Controversial Topanga Lagoon Restoration Project June 11 Meeting Will Be Virtual

Topanga State Beach
Photo: Foto: © JCS / Wikimedia Commons / Lizenz: CC-BY-SA-3.0 / GFDL

The California State Parks and Recreation (CDPR) wants comments and suggestions from the public to help plan the restoration of the Topanga Lagoon area, which encompasses 59 acres of Topanga State Park and Topanga Beach located on the coastal slope of the Santa Monica Mountains, west of the intersection of Topanga Canyon Boulevard (TCB) and State Route 1 PCH in unincorporated Los Angeles County.

This would be a multiagency endeavor that seeks to expand the coastal lagoon from less than one acre to between seven and 10 acres with CDPR serving as the lead agency.

The next Public Scoping Meeting will be a virtual meeting starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 11. (visit:

The northern portion of the lagoon area is owned by the CDPR as part of Topanga State Park. It includes remnants of the historic Topanga Ranch Motel and associated beach parking.

Visitor services include a parking lot and restroom along with several active businesses located along PCH that are State Park concessions including Cholada; Wylie’s Bait and Tackle; Rosenthal’s Wine Bar and Patio; Topanga Ranch Motel; Reel Inn; Oasis Imports; and Malibu Feed Bin.

The PCH bridge owned by California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) bisects the lagoon and constrains the size of its mouth and channel. The lifeguard tower, beach, restrooms, and parking areas south of PCH are managed by Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors (DBH) and are currently experiencing impacts from coastal erosion and storm surges.

To read about the four proposals, which include 1) no improvements; 2) maximum lagoon habitat size increase, that would remove the motel and all businesses; 3) habitat expansion, but the motel and one existing concession (food) would remain; and 4) part of the motel remains, the other businesses are removed. (to read complete details, visit:

Circling the News ran a story in March 2020…toration-project/ about the project.

The Topanga Motel could be considered for historic status and would remain under three of the four Topanga Lagoon restoration proposals.
Photo: Marissa Pianko

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