Getting Around Malibu: Paradise Cove Mobile Homes

March 2003 satellite image of the Paradise Cove Mobile Home park, along Paradise Cove Road from PCH leading to the pier.
March 2003 satellite image of the Paradise Cove Mobile Home park, along Paradise Cove Road from PCH leading to the pier.

Paradise Cove Mobile Homes

The Paradise Cove area is in two distinct parts, surrounding the pier area. Paradise Cove's history, geology and neighborhood homes are described on their own page of while this page describes the Mobile Home Park at Paradise Cove.

Mobile homes nestle in the trees and shrubs in the Paradise Cove lower section.
Mobile homes nestle in the trees and shrubs in the Paradise Cove lower section.

The Paradise Cove lower section, in the flood plain of the creek, was built by Frank Wilson and Al Camp, starting with a Club House (Sandcastle restaurant and now the Paradise Cove Beach Cafe) and laundry/restroom building before WW II, but their plans were stalled by the war. They sold to Bill Swanson in 1945 who completed it and opened the trailer park.

The Paradise Cove mobile home park was established as a vacation RV camp with 71 spaces. It remained a rather rustic, sparsely developed area until it was sold to Kissel family in 1964, who continue to operate it as the Paradise Cove Land Company. In the early 1970s the mobile home park was expanded, with the addition of 200 more residences on the higher elevations of the park, bringing the total' number of homes up to the current level of 271. Residential mobile home spaces in the park range in size from 1,000 to 7,000 square feet. The mobile home park contains two laundry facilities that are open on an alternating basis, a small club house, a small RV storage area, a children's swing area, a weathered handball/basketball court, and a lovely tennis court that is maintained by a group of residents.

There is only one open access road into the park which is Paradise Cove Road, from its intersection with Pacific Coast Highway. There is another entry-exit location on Pacific Coast Highway, but it is locked and used only in emergency situations. Travel within the park is by means of small, paved roadways. For emergency vehicle access, there are two unpaved fire roads that are used mainly by residents as footpaths to the beach. There are no sidewalks. The commercial area serving the public has street lights, but the residential section contains few street lights, which enhances viewing of the star-filled evening sky. Even with the added homes, the large expanse of open space, sandy beach, numerous trees and abundant vegetation and wildlife, the rural feeling and rustic character of the park has been maintained.

The public area contains, in addition to residential units, a guard house that is maintained on a 24-hour basis, the popular Paradise Cove (formerly Sand Castle) Restaurant for shoreline dining, a lovely beach and the Paradise Cove Land Company office. The beach is open to visitors for a fee, on a year round daily basis, with no charge to restaurant diners. During the summer months, the beach is crowded with many of the visitors to the Malibu area. The once lovely pier that had a bait shop, snack bar, and fishing boats, was destroyed during the storms in the winter of 1982, and has not been rebuilt. It is, however, open during daylight hours and still used as a location for many movie shoots, as is the rest of the park.

The utilities are varied, with some being above ground and some underground. The older residences in the creekside area are serviced by overhead electrical lines and propane gas. The residences in the upper section of the park are serviced by underground utilities and natural gas. All of the park utilizes septic tanks and leach fields for disposal of wastewater. Due to the increased development of the mobile home park in the 1970s, as well as the construction of scores of condominium units directly across Pacific Coast Highway that sit at a higher elevation and possibly recharge the groundwater, the soils in the park are severely impacted. As such, the park has a variety of septic problems, and is specifically mentioned in the 1992 City of Malibu Wastewater Study as an area requiring further study of its soils and geology. As of early 2006, a new sewage system is under construction to resolve the septic problems.

Sources: Information on this page was adapted from the City of Malibu, General Plan, November 1995

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