Officials with the city of Malibu and the county of Los Angeles have clashed over who can best manage an 11-acre stretch of beachfront property known as Dan Blocker County Beach. Council members like Jefferson Wagner contend the county has been too slow in advancing much-needed improvements; for instance, there is no path to gain easy (and safe) access down to the waterfront, a parking lot, or restrooms. The county has owned the land for 16 years and has managed it for even longer.
The lack of public accommodations has been the case for decades, despite the fact the state provided a $700,000 grant and the county has also spent a hefty chunk of change developing plans that have yet to materialize into much progress. Nevertheless, beach-goers still frequently visit the stretch of prime beach by working around its inaccessibility.
Councilman Wagner has asked for action from the county for years, which led him to argue for the property to change hands. The LA Times reports that Wagner stated, “The public deserves access to their property. Truly, opening that beach is the right thing to do. Whether it is the city, county or state, it should be opened. It should be staffed and manned."
So what does the county think of the city’s proposal to take over the beach’s management? A spokesman for Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky bluntly stated, “It's not going to be a city beach.”
The county has reported that it does have plans to develop the prime beach area and the issue will go before the Board of Supervisors by mid-2012. The Times notes that the plan is as follows: “$4.8-million proposal to build 15 parking spots, a walkway, benches, drinking fountains and restrooms on two acres of bluff-top.”