Property owners in the Santa Monica Mountains engaged in multiple types of development without seeking the necessary permits from the California Coastal Commission:
The property where this unpermitted development occurred is part of a unique ecosystem that comprises the largest and most pristine example of Mediterranean habitat remaining in coastal Southern California, and is adjacent to over 2,700 acres of wilderness, including public parkland, and Dark Canyon Creek, a U.S.G.S. designated “blue line stream” that is part of the Malibu Creek watershed.
The unpermitted development has likely impacted species – including mountain lions, mule deer, foxes, bobcats, badgers, lizards, snakes, and many species of raptors and owls – that rely on this habitat by further fragmenting habitat linkages.
Other expected impacts are additional adverse effects on water quality and marine resources, and increased erosion filling and altering Dark Canyon Creek, as well as the smaller stream, Little Dark Canyon Creek. The upper horseback riding ring is within the riparian buffer area for Dark Canyon Creek, could not be permitted under the Coastal Act, and has the potential to impact the creek, as well as the numerous species that inhabit the creeks and waterways, including the threatened Pacific Pond Turtle, a California Species of Special Concern, as well as several species of salamanders and frogs.
This property and “surrounding wildlands offer large, nearly pristine, un-fragmented areas of native habitat that support a wealth of native animals, including…mountain lions, bobcats, gray foxes, coyotes… the [threatened] Pacific Pond Turtle,... raptors, and owls.”
The agreement reached benefits coastal resources, the public and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority. Under this proposed agreement, Respondents (MRCA) have agreed to: