U2's The Edge Will Litter the Malibu Coastline With Mega-Mansions

By Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan on at

First they came for your iTunes. Now they're coming for your pristine coastlines. The LA Times reports that The Edge's long-embattled plan to bank-roll the building of five mansions along the Malibu coast has been given support by the environmental commission that once vehemently opposed it.

The Edge, née David Evans, wants to develop a "colony" of five mansions along a stretch of Malibu coastline called Leaves In the Wind, the website for which has been taken offline. They'll be named things like "Clouds Rest" and "Shell House," and you can see renderings of the projects from 2010 above. Here's a basic chronology of how this all came to be:

  • The plan emerged back in 2009, when Evans and his associates submitted applications for five different homes under unique names—a ploy to make the colony seem like individual home applications.
  • In applying for permission, he roused locals' suspicions about the project. Residents and advocates quickly protested the idea, both because it would cause a potential "environmental disaster" and because, frankly, it would interrupt other rich peoples' views. The California Coastal Commission rejected the plan in 2011, partially because of the way the Edge proposed it.
  • But after to a $1 million donation by the Edge, other conservancy groups eventually got on board: He paid the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy to reverse its position and be "neutral" on the project, according to Curbed, which also reports that the Edge has a team of lobbyists who spent 2012 working on a "pro-development, anti-environment state bill."
  • Finally, this week, the California Coastal Commission announced it had come to an agreement with the Edge—one that involves smaller footprints and less environmental damage—and recommended the project be approved.

Hopefully the updated plans, which you can see here, will take sustainability more seriously. Because the original design really didn't. The kitschy original pitch video for the project below describes how sustainable these houses will be: for one thing, there'll be natural daylighting, also known as windows. Oh, and the lighting will be "high efficiency." Some solar panels will heat some of the water!

This is some pretty heavy-handed greenwashing—a roof that looks like green leaves and a lot of windows do not a "sustainable" building make. [Curbed; LA Times]