U2's The Edge: Malibu's Least Wanted

Guitarist taking heat from neighbors for proposed development in celeb-heavy community

By Josh Grossberg Apr 17, 2009 2:47 PMTags
The edgeJoe Kohen/Getty Images

You might say The Edge is having boundary issues.

The U2 guitarist's plans to build five mountaintop mansions in Malibu with fantastic oceanside views is facing fierce opposition from some famous NIMBYs concerned the homes will be an environmental catastrophe.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the proposed project would be built above homes belonging to the likes of Dick Van Dyke, Kelsey Grammer and James Cameron and would require some extensive and tricky engineering, including extension of a road down a rugged elevation, grading 70,000 cubic yards of hillside and installing water lines.

"The downside of this is a permanently scarred mountainside for the benefit of a very few that for many years all will view," Jefferson Wagner, a Malibu councilman, told the newspaper. "For somebody so revered even to be orchestrating this type of development in such a sensitive area is hypocritical."

The Edge, whose real name is David Evans, promises development on the properties will address those concerns with care.

"My family and I love Malibu, having maintained a residence here for more than a decade," he told the Times. "These homes will be some of the most environmentally sensitive ever designed in Malibu—or anywhere in the world. I'm disappointed that certain critics either don't have the facts or have ulterior motives."

The Grammy-winning Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has "certificates of compliance" from Los Angeles County establishing that the land he owns meets all legal requirements.

Edge added that he and Irish real estate investor Derek Quinlan plan to take up residence in two of the homes and most likely flip the other three, which has rankled some neighbors whose peace and quiet will be rattled by all the building.

The California Coastal Commission is expected to review the environmental impact of the project in June.

This is not the first fight Evans has found himself in with neighbors.

He and the rest of U2 came under fire in their hometown of Dublin for now defunct plans to build the so-called U2 Tower, a proposed skyscraper in the heart of the city that would've been the tallest in Ireland. Preservationists claimed the $220 million project would have resulted in the tearing down of four adjacent historic buildings.