Mayor Sibert Praises Eco-Friendly Malibu

By the numbers, Malibu has work to do when it comes to cracking down on water use, and Mayor John Sibert pulled no punches at the State of the City breakfast on Friday, saying all residents and commercial buildings must work harder to do their part.

Sibert spent several minutes outlining the many eco-friendly policies council has enacted over the years, including enforcing the Area of Special Biological Significance (ASBS), a protected coastal habitat that runs from west of County Line into Laguna Point, in the Point Dume area.

“Unfortunately, we don’t go out with guns and enforce it,” Sibert said of the City’s strict water overuse and runoff policies, “but we do what we can.”

Sibert added that the City works with Water District 29 to help keep residential water use in line.

“We work closely with the water district on citing people on wasting water, and letting water run off,” Sibert said.

According to the City’s website, Malibu’s ASBS is the largest in the state, covering 11,842 acres, and residents are encouraged to call 310.359.8003 to report any “illicit discharges and spills.”

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Overall, Sibert’s speech praised the many ways in which Malibu is “keeping it clean.”

Eco-friendly City policies were mentioned by Sibert, such as the plastic bag ban, enacted in 2008, and the ban on smoking on the beach, enacted in 2004. In 2009, the ban was extended to smoking in any public areas. Sibert also noted the City’s 2005 polystyrene ban.

When it came to water misuse, State of the City guest speaker Assemblyman Richard Bloom had much more to say on the subject, stressing that the region would need to look for long-term solutions.

Bloom started off by saying the drought showed no real signs of ending anytime soon.

“Something that could last decades is happening now,” Bloom said. “We really have to prepare for the long term and take this issue very seriously.”

Bloom reiterated several times throughout his remarks the serious nature of the water shortage, stating that the legislature and governor are working together on a solution.

Bloom also touched on an issue raised by many Malibu residents: how will already-conservative water users handle additional mandatory cuts?

“There are entities that are already stretched to the limit,” Bloom admitted. “We have a very small amount of water that we want everyone to live on, and how do we accommodate that into the actions that we’re going to take?” he added.

According to Bloom, it won’t be easy.

“The bottom line, though, is that I think we are all in a position where we need to be thinking about our sacrifice, and how we can get through this period working together,” Bloom said.

Sibert’s other remarks at the event focused on the City’s various ongoing projects, including upcoming Pacific Coast Highway improvements, which are set to amount to $14 million in the next several years, paid for by a grant by Los Angeles County.

Sibert also mentioned the Measure R lawsuit, upcoming Civic Center wastewater treatment facility, Civic Center Design Standards Taskforce, transient occupancy tax breakthrough and the proliferation of rehab facilities into residential neighborhoods.

Overall, the tone of Sibert’s speech was upbeat, praising the work the City has already accomplished toward environmentalism and looking forward to the good things to come.

“Quality of life is kind of important to us, because that’s why we moved here,” Sibert said.

The State of the City breakfast, hosted by the Malibu Chamber of Commerce, takes place during every mayor’s term as a chance for the mayor to share information and updates about the city. It is traditionally attended by Chamber members, stakeholders, City staff and the Supervisor for the Third District, though Sheila Kuehl did not attend this year’s address.

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