Cadre of government agencies move forward with eminent domain seizure of Malibu beachfront property
January 19, 10:07 AMLA County Libertarian ExaminerMartin HillPrevious 4 comments
The classy Beau Rivage Mediterranean Restaurant is located at 26025 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu
BeauRivageRestaurant.comThe California Transportation Commission, along with the the National Park Service and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, plans to move ahead and seize a portion of the property of a restaurant under the pretext of helping steelhead strout swim upstream. Using the guise of eminent domain, the government plans to take the property from Daniel Forge and his wife Luciana, who have owned the beautiful Beau Rivage Restaurant in Malibu for over 30 years.
The Transportation Commission hearing, which had been slated for October 14 and 15 in San Diego, apparently went through without a hitch. Forge did not attend the hearing, and I spoke with him by phone in November regarding the issue.
"I didnt go to the hearing", Forge said, adding that he had spoken to an attorney to try and see if he could work with the commission instead. "You can't work with these people; they want to take it, they'll take it", he said. "Even at the hearing, they said they're going ahead with it."
Olivia Damavandi at the CALIFORNIA EMINENT DOMAIN LAW BLOG reported on 9/23/09 that the agency
"wants to take the property in order to remove existing fish barriers in Solstice Creek, which runs through part of the property, and implement “fish ladders”-structures that help the natural migration of the fish-to allow the fish to swim upstream of the parking area of the restaurant’s property, located near the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Corral Canyon Road." Damavandi also noted Forge's complaint that "the project will handicap his business by eliminating significant parking space and by shutting down the north entrance of five-acre the property".
A month after the hearing, Forge explained the absurdity of the government motives of wanting to protect "the steelhead strout in that stream that doesn't have a drop of water in it". He added "It's just a drainage canal, it's polluted. no pubic sewer."
Forge had accommodated the "environmental" agency for nearly a year before their attempted land grab. "They were on our property parking ther equipment for 8 or 9 months", tagging California Oak Trees, he said, adding they would "tag all the trees which were six inches or diameter or more".
Forge, an immigrant from France, didn't want to concede his land, but mounting a legal battle would be costly.
Government, on the other hand, has seemingly limitless resources, garnered by fleecing state residents and taxpayers every conceivable way they can.
A search of the website listing state salaries revealed that a mere four members of the "Santa Monica Mountain Conservancy" earned nearly half a million dollars salary combined in a single year.
$372,469 was the combined salary of only four of the people employed by the State of California agency that is spearheading the seizure of an entrepreneur restaurant beachfront property.
Laurie C. Collins, listed as Staff Counsel III "Specialist" for the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, earned $113,736. Joseph T. Edmiston, listed as "Executive Director", earned $95,028. Juliet Chung, listed as "Associate Governmental Program Analyst", earned $82,009. Rorie A. Skei, listed as "Staff Services Manager II (Managerial)", earned $81,696.
Some other eminent domain cases that garnered a lot of media attention in southern California in recent years were the case of a church in Long Beach , Rod's Grill in Arcadia which was set to be demolished for expansion of a car dealership, and the recent ongoing case in Seal Beach, California, where the city wants to seize a beachfront property, purportedly under the guise of a beach access road.
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