MALIBU—The California Coastal Commission unanimously approved a modified plan for the proposed Civic Center Wastewater Treatment Facility on May 13.
Modifications included strengthened protections for environmentally sensitive habitat areas (ESHA) to “the maximum extent feasible.”
This approval means that the area proposed for the facility can be re-zoned in the Local Coastal Plan, or LCP. LCPs, according to the official website of the California Coastal Commission, “contain the ground rules for future development and protection of coastal resources … [and] specify appropriate location, type, and scale of new or changed uses of land and water.”
The approval is the first step towards the proposed sewer. The next stages of development will include purchasing the specified land and accepting bids for a final sewer construction plan. Once those have been approved, construction of the sewer will begin. City Manager Jim Thorson estimates that the project will be operational by June 2017.
Coastal Commissioner Mary Shallenberger was pleased with the plan. “This is a huge step forward,” said Shallengberger to Malibu city officials. “I just want to thank you very much. Great job.”
Some had less favorable opinions on the proposal including former city council candidate Andy Lyon, Webster Elementary parent Steve Bobsin, and Malibu Community Alliance member Lucille Keller.
The biggest concern is the location of the proposed facility—which is across the street from Webster Elementary and Our Lady of Malibu School. Lyon himself suggested other potential locations, including land that was once considered for the site of Malibu City Hall.
The California Coastal Commission has not yet commented on the choice for the location of the new sewer.