$15 million bond-for-land ballot measure gets a scare

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The Lily’s Cafe Malibu Steering Committee nearly drove the $15 million land acquisition bond measure off the November ballot at the City Council meeting Monday night.

The council had approved the ballot measure unanimously on July 9. But the weighty opposition of former Malibu mayor John Harlow prompted Councilmember Tom Hasse to call for postponing the bond measure until the general election in April 2002. Harlow is a key member of the opposition group formed by activists over morning coffee klatches at Lily’s Cafe in Point Dume Plaza.

Hasse wanted more time to rewrite the ballot proposal to include the concerns of Harlow and the Lily’s Cafe group. Their main concern is that the wording of the bond measure is too vague and all encompassing in what it proposes to do with the money. The Lily’s Cafe group wants the land purchased by the bond money to be used for baseball and other sports fields first, followed by recreational centers and open spaces.

As written, the bond measure requires most of the $15 million to be spent on buying land, with only 15 percent of the money designated for construction of recreational facilities. It also lists several possible uses for the land–from parks and playing grounds to preservation of wild life habitats and limiting traffic congestion.

Members of the Bond Advisory Committee established by the City Council to develop the ballot proposal spoke out against delaying the measure. The committee has already begun raising money and planning a campaign to get the measure passed. “We need to keep the momentum going,” said committee member Laura Rosenthal. “Let’s go forward while we have this dedicated group.”

The council voted 3-1 (Councilmember Sharon Barovsky was absent) against Hasse’s postponement motion.

Local Coastal Plan review

A response to a letter from California Coastal Commission Senior Deputy Director Chuck Damm regarding inadequacies in the Local Coastal Plan (LCP) was submitted by the city to the Coastal Commission last month. Among other things, the letter cited lack of documentation, including “speakers’ slips” and “copies of any notices of local hearings” to show that necessary public hearings were held and that review drafts of the LCP had been submitted as required to other county, state and federal agencies that may be affected by the plan.

“They were basically asking for our mailing lists,” said City Attorney Christi Hogin. She said the city would have no problem complying with the commission’s demands. The letter from Damm indicated that although the submittal was not complete, the commission would “review what was submitted and will incorporate those provisions that are deemed appropriate for inclusion” in a separate LCP the commission is writing for the city, as mandated by state law AB988. That was good news to Hogin, who told the council that “the city should be able to eliminate any further delay in having the (city’s) draft reviewed.” A main objective of the council is to ensure that the city’s preferences are taken into account by the Coastal Commission’s LCP.

Drub rehab facilities

Regarding the proliferation of drug rehabilitation facilities in Malibu, some residents want to find ways to limit their number. But under the state’s Health and Safety Code, rehab facilities are listed as “group homes,” along with family shelters, day care facilities, homes for the mentally and physically disabled, and many others. State code encourages communities to accept these facilities with few restrictions. The council agreed to seek help from Sacramento to impose a limit of one rehab facility per 6,000 residents in Malibu. That would mean only two such facilities in Malibu, where there are now seven.

Parking on Malibu Road

Residents on Malibu Road would like to limit the number of RVs that camp out on the north side of the road in the summer, some for weeks at a time, essentially setting up beach houses. Also, people often camp out overnight in their cars, causing “a serious security risk,” in the words of one resident. The Public Safety Commission suggested such possible actions as: No parking between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m., no parking of oversized vehicles, and no camping or sleeping on a public street. Permits would exempt residents.

But councilmembers noted that parking restrictions on Malibu Road would only shift the problem to another part of the city. “I predict their next move will be to Broad Beach,” mused Councilmember Hasse. City staff was ordered to draft an ordinance to restrict overnight parking that includes a system for other neighborhoods to apply for the same parking protection.

Filming on Sundays

An unidentified Malibu resident complained by letter to Mayor Joan House that a film crew had disrupted the “peace and tranquility” of his beachfront home by filming on a Sunday.

The council deliberated the possibility of banning filming on Sundays. But when Councilmember Jeff Jennings asked how many such complaints had been filed over the past five years, the answer was two–both from the same person. The council agreed to meet with the resident to discuss the problem, but took no other action.