Overwhelming Support For More Playing Fields From Malibu – Mazza’s Estimates Of Children In Malibu Contradicted By Census Data

Written by on May 23, 2024

Overwhelming Support For More Playing Fields From Malibu – Voices For Open Space Absent From Public Meeting

Fields … playing fields … sports fields.

Those were the numbers one, two and three requests last night when the City of Malibu held a listening session … to hear what residents want to have done with five vacant lots.

The pathetic shortage of green grass for adults and children to play sports games was the overwhelming issue.

Not the only one … but by far the biggest one.

The lack of playing fields at city parks is leading to a doom loop at Malibu High School … one parent said.


“Decreased numbers.

“Decreased programs.

“My son was in middle school.  A lot of his best buddies that were going to the high school – top athletes – were leaving.

“And not to go to private school. They were going to Westlake High (and) Agoura High … and that bothered me.”

Support for playing fields last night was overwhelming.

So much so … that some advocates worried about too many good ideas … creating a scattershot approach.


“One thing I’m concerned about is boiling the ocean.

“That’s trying to do too many things at once, trying to develop all five of these properties.

“I think probably the right solution is to identify one or two of these properties – at most – to work on in phase one, and spend some of the cities hundred plus million dollars to do something great.”

An arts center or other public gathering place was also on the list…

But the overwhelming number of voices were for fields … places to play organized sports.

So much so … that advocates for an arts center started out by endorsing sports fields.


“I love so many of these ideas. It’s very exciting so my comments are not necessarily an opposition.

“But I am here to advocate for the community cultural arts center. I find that other activities beyond physical activities can be very calming and bonding.”

All this is not to say that playing fields and open space were the only ideas.

One man had this vision for the triangle Lot … a three-acre wedge of land surrounded by traffic on PCH … Webb Way and Civic Center Way.


“My suggestion is that one of the five spots may be the triangle is turning into Vertiport, which is a space for electric vertical aircraft to take off land with that we could reach the Hollywood Bowl in just 12 minutes.”

OK, then.

One resident worried about past delays.

Why was this land purchased more than five years ago … and nothing happened since??


“I think – from the consistency of all of this – we can probably agree that we’re losing about six months through this process.

“Because, this has been a colossal waste of time to ask these questions … where we always know the answer.”

Another complaint about that.

70299 DELAYS

“Everybody can kind of feel the frustration the room and it seems to really concentrate around the delays that have occurred.

“A lot of the people in the room have youngchildren. I think there’s a concern that there won’t get to enjoy talking about Alexis.”

Deputy city manager Alexis Brown said look at the timeline.

“The city didn’t acquire these lots (until) six months before the Woolsey Fire.

“And and we also had a pandemic.

“And in terms of making priority of what our top projects are. … that took place this past September.”

So what’s next??  The city council will vote next Monday on a municipal budget … and some people last night asked that a dedicated city planner be hired just get these ideas put into action.

And one resident worried about future delays.


“I mean I want to be realistic.  Mostgof us are tlakoing about – if we stamp any of this tomorrow – this isn’t for any of our kids.

“This is for the next generation of kids.

“So has anyone talked about the nuance of whether this can go through the (existing) LCP … or does this need to go through Coastal?”

No good news there … the city’s going to have to take any major changes to the Coastal Commission … and that could take two to four years.

And don’t forget… The city is about to enter into the general election campaign season.

City Council policy setting generally grinds to a halt while candidates are running for election.

We’d love to play you some quotes from people who favored just leaving the lots alone… Or at least some of the lots alone.

Those voices have yet to speak up.

Malibu Is Younger Than Some Political Leaders Proclaim

Is Malibu getting older and grayer?


The population of children in Malibu has gone up by one third since 2017 … according to an analysis of U S Census data by KBUU news.

That contradicts the public opinions of some public officials.

Tuesday … for example …. we broadcast the remarks of Planning Commissioner John Mazza … as he urged people to speak at the public forum about future use of city vacant land.

In those remarks … Mazza said Malibu is a city of older people … and that the population of kids is dropping.

Mazza inferred that this might be reflected in a demand for playing fields.

Here’s what he said.


“We’ve had situations where people pack a room and everybody wants this or everybody wants that.  We have a diverse community the average age is 58 years. We have 7 percent children, which is pretty low.”

We should have checked those figures before airing them.

Mazza got both those figures wrong … dramatically wrong.

The appointed city official said Malibu has 7 percent children.  He underestimated by three times.

The U-S Census Bureau says 20.7 percent of the City of Malibu is age 19 or younger … and no … that does not include the Pepperdine dorms.

And the percentage is growing.   A review of U S Census data shows that the population of children in Malibu has risen by about one third since the Woolsey Fire.

Mazza said the average age of a Malibu resident is 57.

That was not correct either.

The Census Bureau says the average age in Malibu is 50.

Anecdotal evidence shows that very young families are shifting back into some Malibu neighborhoods … like Point Dume and Malibu Park.

Several parents from Point Dume mentioned that last night.


“We have so many new families on Point Dume.

“The elementary school is really having kind of a rebirth … really like a thriving kid and family scene here.”

Here in Malibu Park … the 25 houses in our small neighborhood had 3 kids five years ago.  The kid count on our two streets is between 12 to 18 … today.

Mazza is not alone in underestimating the number of children in Malibu.  At least one city council member has publicly said much the same.

The fact is that Malibu’s percentage of school children has swung up and down in large waves over the past decades 30 years ago… .2 elementary school was closed because there weren’t enough kids.

20 years ago… Point Dume Elementary School was reopened … and soon became overcrowded.

But parents are not stupid… and they won’t move to Malibu if it means schlepping their kids over the hill to soccer or lacrosse practice every day.

[Source: https://data.census.gov/table/ACSDP5Y2022.DP05?g=160XX00US0645246 ]

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