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Sunset Mesa Neighborhood
Sunset Mesa homes were built during 1962-1965, a neighborhood above and west of the site of the Getty Villa, and the most easterly neighborhood with a Malibu address and schools. The area was originally developed as two subdivisions -- Sunset Mesa and Pacific Riviera -- but over time the two merged into the one Sunset Mesa identity. The total is about 500 single family homes and 53 condos.
This area is a mixture of single family homes on suburban tract streets contrasted with condo dwellings sited on hillsides to maximize their view of the ocean. Property here is controlled by deed restrictions (CC&Rs) that protect ocean views and limit the size of homes. Trees are trimmed to avoid impacting anyone's views and utility lines are underground, contributing to an open and unobstructed community feeling. The original homes were built to a few builder's designs, but over the years many have been remodeled and upgraded so the area looks less like a homogenized subdivision that it used to.
The neighborhood lies on a hillside that slopes upward from Pacific Coast Highway, creating many lots with stunning ocean views. However, not all homes have ocean views putting a premium on the ones that do.
With no through streets and no shopping, this pleasant, quiet neighborhood is marred only by the necessity to deal with PCH for all coming and going, through the single intersection at Coastline Drive, an intersection shared with the Getty Villa. When the Gerry Villa opened in 1974, Sunset Mesa Home Owners Assn. filed suit over the traffic and parking problems, resulting in a reserved parking system imposed by a court settlement. During summer beach days or when there is a big event at the Getty Villa, traffic along PCH can be intense.
A landslide or traffic accident that impacts PCH can add hours to commuting time since there is no alternative route. After heavy rains in December 2004, a significant cliff collapse at the western edge of Sunset Mesa, near Topanga Canyon Blvd., caused the closure of several lanes of PCH and massive traffic jams with 90 minute delays for months. Some Sunset Mesa homeowners refused to cooperate with CalTrans workers to facilitate removal of dangerous rock and dirt left hanging over the highway after the slide. This was not completely resolved until early 2006.
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