City Council preparing for return to in-person meetings starting March 27
The Malibu City Council met on March 13 for their last virtual meeting, before returning to an in-person and hybrid meeting on March 27.
To start off the meeting, the council received an update on the progress and preparedness for its return to in-person meetings.
City Clerk Kelsey Pettijohn presented the work plan and directions for public participation, and said the commissions are continuing to meet virtually.
The council is scheduled to review the pilot program on May 22, and Pettijohn said directions for participation may change in the future.
Malibu Deputy City Attorney Christine Wood provided an update on the school separation from Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.
“I will say there has been progressing since November; it’s not progress happening as fast we like, but it’s progress nonetheless,” Wood said. “We all look forward to an upcoming mediation on March 21. Our ad hoc committee will meet their school separation school committee and complete the negation hopefully for the revenue sharing agreement.”
The Los Angeles County Fire Department provided a presentation on the New Zone Zero Defensible Space Requirement.
“What we’re trying to do now is give everyone a heads up that there is a new law that’s coming; it’s extremely restrictive and once we know the requirements we’re going to share them with everyone,” LA County Fire Department Forester Provision Chief Ron Durbin said.
During public comment, Mountain Recreation Conservation Authority Coastal Division Supervisor Ranger Timothy Pera provided an update on the additional parks staff, patrolling, and homeless encampment clearance around canyons and parks in Malibu.
Pera said they have also added public officers for more enforcement along parks and beaches. No service calls, or any incidents were reported.
City Manager Steve McClary provided an update on the contract sheriff’s bureau meeting and said they have additional officers underway.
“Right now they’re down 1,100 officers, and they have about 8,400 sworn officers, so there’s help coming,” McClary said. “But it’s going to take some time, but overall a very positive response from Sheriff Luna.”
McClary said they have met with The Los Angeles County Beaches and Harbor Department and have received updates on the landslides, flooding and Dume restoration at Westward Beach.
On March 3, Beaches and Harbors closed the Point Dume access road at the end of Westward Beach Road due to a debris flow onto the road from a property on Birdview Avenue and potential land shift and bluff failure. There is no current estimate for reopening.
“They do have plans to do a full restoration once we’re able to get through this emergency period,” McClary said.
McClary said they are preparing for the storm and are predicting 2 to 3 inches of rain, and that they’ll be closing watching the canyons and city streets and issuing any appropriate alerts.
“If folks can stay off the road if possible, it would be very much advised,” McClary said.
McClary provided an update on the illegal parking on Point Dume Headlands near Cliffside Drive and said Public Works would be installing 18-inch high delineators near the curb.
“These delineators will assist in preventing vehicles from illegally parking on top of the walkway,” McClary said.
Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Lt. Dustin Carr provided a brief update on crime, traffic, and safety and said traffic and crime has been down. In the latest RV count, the station has been able to maintain a number of seven RVs.
Carr said the department has assigned a full-time sergeant to Malibu, and said he would be introducing him in the next in-person city council meeting.
Carr also warned the community of rockslides.
“Please be careful where you drive,” he said. “I don’t want to see anyone get stuck in one of those situations there.”
City Council moved on to item 4A, appeal No. 21-019 – Appeal of Planning Commission Resolution No. 21-68 (6968 Dume Drive; Owner, Highlands Investment Group LLC; Neighbor/Appellant, John Roesler).
The recommended action was to adopt Resolution No. 23-11, determining that the California Environmental Quality Act does not apply to the project; upholding Appeal No. 21-019, and denying Coastal Development Permit (CDP) No. 17-088 for the construction of a new 7,472-square-foot, two-story single-family residence with a 999-square-foot basement, swimming pool, onsite wastewater treatment system (OWTS), associated development, and after-the-fact retaining walls, grading, and front yard gates, including Site Plan Review (SPR) No. 19-030 for construction in excess of 18 feet in height, up to 28 feet for a pitched roof, and Demolition Permit (DP) No. 19-023 for the demolition of the existing 2,257 square foot, single-story single-family residence and onsite development located in the Rural Residential, One-Acre (RR-1) zoning district at 6968 Dume Drive (Highlands Investment Group LLC).
Motion carried with a 3-2 vote.
The council received a presentation on the status of outdoor dining and the current application process and consideration for approval of permanent outdoor dining and guide staff on whether to process amendments to the city’s ordinances in regards to the operation of restaurants.
Councilmember Paul Grisanti said besides Whole Foods, Ralphs, and the new facility on Civic Center Way, most of the parking centers in Malibu are under-parked.
“All the older centers we have in Malibu are severely under-parked because the requirements were totally different,” Grisanti said.
Planning Director Richard Mollica said they would work with ZORACES for outdoor dining and parking.
For the last item on the agenda, Grisanti appointed himself as the COG’s alternate to the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission Governing Board.
Grisanti is on the Las Virgenes-Malibu Council of Governments (COG) board and is the president of Smart Coast California.
“I’m pretty up to date to everything that’s happening on coast,” Grisanti said.
Councilmember Doug Stewart seconded his nomination, motion carried.
The next Malibu City Council meeting is scheduled to be in-person on March 27 at Malibu City Hall.
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