U2 guitarist David Evans, known as the Edge, has agreed to postpone a California Coastal Commission hearing on his proposal to build five contemporary houses on a hill above Malibu.

The project would entail building five large residences in Serra Canyon in an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County.

At the commission's hearing this month in Eureka, commissioners discussed the fact that furloughs and other staffing issues have affected their ability to quickly screen applications, such as the one filed by Evans.

There had been published reports in Britain that the Irish guitarist's partner in the venture had put his plot up for sale. Steve Cahn, a spokesman on the project, said none of the five plots is for sale and that Evans plans to live in the development when it is completed.

Some Malibu residents fret that the project would damage an environmentally sensitive area because it would require extending a road on rugged slopes where slides have occurred, running a water line under challenging terrain and grading tens of thousands of cubic yards of earth.

But Evans contends that he plans a development that is environmentally sensitive.

-- Martha Groves

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