KBUU NEWSWIRE TUESDAY: 34 Parcels Have Sand Erosion Or Landslides As More Rain Nears = City Will Ask Supreme Court To Undo Appeals Court Ruling In Favor Of ADUs = MRCA Stomps Feet, Demands City Install Coastal Access Signs For People Who Can’t Find Ocean = Caltrans Move For Safe Streets Is Encouraging, 2 Council Members Say

Written by on February 13, 2024

City Says 34 Malibu Parcels Have Sand Erosion Or Landslides In El Niño Year

34 properties in Malibu area being watched by the city for landslides or sand erosion … in this Elk Nino year. 

And a major winter storm appears to once again be bearing down on Southern California City manager Steve McCarty at last night’s city council meeting:


“We got hit with a quite a storm last week.

“Fortunately we did not encounter any significant issues. 

“We did have some minor issues with flooded roads.

“In addition the city is closely monitoring 34 parcels that have some indications of slope failure, or coastal erosion issues.

“We will be keeping close eyes off on all all those and everything else in the city, as we are anticipating another significant storm arriving this weekend, which could bring us several inches of rain.”

7 inches of rain fell over that big storm two weekends ago at Zujma beach … 10 inches at the malibu Civic Center… and nearly a foot and a half in the mountains. 

Stormy weather is approaching Malibu next week.

The computer models are still all over the place … but it looks like a rather wet system is on the way. 

Rainfall totals in the 2 to 5 inch range are likely from late Sunday thru Wednesday.

The snow level will be above 8000 feet … where snow could be measured in feet.

In the surf … a series of strong Pacific storms will likely drive a large long period southwest swell. 

Waves will peak Saturday through Monday … with 10 to 15 foot surf possible along the Malibu Coast.


MRCA Demands City Install ‘Coastal Access’ Signs For People Who Can’t Find Ocean In Malibu

More threats from the MRCA. 

The Mountains resource Conservation Authority is throwing its weight around  … and surprised city leaders last night by demanding that the city install signs up and down Malibu streets marking beach access places. 

Last night … Mario Sandoval from the MRCA showed up to demand that the city install beach access signs on city streets in the Broad Beach .. Point Dume and Malibu Road neighborhoods.

He claims that the CoastakCommissin ordered the signs to be installed last month … and the MRCA wants to know why the city hasn’t acted.


“The city’s removal of, or refusal to install directional signage is a siubnstanital barrier to local coastal access to the Malibu coastline, and is a violation of the city’s responsibilities under the Local Coastal Program, and the Coastal Act.”

City manager Steve McClary says … that was news to him.


“I have to… I’m just reading the letter for the first time this evening. I did read through it. There are some suggested dates that they wanted to hear back from the city, so we need to take a look at that and get back to them, but I’m not aware of anything… Any statutory deadlines that we missed here.”

Sandoval is still simmering because the city tore out MRCA beach access signs that the MRCA … his employer … posted without permits … on city property. 

The city told MRCA last summer it needed to get city permits to place signs on city property … instead … the MRCA is now demanding that the city do it.

And stomping its feet for not getting attention on its timetable. 

The last time the MRCA’s Mario Sandoval showed up at the Malibu city council; chambers … he tried to give the councilmembers a box full of Malibu Barbie dolls.

That stunt flopped … the guy from the MRCA was left holding his box of dolls.


City Will Ask Supreme Court To Undo Appeals Court Ruling In Favor Of ADUs

The Malibu city council will – without public discussion or explanation – spend tax money to appeal the “Riddick Case” to the state Supreme Court.

This was the unanimous opinion that the state’s ADU law applies to Malibu … preempting the Coastal Commission’s LCP for the city.

Jason Riddick and his family went to court to win permission for a small addition to their home, to build an attached ADU in their backyard.

It’s not known why the city is appealing … or how much the appeal will cost the taxpayers.

State law allows the city council to discuss legal matters in private. 

It does not require a cloak of secrecy, however, when decisions are announced.

City Building Safety and Planning Departments Still Logjammed 1 Year After $900,000 Infusion

Malibu City Hall is hopelessly log jammed  with resident trying to get construction permits … and the million dollars that the city spent last year to chisel away at the backlog of cases has not done so.

But one city councilman says … he’s happy that things move slow.

The charge came from Lester Tobias … an architect who handles many remodeling projects and new construction in the city.


“I’m basically here to tell you that the million dollars you spent last year and the 10 to 13 planners that we hired to flood the zone, to open up the log jam, didn’t work.”

Tobias went on last night to give chapter and verse of several projects that have sat at city hall for a half year or more.


“My client received a letter from the city saying you have to tear down the sunroom. OK application June 8 to demo a sunroom a week ago. It finally went to a supervisor for what is called my first round with you didn’t work.

“My client received a letter from the city saying you have to tear down the sunroom because it was never permitted and we’re like OK will tear it down.

“We submitted the application June 8 to demo a sunroom that the city told us to do. We weren’t fighting anything. A week ago it finally went to a supervisor for what is called my first round review. So I’m telling you this didn’t work.”

Tobias says the city staff failed in its commitment to provide the promised monthly statistics about how the backlog of cases was being handled at city hall. 

City manager Steve McClary said the backlog is still there … and building.

And that’s because the city continues to have problems finding qualified employees and qualified freelance workers.

Council member Paul Grisanti read from a city memo … that explains the number of projects getting review letters has tripled in the past year … from 230 to 734.


“A moderate improvement has been seen in the issuance of planning decisions. 600 in 2022 versus 685 in 2023. 

“Lastly, an improvement has been seen in the amount of projects moving through the development process and we’re actually getting more accomplished. 

“We got more accomplished in 2023 that we got accomplished in 2022. That seems to be value for money to me.” 

But council member Bruce Silverstein says the system is designed to be slow …on purpose.

He says Malibu is made up of wealthy people who frequently push the envelope  … applying for houses that exceed what is permissible.


“Our vision and our mission in Malibu is not to build buildings. It’s to preserve the rural character and the environment. 

“And because of that …it is complex and complicated and difficult to build here, by design. 

“And the neighbors’ rights and the community’s rights – and nature’s rights – need to be taken into account … more so than in other places. 

“None of this actually surprises me. And none of this actually upsets me.”


Caltrans Move For Safe Streets Is Encouraging, 2 Council Members Say

Two city council members say they are encouraged by a new Caltrans policy about slowing down traffic on state highways that run through cities … like Pacific Coast Highway.

As KBUU News reported yesterday … the state has quietly issued a new road design directive to its district offices.

For the first time .. Caltrans road planners are ordered to consider local community expectations for lower speeds into account … even when repaving a road. ]

The document strongly suggests a speed limit of 35 miles an hour in business districts like PCH in eastern Malibu. 

Councilman Pauk Grisanti:


“It now looks like we have a new rule that is in favor of us, being the kind of area where we can have this kind of speed them as we want, speed them it’s based on residences, and based on businesses.

“And that we now have a rule that supports our position, our desire to lower the speed limit in business areas and residential areas. 

“So, that looks hopeful.”

Council member Doug Stewart agreed, and said he also learned of the major Caltrnas policy change from the radio station’s rp[eort.

Caltrans has proposed repaving PCH in western Malibu this year … and repaving PCH in eastern Malibu in 2027.

The new design directive from Caltrans HQ in Sacramento appears to apply to those projects.


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