SMMUSD Encourages Malibu Residents to Write Coastal Commission to Support New Building at High School

Date:

In November of 2018, Malibu voters passed Measure M with 71% of the vote, a bond measure to create a state-of-the-art middle school and new high school building on the former Juan Cabrillo Elementary site. While the new high school building has been designed and approved by local authorities; the Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District is warning that delays caused by environmental permitting could lead to long delays or even cancellation of the high school property.

The California Coastal Commission staff is requesting that their board delay a vote on approving the construction of the campus for one year to give the staff more time to review documents provided by the district. Before construction can begin, the school district needs to receive a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) from the City of Malibu, which at the moment it does not qualify for. SMMUSD is asking for an amendment to the process which must be approved by both the city and the Coastal Commission as the entire City of Malibu is in the Commission’s purview.

But another year’s delay would prove either costly or fatal to the project. From the district’s letter to parents: 

“Due to the delays, the best hope is to begin construction early fall 2023 to complete the building in time for the 2025-26 school year. If a one-year extension is granted and it takes up to a year to be permitted to begin construction, not only will the opening be pushed to 2026 or after, but the escalated cost will most likely exceed the amount of bond funds available, either killing the project as conceived or requiring more taxpayer funding.” 

The district is asking parents and students in Malibu to write the Coastal Commission staff and board by July 7, so that the letters arrive before their July 12-14 meeting period. Instructions on how to email or write the Commission can be found at the bottom of this article.

Construction plans were approved by the Division of the State Architect (October 2022). The construction site has been cleared (November 2022). The California Environmental Quality Act Environmental Impact Report was certified for the entire campus plan, which was formatted into the MMHS Campus Specific Plan (January 2022). The contractor has been hired, and a contract for construction has been approved by the Board of Education (Feb. 2023).

How to write to the Coastal Commission:

California Coastal Commissioners

455 Market St. Suite 300

San Francisco, CA 94105

South Coast District

California Coastal Commission

310 E. Ocean Blvd. Suite 300

Long Beach, CA 9080

RE:      Local Coastal Program Amendment No. LCP-4-MAL-22-0043-1

(MMHS Campus Specific Plan – Malibu LCPA No. 21-002)

How to email to the Coastal Commission:

To: Donne.Brownsey@coastal.ca.gov; Caryl.Hart@coastal.ca.gov; Effie.Turnbull-Sanders@coastal.ca.gov; Effie.Turnbull-Sanders@coastal.ca.gov; Linda.Escalante@coastal.ca.gov; Roberto.Uranga@coastal.ca.gov; Karl.Schwing@coastal.ca.gov; Steve.Hudson@coastal.ca.gov

RE:      Local Coastal Program Amendment No. LCP-4-MAL-22-0043-1

(MMHS Campus Specific Plan – Malibu LCPA No. 21-002)

Sample Letter

Date (submit by July 7, 2023)

California Coastal Commissioners

455 Market St. Suite 300

San Francisco, CA 94105

RE:      Local Coastal Program Amendment No. LCP-4-MAL-22-0043-1

(MMHS Campus Specific Plan – Malibu LCPA No. 21-002)

Dear California Coastal Commissioners,

Please vote against staff’s request for a one-year extension for processing the MMHS Campus Specific Plan – Malibu Local Coastal Plan Amendment. Please require staff to expedite their review and place it on the Coastal Commission agenda within 60 days.

I am a tell them who you are. Tell them why this project is important to you.

List a few reasons or cut/paste some from the list that are important to you.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Your Name

Address, email or other contact information.

Damien Newton
Damien Newton
Damien is the executive director of the Southern California Streets Initiative which publishes Santa Monica Next, Streetsblog Los Angeles, Streetsblog San Francisco, Streetsblog California and Longbeachize.

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