Officials grant zoning relief for disaster vicitms


Owners of commercial property whose homes are damaged or destroyed by natural disaster, may soon be allowed some extra relief. At its Sept. 25 meeting, the Malibu Planning Commission gave an affirmative nod to a Zone Text amendment that would allow the temporary use of mobile homes on commercial sites while homeowners rebuild.

The benefit would be limited to two years and would only apply to properties zoned Community Commercial (CC) or higher. Commercial-Neighborhood (CN) property would not be eligible. Placement of a mobile home must meet all setback requirements as well as zoning development and building code standards.

The commission voted to send the amendment back to the City Council with a recommendation to add a 5-year sunset clause, which would make the ordinance ineffective at that time. The council will have the final vote.

The commission granted a variance that would allow a Cavalleri Road residence to encroach 39 feet into the 63-foot front-yard setback required by the Interim Zoning Ordinance. “They wanted to move the house back out of the steeper sloping area,” said Planning Director Craig Ewing.

Plans call for construction of a 6,760-square-foot house on a lot that is 317 feet long and 128 feet wide. The lot slopes down from street level with a drop of about 50 feet. According to the staff report, “Impacts to the blue-line stream and the Walnut Canyon watershed will be greater if the house maintains the required front setback, resulting in the development of the lower portion of the lot.”

The staff report also pointed out that the adjacent properties maintain a 23-foot setback, and that other properties on the road have setbacks less than that.

Commissioners denied a variance request to a property owner who wanted to construct a pool, spa and patio on a lot with a slope. The property, on Teal Terrace, has a slope steeper than 2-1/2 to 1. A pad was created for construction of the existing home. “They (commissioners) were not persuaded that was the best place to put a pool,” said Ewing.

Commissioners decided to reconsider the denial and give the property owners a chance to make the project smaller and less intrusive. The application will remain alive, but the owners will have to revise the project before it will be considered for approval.