Community debates buying vacant Civic Center commercial property

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Community members came up with a wide range of ideas Tuesday evening at a town hall meeting to consider ways to preserve vacant land zoned for commercial use in the Civic Center. Approximately 50 people attended the two-hour meeting at City Hall, lead by Civic Center Property Owners Negotiation Ad Hoc Committee members Mayor Laura Rosenthal and Councilmember Joan House. The group debated issues such as how to obtain funding to purchase vacant land in the Civic Center, what to do if and when the land is purchased and how to ease traffic congestion in the area. Eventually, Rosenthal and House created seven volunteer subcommittees to research different aspects of the Civic Center issue. The ad hoc will hold its next meeting Aug. 14, during which each subcommittee will present its research.

In the interim, the areas of study decided on for the different subcommittees are:

1) Different uses of purchased land in the Civic Center

2) Bond, tax and revenue research

3) Donations, funding mechanisms and charitable trusts

4) Changing zoning codes and creating a Civic Center Master Plan

5) Needs and wants of Malibu residents

6) Land availability in the Civic Center

7) Development districts within Malibu