Point Dume replacement stairs hit roadblock

MALIBU, Calif. (KABC) -- A plan to replace the failing staircase leading down to the Point Dume beaches in Malibu may be facing delays because of its nearby parking lot.

The stairs have been closed for safety reasons, forcing many people to work their way down the steep cliff side to get to the cherished surfing spot.

The California State Parks' project to replace the stairs, which is slated to cost $2.9 million, has been in the works since 2015. The stairs could be built and open in about a year.

But the actual stairs aren't the problem - it's a small parking lot near the stairs. The folks who live in the area want a gate installed to limit the off-hours access.

Neighboring residents also want alligator spikes added to the parking lot near the stairs.

The neighbors have agreed to pay for the parking barriers, which they say would help cut down late night partying on the beach.

Once the sun goes down and the parking lot and beach officially close, loud beachgoers start to show up, says land use consultant Donald Schmitz.

"More carloads come, the ice chests come out, the folks go down to the beach at nighttime when they're not supposed to be down there," says Schmitz, who represents the homeowner group Friends of Point Dume. "It's a real nuisance for the people who live here."

Malibu Mayor Jefferson Wagner also supports the installation of the gate and one-way tire-puncturing spikes.

"As everybody in town says, we want the stairs, but we just don't want the parking. That parking is the key," says Mayor Wagner. "You have to close it at night so people don't take advantage of it."

The Malibu City Council is expected to weigh in next week.
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