The Code Enforcement meeting of Feb. 10 was a watershed event in Malibu’s recent history. For the first time, the City Council was made aware of the widespread misery caused by the planning staff’s cruelty and abuse of power in failing to completely grandfather older buildings. The citizens’ anger was white hot and palpable as story after story was told of the hardships caused by staff’s requiring expensive experts, studies, restudies and retroactive permits for precityhood structures.
Mayor Van Horn is to be commended for the three very positive results of the meeting: 1) A Grandfathering Task Force will be formed shortly to determine if and how the grandfathering code should be expanded to serve the community; 2) A motion was approved requiring that the full name of persons filing code violations be reported. This will result in only complaints of serious health and safety violations being filed instead of personal vendettas, and 3) By inviting a full public airing of these long smoldering issues, she encouraged people who had incredible case histories to tell their stories without fear.
With continued strong public involvement and support, the City Council will adopt a true grandfathering code and bring light to a dark chapter in Malibu’s current history.