KBUU Newswire Tuesday: Council Says 4-Story Hotel Wedged Up Against Hill Is Too Big – $800,000 From Santa Monica Adds 24-Hour Intake To Homeless Shelter Near Malibu – Calmatters: CHP Fired Bean Bags At Heads Of UCLA Protestors, Despite State Law Against That – Newbury Park Gets Michelin Starred Bistro

Written by on May 14, 2024

Council Says 4-Story Hotel Wedged Up Against Hill Is Too Big

A proposed hotel across the street from the Malibu Pier got shot down 4 to 1 at the Malibu City Council last night.

The four story high project was wedged onto a vacant lot … zoned for two stories high … and carved into the side of a bluff … 

The 52 foot high retraining wall … and the height of the building … were major problems.

The project architect … Doug Burdge … argued that the four-story high structure was terraced back into the hill.

At no point was it over two stories high … he claimed. 


“This is the way the code is interpreted on stories. 

It may look like something, but it isn’t, per code.

“And that’s the Malibu code right now.  And unless it’s changed this is the code that we’re using … and it has been approved since cityhood.”

That argument did not sway the council members. 

And another longtime Malibu architect … Ed Niles … said he vehemently disagreed with his fellow architect on this. 

Niles … former dean of the USC Archtecture College …  said the city codes are not the point. 

70283 ARCHITECT Ed Niles

“Why are we designing from code? We should be designing from the mission statement. 

“The point is … the intent is … to fall in love with this place, and to do things as an architect, do things that you’re proud of and your children are proud of.

“Because it’s not just this one, the next one will take this as an opportunity as a requisite to build more of this nature.”

Many residents expressed shock and outrage at the proposal. 

It would have required variances from several key Malibu laws … such as the 28 foot height limit … and the 12 foot limit on retaining walls.

This one wanted a retaining wall 46 feet high.

The applicants said that other buildings along Pacific Coast Highway have similar variances …

But others pointed out those buildings were built more than 35 years ago… before the city adopted the rules that everyone else follows.

Residents like Curt Camp lined up to oppose the variance request.


“It seems to me that’s what happened is that a dump it seems to me, but what happened is a dump truck has run over every regulation, every code, everything that Malibu has in place to protect the people and and the environment.”

One major problem was the height of the retaining wall … a vertical structure that would slice into the hillside.

Building official Yolanda Bundy cautioned the city council … that wall may even have to be deeper … and or higher. 


“We haven’t done a grading review. We haven’t done any structural review.

“The graphics that you see here, and the renderings that you see here, have been designed by them … by the architect

“It has never been vetted through the building and safety or vetted through the building code.

“So the possibility of the structural elements being different are very high.”

City council members agreed that was a big problem.

Also a big problem … building the ground story parking garage … and covering it up with dirt to call it a basement.

Doug Stewart:


“Shoving dirt in front of the front of the building does not constitute a basement.

“And I’m looking at this from the street view (and it) comes across as being a 50-foot tall building in a 24-foot height limit location.

“And to Doug Burdge’s credit and his staff … you guys have threaded needles here to get through every loophole … you have matched the code … and I applaud you for that.

“But that’s different than what Malibu is.”

Marianne Riggins said much the same.

70278 RIGGINS 

“I believe that having a motel in this location – as it is zoned to be – is the right decision.

“While I appreciate the design … and I think that this is a very attractive design … I have a lot of issues with the bulk and the massing of the building.”

Bruce Silverstein said he had a 118 page notebook full of objections.

And a big part of his objections was over the process that got the proposed through the Planning Department and past the Planning Commission.


“The Planning staff should not be working to help make development possible.  The Planning staff are gatekeepers who stand between unwanted and unlawful development, and the protection of the fragile environment, and the rural nature of this coastal village.

“In essence, the members of the Planning staff are the mission statement and vision statement police. That’s what they should be doing. 

“Instead, they consistently look the other way and even assist developers when they engage in the environmental equivalent of smash and grab.

“That’s what you’re seeing here.”

City mayor Steve Uhring had a list of omissions … mistakes made by the city planners as they evaluated the project. 

One of them was about how vehicles would leave the proposed hotel ,and how that would affect Pacific Coast Highway traffic.


“I come out and I want to go east but I need to make a right turn.  So I have to go west and make a U turn somewhere. Where do I make the U-turn?”

After some confusion … the city staff concluded that the driver heading to LA from the hotel would have to turn right … go past the traffic light at Cross Creek … make the U-turn at Webb Way … and then drive back through the intersection at Cross Creek to head east.

“I gotta go out and make a right hand turn … go down turn around and go the other way to go back the other way.  

“I mean … that’s nuts.”

Paul Grisanti was the only vote in favor of it. 

He did not make any comments explaining why.

$800,000 From Santa Monica Adds 24-Hour Intake To Homeless Shelter Near Malibu

A major grant from the City of Santa Monica has allowed the nearest homeless center to Malibu to open its intake center around the clock.

The People Concern runs the homeless shelter … it’s on Olympic Boulevard right next to the end of the 10 freeway.

The People Concern also runs the City of Malibu’s homeless program … and it now able to take in clients around the clock

The People Concern was able to complete major renovations to create a separate intake area … using $800,000 allocated by Santa Monica.

It allows first responders have overnight access to the shelter, which has 60 beds.

It also offers “wrap-around” services to help people get on their feet and off the sidewalks and beaches. 

The extended hours “marks a crucial step in our mission to support our unhoused neighbors” said Shareipha Myvett, The People Concern’s senior director of interim housing, in a news release.
“With around-the-clock referrals in collaboration with our partners and the City of Santa Monica, we ensure that our doors are always open, providing safe and immediate support,” Myvett said.

Santa Monica spends an estimated $42.5 million a year on homeless programs and services —a major increase this year. 

Bacteria  Warnings Remain At 2 Malibu Beaches

Water at two Malibu beaches remains full of enough bacteria to trigger health warnings from LA County this week.

Escondido Creek and Surfrider Beach … 100 yards up and down the coast from the public restrooms.

Revent rainfall has flushed enough nutrients into the ocean to trigger the alerts.

Other Malibu beaches have tested clear. 


Calmatters: CHP Fired Bean Bags At Heads Of UCLA Protestors, Despite State Law Against That

There have been no arrests made at UCLA as a result of the attack by counterprotesters … against the illegal campsite occupied by pro-Palestinian ac tivists on May 2nd.

And now comes word that the California Highway Patrol officers who broke up the pro-Palestinian protests regularly aimed and in some cases fired their less-lethal weapons at protesters in ways that appear to go against training guidelines or state law.

Calmatters has analyzed video of the CHP action. 

They say that three CHP Special Response Teams with batons formed a skirmish line outside Royce Hall at UCLA. 

Some CHP officers carried shotguns loaded with beanbag rounds or 40mm launchers with sponge rounds, … which are sold as “pain compliance device” by its manufacturer.

A review of CalMatters video fdocumented at least 25 instances in which those officers appeared to aim their weapons at the eye level of protesters.

Or… they fired into crowds that didn’t appear to present an immediate threat to life or serious injury. 

In some instances, the officers approached kneeling protesters with the launchers aimed at point-blank range.

Law enforcement officers across the state are trained that these types of munitions “shall not be aimed at the head, neck or any other vital organs,” according to guidelines from California Commission on Peace of Officers and Standards Training. 

N ot only is shooting less-lethal munitions at people merely to disperse them against policies … it’s actually illegal.

A law passed in 2021 prohibits officers from doing that except when there is a “threat to life or serious bodily injury.”

CalMatters’ asked questions about this to the CHP 

The Director of Communications Jamie Coffee said that officers did indeed face a threat from protesters. 

“When certain demonstrators in the unlawful assembly became assaultive and posed an immediate threat to officers by launching objects and weapons, some officers used kinetic specialty rounds to protect themselves, other officers, and members of the public,” she said.

But the video shows that the protesters do not appear to attack or threaten the CHP officers in the videos recorded by CalMatters, including the same videos in which police are seen aiming or firing less-lethal munitions. 

No battery or assault charges have been announced against protesters.


Newbury Park Gets Michelin-Rated Restaurant – Yes, That Newbury Park

Santa Monica has 16.  

Beverly Hills has nearly a dozen. 

Even Culver City has a few.

But Malibu does not have one single restaurant that qualifies for the Michelin Guide. 

An Italian place in Newbury Park is the latest addition to the gastronomic roadmap. 

Cedro Italian Restaurant in Newbury Park is now listed in the prestigious Michelin Guide. 

The Michelin entry praises the restaurant for its authentic Italian technique and flavor, handmade pastas and its signature Italian desert: tiramisu.

Cedro restaurant has been open for a year and is reportedly packed weekends. 

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