Getting Around Malibu: Winding Way

March 2003 satellite image of the Winding Way neighborhood.  PCH cuts across, about 1/4 of the way up, separating Winding Way from Paradise Cove and Escondido BeachCopyright
March 2003 satellite image of the Winding Way neighborhood. PCH cuts across, about 1/4 of the way up, separating Winding Way from Paradise Cove and Escondido Beach.

Winding Way Neighborhood

This area offers estates with acreage and ocean views, many of them being new homes. The area defined by Winding Way and De Butts Terrace north from Pacific Coast Highway to the Escondido Falls is a community of about 100 properties which are accessed by these private roads. The majority of parcels are two to five acres in size, although parcels range from one-third to over 100 acres.

Lack of a county water supply had been a major obstacle to development in the area, and most of the parcels were undeveloped. When in recent years a water improvement district was formed, the property owners were assessed and a new water line and road improvements were accomplished. A five foot equestrian easement was dedicated alongside the road as a Coastal Commission condition of these improvements.

Much new construction took place, and consequently the homes are newer, larger, and taller (exceeding current standards) than those that exist in most communities, reflecting a change in the undeveloped character of the neighborhood.

The topography is that of rolling hills that provide an opportunity for unmatched ocean and coastline views. Although the feeling is rural, most homes are no longer oriented toward equestrian uses. Property values are higher than average for the land side communities of Malibu.

The roads are private, though not gated, which is cdnsistent with the quiet residential character that the community has traditionally enjoyed. However, with the acquisition of approximately 30 acres of land by the Conservancy (prior to 1995) has come the unlimited public access for hikers, bikers, campers and gangs. Security and liability have become a problem and the fire danger has increased. Recreationists and tourists park along the equestrian trail.

Two waterfalls exist in the upper region of Escondido Canyon which are accessible by hiking or horseback along trails through private property. There is conflict among the various types of users as to the impact on the sensitivity of this area as well as the residential character.

Of utmost importance to the continuance of the historic community character is the ability of the residents to control this recent increase in public access so that the integrity of the residential lifestyle can remain intact. The residents are adamantly opposed to the acquisition of any more property in the area by the Conservancy because of these problems and the increased public use of the area which is considered sensitive in nature, and which cannot support this increased level of use.

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

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