Drastic Miscalculation On Community Character: 3 Apologies, 1 Vow To Go Ahead, and 1 Told Us So

Written by on July 10, 2019

One day after an anti-mansionization effort went down in flames at Malibu City Hall … the question remains … what happened to the slow growth movement that started this in the first place??

Three members of the Malibu city council fell on their swords Monday night … reversing their earlier votes in favor of the effort to trim back the size of new houses … to prevent mansions from overtaking modest residential neighborhoods.

Their move to reconfigure TD SF calculations … that stands for a Total Development Square Footage … was killed Monday night.

Instead … the city council is asking its staff to come up with incentives for safer, smaller, lower impact homes to move to the front of the line at the Planning Department.

City Council member Karen Farrer had been the only vote against the TDSF  ordinance in the first place.

She said the proposed ordinance would have made it even more expensive to build a house in Malibu.


“I fear we will become a city where only the super rich cannot afford to build, because only they can afford to spend three years and a quarter a million dollars or more before a shovel hits the ground.”

Karen Farrer and three other city council members voted with her to kill the TD SF ordinance.

And as the meeting stretched past midnight … they were contrite.

Skyler Peak.


“It’s no question that some element of the process is broken, and this was a failed attempt to fix it.

“So that’s a little bit frustrating, because it was I think well-intentioned by everyone who voted for it, to see how we could give more clarity to everyone.

“I think that was the goal.

“And I think this was not the way to go about it, so I have no problem saying that.

“I wish I could’ve said it before the planning commission meeting, because it cost a lot of people a lot of agony.

“So I apologize.”

Mikke Pierson read from a six-minute-long prepared apology.


“It is ill conceived and ill-timed, and it should not have come before us now are as drafted.

“And I want to apologize to all of you for my part of this in in this ending up in front of us.

“I failed to see that what I hoped would be a community discussion on the subjects of mansions Asian and community character would turn into this.”

And Rick Mullen.


“Uhhhh clearly the people have spoken.

“And this was a bit of a bridge too far…”

But not joining the apology train was Malibu Mayor Jefferson Wagner.

He reminded his colleagues that anti-growth voters swamped the last two city elections …


“I will be defending the people who have brought all this issues forward to us, who voted for myself and my slate that I ran with, who said we needed to do something about the size of homes in small areas in small neighborhoods.”

If there was a political mandate to reduce the size of new houses in Malibu … that mandate has been nowhere to be seen recently.

Realtors ….  land development interests … and homeowners with ideas of someday cashing out on their property … they packed City Hall to oppose the measure.

Either the political winds have drastically shifted in Malibu … or they weren’t that strong to begin with.

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