The LA Weekly reports that U2’s guitarist David Evans, better known as the Edge to legions of fans, has upset his neighbors with his plans to level a mountain in the Coral and Latigo canyon areas of the Malibu hills and build five homes on nearly 1,000 acres of land. The issue is partly aesthetic—area residents don’t want to lose their sweeping views of the coast—and partly related to the integrity of the land—they fear that the Edge’s development plans will create erosion and runoff problems, as well as endanger area wildlife.
According to the article, the Edge also created tension through his displacement of the Malibu Mountain Archery Club, an institution since 1938 that had served as an Olympic site and set for countless movies. When the Edge purchased land in November 2006, the club was forced to shutter.
Although the Edge has been granted full legal permits, other opponents of the project are bristling because they feel the Edge’s actions run counter to U2s’s ethic of social activism and altruism, as well as display poor citizenship on his part. Says resident Jim Smith, “When I expressed my concerns about the development, [the Edge] told me he was sympathetic to my concerns, though he’s done nothing. He’s not walking the walk of an environmentalist.”