KBUU NEWS Wed Sept 28 – City Manager Promises Changes After Planning Staff Botches Report – Major Details Withheld From City Council – MHS Rezoning (Finally) Passes – More Opposition To Santa Monica Bond Issue – Harassment From Homeless At Legacy Park Reported – Mountain Lion Bites Kid – OC and SD Beaches Get Sand Replenishment, But Not Malibu
Written by 991KBU on September 28, 2022
=. Two city council members are furious that city staff did not tell them the whole story.
=. Major facts are left out of a staff report … about a troublesome oceanfront house proposal.
=. It took more than three months for the city council to decide to approve the urgent Malibu High rezoning plan.
=. Homeless people are harassing people at Legacy Park and vandalizing a nearby business.
=. A mountain lion bites a kid on his butt in Santa Clarita.
=. And the state is rushing to approve a sand replenishment project at a beach that washed away in Orange County … but each preservation projects are not allowed in Malibu.
City Manager Promises Changes After Planning Staff Botches Report
A burst of anger from several Malibu city council members last night … over a city Planning Department staff report that made major errors and failed to explain why Planning Commission members had rejected a proposed oceanfront house.
The trigger point last night was a proposed oceanfront house at the city’s eastern edge … wedged between PCH and the ocean.
Last year … the Planning Commission had looked at the proposal and unanimously voted against it … saying the proposal violated several coastal setback rules.
The applicant made some changes and appealed … but that’s not the problem.
The problem … as city council members saw it … was that the city Planning Department staff glossed over or outright ignored the several important reasons .. expressed by the Planning Commission … why the project was a no go.
Bruce Silverstein and Steve Uhring were really really unhappy with city staff.
But the other council members also voted against it.
Uhring wanted to know why the city Planning Department staff failed to explain the reasons why the Planning Commission had rejected the proposed house..
NEWSCART A73629 UHRING REJECT
“Every time … every staff report … I’ve read had recommendations for approval. At the same time the Planning Commission has robustly rejected that, right? 4-0, 5-1.
“And the rejection has also been met or agreed to by the residents who live on the beach. Why is there a such a gap between what you guys are recommending and what the planning commission and the residence think it’s the right thing to do???”
Silverstein said the city Planning staff was deceptive to the city council … and submitted a report that was jaded and biased in favor of the applicant.
NEWSCART A73637 BS HAM SANDWICH
“When the Planning Commission makes a discretionary determination to deny a variance, or other discretionary matter, I think it’s bizarre and wrong for the Planning Department to then come back and tell us we should approve the thing that the Planning Commission had determined in its discretion was inappropriate.
“Especially this planning commission, as others have noted.
“This planning commission typically approves a ham sandwich”.
Silverstein said the Planning Department’s report on the proposed house was so biased in favor of the applicant … that it failed to even report why the Planning Commission had rejected it.
All five city council members voted against the house on the beach … killing it for at least a year.
Afterwards … city manager Steve McClary he got the message loud and clear
NEWSCART A73630 MCCLARY
“The comments that were made from all of you regarding the process concerns, the information in the reports and the staff recommendations … I heard you.
“It did not fall on deaf ears. We will work to address that.”
Steve McClary also said that the city planning department staff was not ignoring fire rebuilding projects while staff time was devoted to the beachfront house application.
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Delayed High School Rezoning Plan OK’d By Council, As Inflation East Away At Budget
Malibu High School’s rezoning was approved but the Malibu City Council on a 4-1 vote.
The decision came three months after the school district said there was an urgent need to get the rezone approved quickly.
The delay may have cost taxpayers more than three million dollars in purchasing power … and it’s not clear if there was a sloppy application or too much delay in city hall.
Probably some of both.
Bruce Silverstein was the lone opposition vote.
He again said he is opposed to granting approvals years in advance of getting actual proposals.
Steve Uhring switched his last vote from no to yes … he said he wasn’t much happy either.
State environmental law requires a project to be discussed in its entirety … when an environmental study is being done.
The high school rezoning now heads to the Coastal Commission .,.. to see if it complies with state Coastal Law.
That process might take months and months … at a time that inflation is eating away at the project’s funding.
School district officials say the next step is putting up story poles … to show the size of the prop[soed top story high school classroom building.
They hope to get planning commission and City Council approval of the plans even before the coastal commission approves the rezoning… Although that Coastal Commission approval has to happen before construction can begin.
One note … some council members have tried to link the high school rezoning to a requirement that the school allow the city to store cars there after they get towed away for parking violations.
But the City Council majority said it was improper to link the tow yard to the zoning issue.
The school districts operation manager… Carey Upton… says the district has always said the tow yard could be relocated to the parking lot on the hill above the football stadium.
NEWSCART A73631 MHS CAREY UPTON SU
UPTON: “We have in the past offered the facility, I mean we have the upper parking lot that would be available.
“The only restrictions that we have is that once school starts in August ,we need the parking lot during the school year.
“But it could still be used during the weekends so it’s available.
STEVE UHRING: “Is there a charge to park up there?
UPTON: “I think we can make something work.”
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Legacy Park Problems Grow, Hit And Run Of Pedestrian At Westward Beach
Summertime crime statistics in Malibu look to be good … as home and vehicle burglaries have decreased.
L A County sheriff’s Lt. Dustin Carr told the Malibu City Council last night that one particular area of concern is Legacy Park … the heavily-landscaped park in Malibu’s civic center.
NEWSCART A73636 LEGACY DUSTIN CARR
“There were several incidents at Legacy Park, particularly vandalism to the animal hospital and her and they were people in the area harassing the staff at the animal hospital. Captain (Jennifer) Seetoo and I did walk through the park ourselves and we didn’t make any negative contacts. However we’ve done a significant increase in Patrol checks there and will continue to do so until this problem resolves.”
The lieutenant said it’s important for people who have a bad encounter with someone to immediately call the sheriffs office.
Carr also said there was a hit and run crash on one controversial part of Westward Beach Road last month.
NEWSCART A73635 WESTWARD DUSTIN CARR
“There was one hit and run vehicle versus pedestrian on Westwood Beach Road. Currently investigators are looking into that however there is very little evidence left at the scene.”
And it is not clear from the crash report if a sidewalk would have prevented the car from hitting the pedestrian.
The Public Safety Commission has been urging that a sidewalk be installed along Westward Beach Road … but some Point Dume residents vociferously objected.
One other controversial land use decision on Point Dume this year was the installation of a temporary tow-away impound lot … next to the post office loading dock … to temporarily store cars that had been blocking fire lanes or other parking problems.
the city manager last night said nearly 300 cars were towed to it this summer.
15 cars were not picked up by the end of each day … and were towed to an impound yard in Thousand Oaks for overnight storage.
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Silverstein Says SMC Malibu Doesn’t Need SMC Bond Issue, Despite Malibu Kids Attending SMC
Another city council member has come out against the Santa Monica College bond issue.
Bruce Silverstein last night said the proposed 350 million dollar construction bond would not benefit Malibu.
NEWSCART A 73632 BOND SILVERSTEIN
“We’re going to be asked to vote to approve taxing ourselves essentially for the benefit of Santa Monica city College.
“And the majority of the benefit, if not all of the benefit, will be outside the City of Malibu. Malibu doesn’t need this money. “Malibu doesn’t need to be taxed for money for outside of Malibu Projects.”.
A few people in Malibu say they disagree with that.
Proponents for the Santa Monica College bond issue point out that the Santa Monica campus has dozens of students who live in Malibu.
And that the bond issue will greatly aid low income students from across the region.
A major part of the bond issue would pay to build housing for low income students … including those who grew up in Malibu.
Or those who work here.
Classrooms and a police station would also be funded at the main campus … down at 17th Street at Pico Boulevard.
But no new bond-funded projects are planned at the brand new Malibu campus … which was funded by a bond issue that passed with a 70 percent yes vote from Malibu in 2006.
Last week … we reported that Malibu education leader Craig Foster had surprised many when he came out against the proposed college bond issue.
Foster told a school committee meeting that he was pretty sure that all five city council members in Malibu would oppose the project.
That rankled one city council member … Steve Uhring.
NEWSCART A73634 BOND UHRING
“I’m not saying I agree with Santa Monica College bond … but I just don’t know enough about it or enough about what he is trying to do to say I am going to jump on board with this plan to try to oppose this bond measure.”
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Mountain Lion Bites Kid 30 Miles North of Malibu
Officials always say that it’s very very rare for a human being to be attacked by a mountain lion. Two days ago… A little boy was bitten by a mountain lion in a park on the western edge of Santa Clarita.
And now State Fish and wildlife ranges are looking for the cat.
The child was going up a stairway at pico Canyon Park… On the western end of Stevenson Ranch… When a mountain lion crept up behind him and bit him on his rear end.
No major injury was reported physically.
State Fish and Wildlife Captain Patrick Foy was interviewed by ABC 7 Eyewitness News.
NEWSCART A73628 PICO BITE CAP PATRICK FOY
“I’ve been around 26 years I think I’ve been involved in eight or nine mountain lion attack investigations. There’s not very many it’s really rare.
“But I can say that in every case where is lion attacks occurred it’s been a park… And they’ve closed the park. It’s our research that the mountain lions have been reasonably in the area where these attacks have occurred.”
It’s not clear if a kill order has been issued for the park … which sits north of Porter Ranch and west of Santa Clarita .
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While Zuma Beach Disappears, Sand Replenishment Is Normal In OC and SD
In news from down the coast … the inequity along California’s disappearing beaches is on full display … once again.
The California Coastal Commission is talking about dredging sand off the coast of southern Orange County … where a disappearing beach has caused a major rail line between San Diego and the outside world to begin to collapse.
It may come as a surprise to many in Malibu that most beaches in San Diego and Orange counties get regular replenishment.
The Army Corps of Engineers … or private contractors … every several years use giant pumps to suck up sand just off the coast… And pump the sand to beaches that have eroded. San Diego … Del Mar … Oceanside … places like that have been getting their beaches replenished for decades.
Mission Beach in San Diego has been replenished four times in the last 40 years.
The LA news outlets are all over the erosion of a beach in Orange County where the Amtrak trains were halted briefly because the coastal rail line began to wiggle.
The beach had washed away… And hundreds of tons of rocks had to be brought into shore up the rail bed where it was laid 150 years ago along the coast.
But Los Angeles county beaches are allowed to erode… at least in Malibu.
Significant erosion at Zuma Beach threatens a recreation area used by more than 10 million people a year.
Next-door at Broad Beach… homeowners have been trying for 10 years to truck in sand from Ventura County to replace the sand that has been washed out … and that now sits just below the surface.
Why do the beaches at San Diego and Orange County get federally subsidized sand replenishment … and heavily used public beaches in Malibu don’t??
No one is asking that question.
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