U2 guitarist the Edge has received approval from the state of California for a controversial housing project that will build five houses on a pristine Malibu ridge.
The California Coastal Commission unanimously approved the proposal at its meeting in Monterey, Calif., on Thursday (Dec. 10), the Los Angeles Times reports, despite objections from environmental groups and local leaders.
The Edge, whose real name is David Evans, has been trying to gain approval for years for the project, which has undergone significant changes from architects in the process. He bought the property in 2005.
In a written statement, he thanked the commission and community “for all their thoughtful feedback and guidance throughout this long process — it has inherently driven better home designs and ensured protection of Malibu’s natural resources.”
“From day one,” he continued, “my intention was to build a home of the very highest possible standard of environmental sensitivity and sustainability. Together, this collaborative effort has achieved that goal.”
The five homes to be built are each more than 10,000 square feet with their own swimming pools. As a concession to the commissions’ requests, the planned houses will be built closer together on a lower plateau. As well, there will be reduced visibility from below, their exterior colors will help them blend into the surroundings and overall impact on the surrounding habitat has been lessened.
The Edge has also agreed to dedicate 140 acres of his property as open space with public hiking and equestrian access.
Still, with the revisions, construction is expected to disturb 17 acres of environmentally sensitive habitat.
“This development requires extensive and significant infrastructure, which would cause unmitigable impacts to a biologically sensitive area and our coastal zone environment,” wrote watershed scientist for the Heal the Bay nonprofit environmental group Katherine Pease in a letter to the commission.
The project still will require additional permitting from the the city of Malibu and Los Angeles County.