A coastal resource protection plan is threatening to ban more than 50,000 acres adjacent to the city of Malibu that house more than 50 commercial vineyards. The plan, which prevents development and limits the size of new homes on most ridgelines, gives the county autonomy instead of the California Coastal Commission.
Supporters of the ban say that these regulations ensure that development and urbanization is prevented in coastal mountain areas. They also note the increased potential for erosion, use of pesticides and the aesthetics of the vineyards as problematic for the mountains. Critics argue that the vineyards are still in their early stages, and shutting them down would create negative consequences for the independent growers that have invested their capital in the vineyards.
Is this ban the best plan to address the issues in the Malibu wine country? What do you think is the best way to ensure the environmental needs of the mountains while still creating economic growth in the region?
Frank Angel, Environmental Public Interest Litigator
Donald Schmitz II, Founder, Malibu Solstice Vineyard and Wines