Coastal Investigating Legality Of B And B Rules; City Now Says It Did Not Mean To Urge Malibu Support For Malibu Ordinance

Written by on September 9, 2021

Malibu’s new ordinance on short term rental units may be in trouble at the California Coastal Commission.

The commission’s regional director said yesterday that his office was not aware that Malibu has started enforcing its interim ordinance.

And Steve Hudson says Coastal will investigate if the Malibu interim ordinance is lawful.

Two people complained at the Coastal Commission meeting yesterday … that the city’s temporary short term rental ordinance has prevented them from renting out condos to beachgoers. They said the city is illegally reducing low cost beach access by limiting condo rentals to one unit per building.

Those complaints got shut down by commissioners … but not on their merits …. instead … for a bureaucratic reason.

The hearing yesterday at Coastal was supposed to be only about extending the review period for a different ordinance … the city’s permanent ordinance on B and Bs.

But commission staff used that opening to say … the temporary ordinance was news to them … and they’re not sure it’s legal.

Coastal area director Steve Hudson:


This is an extremely complex LCP amendment that’s addressing short term rentals … as you heard from some of the speakers … very controversial.

What they were concerned about is that they are asserting the City of Malibu is already implementing a ban on short term rentals.

Uh, that’s news to us.. we learned about that last night.

Our staff will look into that and coordinate with the city … to learn what the city is actually doing.”

What the city is actually doing is enforcing a temporary ordinance that is hated by Air B and B and other vacation rental companies.

It has reduced the number of condo units in Malibu that can be rented out as overnight stays.

It is temporary because the city thinks it can get away with that … while the permanent ordinance is reviewed by Coastal.

That may be not lawful.

And now .. to add to that little bureaucratic kerfluffle the city is walking back its apparent support of its own short term rental ordinance.

Remember … the city has sent its permanent ordinance to Coastal for approval.

Two days ago … the city called on Malibu residents to phone in to the Coastal Commission meeting to state their opinions on the matter.

It might be logical to assume that meant a call to speak out on favor of the city’s preferred plan … the plan they sent top Coastal for approval.

Logical … but now the city says… that’s not what the city meant.

Turns out … the city only wanted residents to speak up on the timing of the coastal commission review of the ordinance.

They want a correction … and say the city’s recommendation that residents call the coastal Commission to givbe their opinion … shoul be considered a request that residents speak in favor of the city’s own proposal.

So … any inference that the city is supporting its own ordinance … and asked residents to back that … well … was not what the city really wanted to say. 

All we can figure out is that the city council is divided on whether to support its own proposed ordinance … now before the Coastal Commission.

Confused yet?

Bottom line … the temporary Malibu B and B ordinance is getting a surprise review by Coastal enforcement … the permanent Malibu B and B ordinance is in a holding pattern at Coastal … and the city is publicly urging Malibu people to tell Coastal their opinion … but not necessarily support what the city publicly supports. 

Clear as mud.


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