Commission Rejects Appeals, Allows Ranch Renovation to Proceed

4
1755
Mark Christy greets supporters outside the Coastal Commission hearing on Thursday. Photo by Mitch Ridder
Mark Christy greets supporters outside the Coastal Commission hearing on Thursday. Photo by Mitch Ridder

After a five-hour hearing, the California Coastal Commission voted 9-1 Thursday to grant a local coastal development permit to allow Laguna Beach resident Mark Christy to continue renovation of The Ranch, a neglected hotel and golf course in Aliso Canyon.

As one of the conditions of the agreement, Christy agreed to dedicate a floating easement for a public trail along the north side of the property and to a pay $250,000 towards a consultant and eventual development of the trail that would connect a wilderness park to the ocean, something long-sought by open-space advocates. He also agreed to host at least a dozen overnight outings for underprivileged youth annually at the former scout camp at the rear of the property.

Several of the most onerous recommendations of the coastal staff – such as running a shuttle and in-lieu fees of up to $2 million — were nixed by the commissioners.

Christy did agree to other conditions, such as a 65-decibel level for outdoor events, and restoring habitat near the creek within a 25-foot setback from the waterway.

Scores of local residents and the entire City Council and city manager attended the hearing in Santa Monica.

 

Share this:

4 COMMENTS

  1. As someone involved in efforts to preserve california’s amazingly diverse topography, and who watched the hearing online, I think the commission made a good choice. The one thing that is problematic about the approval is the fact that some kind of habitat was taken out, without a clear way to know what it was, and ‘sometimes’ missing habitat is far from accidental. However, it does seem that Mr Christie was not likely to have done that intentionally.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here