Planning commission asks for city attorney presence

Referring to recent controversial commission decisions, Planning Commissioner Charleen Kabrin Monday asked the commission to have a “land use” attorney present at future commission meetings.

A city attorney had attended meetings for years, until there were budget constraints, said commissioner Kabrin.

“It would be appropriate to have a land use attorney present, so decisions on projects involving, for example, the determination of a beach stringline might not end up in court,” she said.

Kabrin might have been referring to a series of decisions on the stringline (a rule of thumb for determining how far seaward beachfront homes can extend on the beach) of the Carbon Beach home of David Perez.

Throughout much of 1999 and the beginning of this year, decisions were made for and against Perez and the neighbor who was appealing, Gil Segel.

Newly elected commission chair Ed Lipnick suggested that Interim Planning Director Henry Engen convey to the City Council the request for city attorney presence. The money should be added as a “line item” on the budget the Planning Department is submitting to the council, Lipnick said.

Highlights of the proposed two-year budget (for fiscal years July 1, 2000; June 30, 2002) include:

Current planning budget

Current planning includes implementation of the 14 recommendations of last year’s Permit Streamlining Audit by the end of 2000, writing and adopting a permanent Zoning Ordinance by the end of the year, and forwarding policy questions to the commission within 30 days of identification. Within the proposed current planning budget of $151,620, the department wants to add an Associate Planner and increase the hours of a clerk.

Advanced planning budget

Advanced planning goals are: to revise the administrative draft of the Local Coastal Plan (LCP) into a public hearing draft after it is reviewed by the staff of the California Coastal Commission, complete the LCP environmental review by the end of 2000, and have the City Council review and approve the LCP by the end of Fiscal Year 2001. The LCP Implementing Ordinance would also be completed by the end of Fiscal Year 2001.

Zoning administration budget

The proposed zoning administration budget of $491,600 includes: goals of processing all applications within the time limits established by the California Permit Streamlining Act; conducting inter-departmental review of all discretionary development applications within 30 days of receipt; providing staff analysis and recommendations to the planning commission which lead to acceptance of staff recommendations at least 75 percent of the time; and providing customer-oriented service by telephone and at the public counter so that complaints to the City Council are less than one per month.

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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