U2 Guitarist’s Revamped Mansion Bid Heads For Vote
The California Coastal Commission is scheduled to consider the project at a meeting in Newport Beach, and commission staff members are recommending the approval of a scaled-down version of the development.
Guitarist David Evans, better known as The Edge, has tried to build the homes on 150 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean since 2006 but faced opposition from neighbors and environmentalists. The commission rejected the project in 2011, citing environmental concerns, and property owners sued.
Last year, they settled with the agency and are now proposing a downsized development that clusters the homes on a lower plateau to try to preserve a 3,000-foot stretch of prominent ridgeline visible from key spots along the coast.
The homes would range from 7,800 square feet to nearly 15,000 square feet and include swimming pools and an access road.
Fiona Hutton, a spokeswoman for the proponents, said the vote would clear a major hurdle to getting the homes built but some additional approvals would still be needed from local authorities. The revised project would take place on about half the acreage of the initial proposal and set aside additional land for conservation, she said.
Some critics say even with a smaller footprint, the project threatens to disrupt natural habitat and tarnish the view.
“The proposed conservation easement and public trail easement do not adequately mitigate the loss of a clean, undeveloped ridgeline viewed from many public trails and roads and enjoyed by numerous visitors,” David Szymanski, superintendent of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, wrote in an Oct. 3 letter to the commission.
Commission staff recommended that property owners be required to finish the homes in a color that blends in with the surrounding landscape and use non-glare glass in the windows to minimize visual impacts.
The commission regulates the use of coastal areas in California.