September, 1983.
December 27, 1987 | KENNETH J. GARCIA, Times Staff Writer
Los Angeles County will review a plan that would restrict building permits in hillside areas "or areas of known geologic hazards" unless the sites can pass a stringent inspection by geologic experts. The recommendation, aimed at reducing the county's liability in landslide areas in Malibu, will be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors this week in a preliminary report by the Department of Public Works, which is investigating septic system problems in the coastal community.
June 22, 1989 | KENNETH J. GARCIA, Times Staff Writer
Beleaguered Big Rock Mesa residents, who have spent the past five years battling Los Angeles County for damages to their landslide-plagued homes, have been stunned by the county's announcement that it plans to triple the Malibu homeowners' tax assessment for an elaborate water drainage system designed to prevent another devastating slide. Roger Burger, deputy director of public works, said the county plans to present a $13-million improvement package to supervisors within 60 days that could cost Big Rock Mesa homeowners nearly $100,000 each over the next 20 years, yet would still provide no guarantee that it would stabilize the land mass.
April 10, 1986
The county Department of Public Works is preparing an agreement with a consulting geologist to operate and maintain the Big Rock Mesa dewatering system, according to Supervisor Deane Dana. E. D. Michael of Malibu will be responsible for the system on a month-to-month basis until another consultant, D. A. Evans, finishes gathering the information the county needs to operate the facilities. The dewatering is designed to prevent further landslide damage at Big Rock.
May 17, 1990
Work is to start in the next two weeks on a $2.2-million project to install storm drains and modify existing water wells in Malibu's slide-plagued Big Rock Mesa, a spokesman for Supervisor Deane Dana said. The project is expected to be completed by October, spokesman Dennis Morefield said. Officials have said that while the work is under way, Pacific Coast Highway below Big Rock will have two eastbound lanes and one westbound lane between 7 and 9 a.m. weekdays. Between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
March 19, 1989 | DAVID M. KINCHEN and From staff reports
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, which agreed to a $35-million settlement to Big Rock Mesa homeowners in January, has tentatively approved an elaborate storm drain project designed to prevent a repeat of the landslide that damaged or destroyed 250 houses in 1983. The board's approval of the environmental study for the storm drain project prompted an angry reaction from homeowners in the exclusive Malibu community who objected to paying for a project with no cost estimate.
May 15, 1986
Los Angeles County has obtained by subpoena a copy of a report on the Big Rock Mesa landslide. The county had commissioned the report by Laguna Hills geologist Dennis Evans, but Evans withheld the seven-volume document, dated March 15, 1986, because of a dispute over the amount of money he was owed. Two attorneys representing more than 200 Big Rock families subpoenaed the report last month.
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