Councilmember Traci Parks Planning and Transportation Deputy Jeff Khau said at the November 15 hearing about the Tramonto Slide that “The Councilwoman was satisfied that all the neighbor’s concerns had been addressed.”
One resident wrote “That was a polite way of saying he was blowing smoke. The more than 70 residents who voiced opposition because of safety/landslide concerns clearly didn’t have their concerns addressed.”
One wrote, “I am horrified that the City cannot see the glaring flaws in this proposed development.” Another resident was unclear how building four mega mansions on a landslide would stabilize the hill.
Another resident sent CTN a copy of a November 20 Palisades News story (“Housing Development Aims to Stabilize Tramonto Drive Landslide”) and wrote “if you have time, there’s a paid advertisement about the Tramonto Landslide mega-house issue in Castellammare masquerading as a piece of journalism in the Palisades News.
“I would call it sloppy journalism, but it’s not journalism because the so-called reporter never even got so much as a quote from the Castellammare homeowners and the two others who filed appeals,” the resident said and added, “That hearing room was overflowing with those opposed to the project.”
The resident continued, “And what photo did the Palisades News use? It certainly does not look like the stretch between Gladstones and the Getty Villa, which is where the Castellammare project above it would be. Currently, there are no houses along the beach as that photo shows. Is that a photo of Malibu?”
Yes, the Getty Images photo used by the News was of Malibu.
CTN reached out to the Councilwoman’s office to see if the office had indeed paid for an ad, since the story revolved solely around comments by Traci Park’s Planning and Transportation Deputy Jeff Khau. The answer was “our office was not involved with the publishing of the article.”
In that story, Khau said that Park’s office “was initially unsure of its support due to their large size, possibly making them unstable. However, experts assured the project would still stabilize the slope’s bedrock by using caissons; a concrete, wood or steel element in a structure’s deep foundation used for dewatering.
“Khau says other concerns related to the project were sufficiently addressed, such as repaving sidewalks, improving railings and creating a roundabout, along with the developer providing regular updates to assure an expedient timeline for construction and assuring workers and equipment wouldn’t block local roadways.”
At a November 15 planning meeting, despite community-wide protests, Demos Development and Crest Real Estate received City approval to build four large homes below Tramonto Drive; the largest of which would be a 9,051-square foot structure featuring a 5,887-square foot basement, two retaining walls and a spa. The streets where the homes are proposed, slid away decades ago and will need to be rebuilt, including construction access to the nonexistent streets.
After this editor shared concerns from residents, Park told CTN on November 28 “Public safety is always my top priority. Any proposed development will require remediation of the hillside including stabilization and compliance with environmental requirements. Projects that are approved must adhere to hillside stability provisions and obtain clearances from key City agencies.”
Park, who had not been to Tramonto, told CTN that she is making plans to go to the site to see residents’ concerns for herself.