Malibu Says It Removed Lechuza Beach Signs Because They Were Illegal

MALIBU, CA — After the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority took to social media to blast Malibu officials for removing beach public access signs, city officials have responded – saying they took down the signs because they were illegal.

The dustup was first publicly aired on Friday, when the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority — the public agency that owns Lechuza Beach — posted a video to social media featuring a staffer discussing the city’s removal of the signs.

“It can be very difficult to find the public access down to this hidden beach,” the staffer says in the video. “With the summer head ramping up, we wanted to provide this public service. But the city of Malibu chose to cut these signs down and confiscate them.”

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The signs in question are familiar to Californians: brown signs with white text that directs people to a coastal access point, in this case paths from Broad Beach Road down to Lechuza Beach.

Malibu officials say they took the signs down because they were illegal.

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The MRCA installed the three signs in August 2022 without the necessary city encroachment permit “needed to ensure that signs are placed in a safe location using standardized equipment,” a statement from the city reads.

Additionally, city officials say the sign did not have posts designs to break away when struck be vehicle, which is required under state and federal law.

The city statement says that city staff notified the MRCA the signs were unpermitted and offered assistance to the agency to get the required permits, but the agency did not request them. The MRCA wrote in an email on June 21 that its staff would remove the signs the next day; but the signs were not removed.

The city removed the signs on June 26.

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