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MALIBU “NO CAMPING” SIGNS INCONSISTENT WITH CITY ORDINANCES, LOCAL COASTAL PLAIN, AND COASTAL ACT, ACCORDING TO THE COASTAL COMMISSION

NEWSLETTER WINTER 2008

The California Coastal Commission has concluded that the “No Camping” signs posted at the Malibu city limits are “are inconsistent with the City’s ordinances, LCP [local coastal plan], and the Coastal Act.” In a letter to The City of Malibu Manager, The Deputy Director of The California Coastal Commission suggested changing the signs to avoid further confusion, defuse controversy, and bring the signs into compliance with City ordinances, the LCP and the Coastal Act. The Commission acted in response to The City Project’s demand for a cease and desist order directing Malibu to take down the phone signs.

The City Project continues its long-standing campaign to Free the Beach! and keep public lands open for all in Malibu and up and down the California coast.

The Malibu Surfside News published an article by Anne Soble on March 5, 2008: “Coastal Panel Nixes City Camping Signs: Urges Changes to Match City Law:”

The California Coastal Commission agrees with a public interest activist group’s complaints that “No Camping” signs posted at Malibu city limits could lead to confusion.
[The] City Project has challenged the signs as an example of Malibu elitism and an intent to prevent visitors from being aware of local camping options.
CCC Deputy Director Jack Ainsworth addressed the signs issue in a letter to City Manager Jim Thorsen recently. Ainsworth wrote that “the signs, as currently written, are inconsistent with the city’s ordinances, LCP, and the Coastal Act.”
He states that “an outright prohibition of overnight camping, as currently stated on the signs, would require an amendment to the city’s LCP” and suggests that the wording could be changed to “Overnight Camping Allowed Only within Designated Campgrounds.”
Ainsworth’s letter concludes, “By changing the sign language and posting new signs, the city would avoid further confusion, defuse the current controversy, and bring the signs into compliance with current city ordinances, the certified LCP and the Coastal Act.”

“Malibu took a public drubbing on the Internet” refers to our YouTube videos of the December 2007 public hearing in Malibu on camping and public access.