MALIBU—On December 18, the California Coastal Commission alongside the State Lands Commission won a pivotal victory for public beach access at Paradise Cove.
For beachgoers who don’t want to pay exorbitant entry fees or for surfers who want to experience the most of Malibu’s waves, Paradise Cove is now available to you.
In a joint statement, the Commissions wrote, “One month after being contacted by both agencies, Steven Dahlberg, acting on behalf of Paradise Cove Land Company, has ceased charging a $20 walk-in fee, removed all signs banning surfing, and opened a locked gate at the foot of Paradise Cove pier.”
The Commissions argued that by charging a walk-in fee, banning surfing, and locking people out, the Paradise Cove Land Company was in violation of the terms of the state lease for the pier and the Coastal Act.
Governor Jerry Brown and the legislature recently signed into law, a bill authored by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, that gives the State Lands Commission and The Coastal Commission the power to issue fines to people in violation of the Coastal Act.
Under these new laws, the Commissions threatened to issue fines of up to $11,250 per day for the Paradise Cove Land Company’s violations. Dahlberg responded quickly by allowing surfers access and lifting the walk-in fees to avoid the fines.
Atkins asserted in the release, ”This shows putting this tool in the Commission’s toolbox was the right way to go.”
Coastal Commission Chairman, Steve Kinsey said, “This is a triumph for public access, and proof that the threat of fines is a very effective enforcement tool,” He continued, “We’ve never seen a violation of this magnitude resolved so quickly. Christmas came early for the coast this year.”
Charles Lester, Executive Director of the Coastal Commission wrote, “The property owner is to be commended for his cooperation in resolving this matter,” He explained, “It saves everyone time and money to resolve these situations voluntarily, and most importantly, it’s the quickest way to restore the public’s ability to enjoy the beach.”