Saving Malibu from the stars
1st February, 2004
Barbara Streisand prides herself on being a movie star with an environmental conscience. So why did she take one man to court over his efforts to protect the California coastline?
‘Welcome to Malibu… [with its] rural and friendly atmosphere as if time stood still.’ So it says on a California property developer’s website. Cruising down the US’s Pacific Coast Highway on a balmy February day, it’s easy to focus only on Malibu’s wildflowered hills or the sparkling Pacific. But like so many coastal locales in the Golden State, this once pristine splendour is being eroded by rich and powerful individuals who view the natural world as theirs for the taking.
Jerry Perenchio is the chairman of Univision, the leading Spanish-language TV network in the US. This vastly wealthy Malibu resident is accused of illegally building a golf course on his property and then denying doing so to the local authorities in case they discovered the toxic pesticide run-off from the course spewing into a nearby lagoon.
Marcia Hanscom, the director of the Malibu-based conservation organisation the Wetlands Action Network, says the story of Perenchio’s golf course began over 20 years ago. When the project was in the design phase the billionaire media mogul informed the regulator responsible, the California Coastal Commission (CCC) that he had been told by doctors to build...
To view the rest of this article - you must be a paying subscriber and Login
Using this website means you agree to us using simple cookies.