by Michael dEstries
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david_evansDavid Evans, the popular guitarist for U2 — who is known by his nickname “The Edge” — is coming under fire from Malibu residents for his plans to develop a property overlooking the community.

The site calls for five mountaintop mansions with extensive ocean views and built above homes belonging to the likes of Dick Van Dyke, Kelsey Grammer and James Cameron. In order for the development to work, some tricky engineering, including extension of a road down a rugged elevation, grading 70,000 cubic yards of hillside, and installing water lines would be needed.

Needless to say, residents aren’t thrilled — but Evans contends that these homes will be created to work with the environment. “My family and I love Malibu, having maintained a residence here for more than a decade,” he told the Times. “These homes will be some of the most environmentally sensitive ever designed in Malibu—or anywhere in the world. I’m disappointed that certain critics either don’t have the facts or have ulterior motives.”

Making them “green”, however, doesn’t mean that they should be built. “The downside of this is a permanently scarred mountainside for the benefit of a very few that for many years all will view,” Jefferson Wagner, a Malibu councilman, told the newspaper. “For somebody so revered even to be orchestrating this type of development in such a sensitive area is hypocritical.”

In my opinion, with regards to development, Malibu has some tricky ground to cover in defending the environment for this particular project. I have family that live there and have spent much time traversing the canyons and hills around the area. There are homes everywhere up there — and I’m not particularly sure why Evans’ development is any different from the others. There’s definitely a real case for NIMBY outcry here shielded behind environmental concern. That being said, five mansions on a hilltop — with three being built on speculation alone — is rather ridiculous; no matter how green they are. I would love to see Malibu take a stand here — but as the Times quoted one official as saying,  “we’ve got to allow for some residential use to avoid a constitutional taking of property.” Perhaps some kind of compromise can be reached.


About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • Anastasia

    What would be more “environmentally sensitive” is not building any homes at all.

  • michael

    Agreed Anastasia — but does Malibu have the power to stop it? I’m sure they can perhaps curb some of the development, but I wonder if past allowances on building will come back to bite them.

  • Sam

    I think The Edge is either on Wild Kratom or Salvia dela Luz or some other crazy drug.. After all you can buy this stuff online and it’s legal. What has this world come to!

  • JOhan

    The Edge is building on land that would have been developed anyways … I am sure he just pissed off someone that wanted the land … As long as he has the permits and approvals of the city, then let him … He has 156 acres and only developing 1.25 acres … He is not destroying anything. Why is everyone complaining? Although, I agree that not developing would be better but has the right to do so.

    The Edge has a website explaining his side of his story … … Obviously that is his side of the story, but at least we get his side of the story.

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