KBUU NEWS Thursday March 30 – Snack Shack Steamrolls Through Council – Secret Plan Under Works To Save Escondido Canyon From MRCA – 101 Cougar Bridge Makes Progress

Written by on March 30, 2023


Snack Shack Steamrolls Through Council, Staff Questioned On Why This Is Even An Issue

Malibu’s Little League snack shack steamrolled through the city council Monday  night.

The question was not whether there 35-year-old institution should be replaced.

https://www.radiomalibu.net/wp-admin/edit.php?post_type=radiochannelThe question is how fast … both for a temporary trailer … and a permanent restroom and snack bar facility.

Last night … the city council approved tearing out the existing rusted and decrepit shipping container …. that served as a snack shack. 

Two kids … Gracelyn and Emmy … laid down the line.


“We just want to say that we want to keep the snack shack because it is fun and it is our favorite part of Little League. We like more than just… more food than just candy.”

A parent … Alicia Peak … got almost 500 names on a petition last weekend … to spurt the city council into action.


“We’ve been talking about this since last June and we are still in the exact same place that we were in June. So please do something and do something tonight.

“My children are six and eight, because if we continue at this speed, they will be lucky if their kids can have a.snack shack one day.”

A voter … Howard Grudzke … 


“if we can’t do this we look like idiots, we can’t do anything.”

Another voter … Ted Vaill … 


“The temporary skate park has taken over 20 years! Just do some thing.

‘The Malibu Film Society … where is it? It’s in Agoura.  Why isn’t it here?  Do something!!

The problem stems back to a top city  bureaucrat’s interpretation of the zoning code.   The code is now being interpreted by the planning director, Richard Mollica, as to prohibit the upgrading of the snack shack.

The county Health Department wants sinks and faucets … Mollica calls that an “intensification of use.”
But it doesn’t;’t say that anywhere fun the city zoning codes … and Mollica just as easily could call it bringing an existing non-compliant use into compliance with health codes.

It turns out … a check of records showed that the Coastal Commission approved the snack shack … at its present location … in the 1980s.

Actually … it approved it twice.

Problem was … the city planning director says they dod not approve the snack shack with a water and sewer connection … which is now required  by the county health department 

But that is Richard Mollica’s interpretation … as he said Monday night..


“You can’t intensify a use, so if it were to be remodeled it essentially would need to go back to a structure that was something that didn’t have water and didn’t have a sewer connection.

“I’m not 100% certain about the status of an electrical ever having a legal electrical connection.  That obviously is not such a legal issue … that is something we could do

“For the water and sewer, that would definitely be intensification because as originally permitted there it does not appear that it was ever intended to really be a cooking facility was more of a vending or selling of prepackaged (food facility).”

Problem is … nowhere does it say that in the city’s zoning codes or politics.   And Monday night … the city council gently told Mollica that his policy interpretation was wrong.

Mayor Bruce Silverstein Monday night instructed the planning department to change its interpretation.


“Bring back a proposed interpretation … that the creation … the construction of a permanent facility …that has restrooms and food service capacity … with water and sewer … is not a refreshment stand ice cream stand or other fixed location outdoor food vending stand.

“I think that this is a natural part of a recreation facility … especially for a city at its ball parks.”

So the city council voted to clear the old sheds … spend up to 100 thousand dollars on a cool-looking airstream trailer that can be used as a temporary snack shack … and deal with the coastal commission. 

This may set a precedent for the Malibu film society … another Malibu cultural institution that has also run afoul of a narrow interpretation by the city planning director. 

The film society has been arguing that showing its movies at chuches should be legal … as it could be interpreted that showing movies at a church is also a reasonable policy decision .

Top Secret Plan To Challenge MRCA In Ramirez Canyon May Be In The Works

There may be a top secret plan at Malibu City Hall … to possibly put an end to the MRCA’s park expansion plans in Escondido Canyon.

Tucked away in Monday’s city council agenda was the revelation that the city is in secret talks to buy two vacant lots up the north end of the canyon. The city council revealed that the properties are being negotiated for city purchase.

If the city were to own that land … it might erect fences on it … thwarting the efforts by the MRCA … the Mountain Resource Conservation Authority. … to turn the canyon into a park accessed via private driveways.

A little background here.

The MRCA wants additional trailheads in the foothills above Paradise Cove.

The MRCA has been buying up vacant lots high up in the hills … accessible only by several series of linked private driveways … utilizing easements across private parties’ land.

They’ve already done this on Winding Way … 

They’re trying to do this on Murphy Way … and in Escondido Canyon.

There .. several residents are facing enormous fines from the MRCA … the residents say they are defending their private property.

The MRCA says the homeowners are unlawfully blocking public access … in this case … the series of private driveways with public land up at the top of the canyon. 

But .. conjecture here … what if the land next door to the MRCA trailhead were owned bay the City of Malibu.  And what if the city refused to allow people to cross those lots … which are very steep and in fire country???

That may be is happening in Escondido Canyon.  The city council appears to be in secret talks to buy two vacant lots up Escondidoo Canyon … above the county’s proposed trail head.

No action was taken Monday night.

Stay tuned. 


101 Wildlife Bridge Making Progress, As Outreach Meeting Planned In 3 Weeks

Wildlife monitoring cameras have been set up to keep an eye on the 100 million dollar wildlife bridge being built over the 101 Freeway in Calabasas.

The Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing bridge is being built to give mountain lions a path in and out of the Malibu area.  And 10 months into the construction project… columns are up in the middle of the freeway …. and walls are being built. 

Soon … the real heavy work will begin … as the 101 will be closed for several overnight periods to allow cranes to place heavy steel beams across the freeway. 

The first phase is a $23 million contract to build the bridge over the freeway.  A second stage will extend the crossing over the adjacent Agoura Road.

The major bridges and tunnels are on schedule … and are estimated to finish in late 2025.  But moving dirt around and planting trees over the freeway will take a little longer.

In the next few weeks … overnight freeway closures will make things a little tight on the 101.  Traffic will be detoured on little bitty Agoura Road … the old US 101 now used as a a neighborhood frontage road. 

Caltrans and the cougar people will hold an informal open house to answer questions and provide updates … coming in two weeks on a Sunday afternoon … at the Adobe Cantina.

April 16th … 2 to 4 … we’ll remind you. 

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