New planning commissioner well versed in land-use issues The 17-year resident worked on environmentally oriented development through the National Coastal Research Institute.

From Southern California to Alaska, John Sibert, who was recently selected by Councilmember Joan House to serve on the Malibu city Planning Commission, already knows what it takes to juggle land-use matters and lawmaking concerns.

Sibert, who replaces Ed Lipnick, is a problem solver who likes to use innovative techniques to resolve predicaments, and House felt he would be a good addition to the commission because he would be able to help Malibu evolve within its unique environmental boundaries.

“Sibert has been involved in Malibu matters, he has a great understanding of government and he is a scientist,” House said.

House said she was looking for someone to fill the planning seat who has a vision of Malibu being a rural residential area, and who wants to keep the impact of people in the area to a minimum. Sibert lives in Point Dume.

Sibert earned a Ph.D. in chemistry at U.C. San Diego in 1970 and his career led him to be involved with many large- and small-scale planning projects. Among other things, Sibert is the past Chief Operating Officer of the California State University Institute overseeing all commercialization of technology activities from the 23 California state university campuses. He served on a facilities committee at Caltech and Claremont University and dealt with campus town negotiations regarding the expansion of facilities and the construction of major buildings at the campus.

The new commissioner also has a background in environmental science technology, working with the National Coastal Research Institute. The institute funds projects and programs in all U.S. coastal states, but it places a focus on environmentally-oriented development, explained Sibert, who said he hopes to bring rationality to the issue of land use in Malibu.

Advertisement

Sibert also approved and monitored construction of a satellite launch facility in an environmentally sensitive area in Alaska.

After moving to Malibu, Sibert became involved with local matters, representing the area on a Los Angeles County Sewer committee in 1987, and became involved in the city’s battle for independence prior to city hood.

Currently, Sibert is a managing director for Global Financial Group, a private equity fund-of-funds that represents institutional investors in Los Angeles. His work takes him to China regularly as he is developing networks in the Far East to connect U.S. companies and opportunities in Asia.

Altogether, Sibert noted his professional background has helped him to acquire knowledge of environmental regulations, and municipal and state codes.

“I am a firm believer in sticking to the rules of the game,” Sibert said.

“Even if variances are needed sometimes, they should not be the norm unless there is be a problem with the code or a portion of the code itself,” Sibert said of development variance requests, a practice that takes place with regularity in Malibu.

“Malibu does tend to be polarized as ultimate development can be pitted against no development at all, and that is what makes the city’s issues difficult,” he said, noting the situation is not unique-Alaska faces the same dilemmas.

Sibert also believes, by and large, the citizens of Malibu have been good stewards of the coast, making it a desirable place to visit.

Although his work often kept him away at times, Sibert always stayed close to Malibu where he and his wife of 17 years have owned a house since 1985. His is the father of two. His son is a chemistry professor in Texas, and his daughter is a development trainer for the Nature Conservancy worldwide.

These days, Sibert enjoys hiking and he likes the idea of having a good glass of wine in the company of a good book and some music in the background.

13StarsManager
13StarsManagerhttps://malibutimes.com
The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

Related Articles

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Advertisement

Latest Articles

Advertisement

%d bloggers like this:
×