The Edge’s Malibu Mansion on Hold

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The U2 guitarist fails to convince California Coastal Commission officials that his proposed housing development north of Los Angeles is environment-friendly.


U2 guitarist The Edge lost a key round against the California Coastal Commission Thursday, who rejected the musician’s proposal to build houses on a lot in Malibu.

The commission voted 8-4 to reject the controversial 156-acre project, citing potential damage to native vegetation in the wealthy enclave of Malibu, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"In 38 years of this commission's existence, this is one of the three worst projects that I've seen in terms of environmental devastation," Peter Douglas, the agency's executive director, told the Times after the vote.

The decision represented the end of what has become a widely talked about property rights battle between the musician, whose real name is David Evans, and the agency that oversees the scenic seaside destination north of Los Angeles.

Even before Thursday's vote, commission staff in Malibu voiced repeated concern regarding what they say is sensitive habitat on a hilltop near the Malibu coast.

Evans is now weighing his options, which may include a lawsuit that he hopes will allow him to build should he win in court (and should he decide to sue).

Already, the guitarist has invested heavily in the project, having long maintained the entire series of mini-mansions would not harm the environment and has said the proposed complex is an example of just the kind of environmentally sustainable properties Malibu residents should emulate in the future.

The main house, the Times reported, was planned as a 12,785-square-foot contemporary mansion, called "Leaves in the Wind," named for the undulating green roof meant to mimic fluttering leaves. A website associated with the project says that the five houses were designed to meet the highest environmental standards by incorporating recycled and renewable materials, rainwater catchment systems, solar panels and native landscaping.

Fiona Hutton, a rep for the Edge, told Reuters they just wanted to be treated like any other potential home builder in the area, perhaps suggesting Evans was being flagged for his high-profile name and project.

"We'd like to be treated fairly, like any other applicant that comes before the Coastal Commission," she said.

Evans himself was not at the meeting in Malibu (his reps were, however). The guitarist will be in the proverbial house Friday night in Anaheim, where U2 is set to play a concert at Angel Stadium.

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