02 • 13 • 2020
Restore Access to Latigo Beach in Malibu
At the February 2020 Coastal Commission meeting, Commissioners approved, at Surfrider's urging, that a public accessway be restored to Latigo Beach in Malibu and a nearly $1 million mitigation fee be paid after decades of blocked access by the Tivoli Cove HOA.
In 1978, the California Coastal Commission required a public pathway to be built up and over a shoreline rock revetment so the public could reach the beach on the other side of Latigo Beach where lateral access was otherwise blocked by the revetment. This pathway was provided for a time, but then one of the stairways was destroyed in 1986, and Tivoli Cove HOA failed to provide and maintain the staircase as required by the permit, and, in doing so, failed to provide the pathway.
Instead, the Tivoli Cove HOA posted signs deterring access, treated the remaining staircase and access path as private, and in addition, allowed boulders and other debris from their revetment and former access stairway to wash up on the public beach, blocking access there as well. For decades, the Tivoli Cove violations have continued, and have often resulted in the public being unable to walk to the western end of Latigo Beach. This blocked access has particularly impacted the surfers who visit Latigo Point at the western end of the beach to enjoy the waves. As sea levels continue to rise, the impacts of this revetment and the debris on the beach will only increase. Surfrider's Los Angeles Chapter has worked on restoring access and raising awareness about this issue for decades.
Finally, the Coastal Commission staff have come to a resolution with the HOA. Tivoli Cove agreed to comply with their original permit and the Coastal Act to build the required eastern stairway, install required public access signs, remove unpermitted development obstructing the public pathway, and remove the boulders and other debris that are blocking access on the beach. The HOA also agreed to provide a number of public access amenities that are not required by the original permit, but are intended to mitigate for the years of lost public access there; including a public shower, public drinking fountain, two benches for public use, and two interpretive signs for the public, and, further, to widen the public pathway from four to five feet. Finally the HOA has agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $925,000 to address the loss of public access. Commission staff believes that the combined value of the penalty and mitigation is in excess of $1.2 million.