A longtime development fight came to an end when a developer dropped the last of several lawsuits filed over the city of Malibu’s rejection of the proposed Trancas Town project in the western part of the beach community.
The dispute over Trancas PCH’s proposal to subdivide 35 acres and build 52 condominiums and 15 homes in a rural area of Malibu near Pacific Coast Highway spanned a half dozen lawsuits filed over two decades.
“Closing the book on this development proposal is terrific news for the residents of western Malibu, and ending this series of expensive lawsuits takes a great financial burden off the city’s pocketbook,” Malibu Mayor John Sibert said of Tuesday’s decision by Trancas PCH.
The Trancas property has long been a symbol of Malibu’s fight for local control, according to City Attorney Christi Hogin.
“Property owners are entitled to reasonable use of their property, but the community fought a long battle for cityhood so that the determination of reasonable development would be made by the people of Malibu, not by the county,” Hogin said.
The developer had obtained tentative approvals in 1984 from Los Angeles County. After Malibu incorporated in 1991, the city took over land use permitting from the county, including the final approvals needed for the Trancas Town project.
The Malibu City Council voted against the subdivision in 2003. The current lawsuit challenged that action and sought to force the city to accept the county’s 1984 development approvals.