Zoom Meeting for Controversial Topanga Lagoon Restoration Project 

The Topanga Motel, which is closed, could be restored or  considered for historic status.
Photo: Marissa Pianko

California State Parks and the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains are seeking public input and suggestions to help plan the restoration of the Topanga Lagoon area. A virtual meeting will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 27. Registration is required: Click here.

Circling the News ran a story in March 2020 (https://www.circlingthenews.com/phase-i-begins-f…toration-project/)about the 1,659-acre project at the corner of Pacific Coast Highway and Topanga Canyon Road. The land is owned by State Parks.

Back then, community members and representatives from over a dozen agencies had gathered on February 29 in Santa Monica to begin planning for the site, which currently includes the Malibu Feed Bin, the Reel Inn, Rosenthal Wines and the abandoned Topanga Ranch Motel.

From that meeting, four project alternatives were developed based on previous public and agency input and will be discussed this coming Saturday. Participants will have an opportunity to help refine ideas for visitor services and recreational elements that include:

  1. Restore Topanga Lagoon without impacting the surf break.
  2. Provide a natural gateway into Topanga State Park with minimal built structures.
  3. Provide overnight accommodations (including evaluating opportunities for restoring Topanga Ranch Motel) and appropriate concessions.
  4. Develop interpretive and educational elements for visitors.

The Phase 1 Topanga Lagoon Restoration Planning effort is funded by Proposition 12 and will be administered by the California Coastal Commission and the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission. This meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to share ideas and provide suggestions.

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One Response to Zoom Meeting for Controversial Topanga Lagoon Restoration Project 

  1. Kris Breuer says:

    I grew up just below the Topanga Ranch Motel. I could see it from my back door. Our acre of land pushed up against Topanga Creek. It supported an amazing vegetable garden, climbing roses, orange and apricot trees and a swath of grasses, perennials and wild flowers. For a young, child it was heaven. I wandered the creek in the summer and walked to the beach to swim and play. I certainly didn’t mind sharing that with others. My dad was generous to a fault. He offered access to Topanga Beach when there was no access. Young families and surfers knew they could get to the beach for a day of fun and relaxation through our yard.

    When I dream, I frequently dream of this place. In an effort to “return the land to its natural state” the Costal Commission leveled and removed everything that got in the way of that goal. Looking at the area on google maps, it resembles the surface of the moon with three concrete picnic tables meant to replace the above. It’s a scandal! I know that fire and flooding that have impacted the area but I don’t think that’s the whole story. The day my father left our place, everything was intact and much improved from the way he found it. I don’t think the State of California can say the same about the place now. Please attempt to rectify the situation.

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