Planning commission turns down actor Stacey Keach


Actor and Malibu resident Stacey Keach was turned down again on Monday by the Planning Commission in his request to subdivide a property on Winding Way.

Keach has been trying for the past 25 years to subdivide his property and almost succeeded when the area was under the jurisdiction of L.A. County.

“I was very disappointed,” said Keach. “Naturally I’m going to appeal.”

The commission was concerned that it may create a precedent by allowing the split, which included zoning variances that would create a parcel smaller than the norm in that area.

The interim zoning code provides slope/density guidelines that require lot sizes to be a minimum of 3.9 acres, because the average slope of the existing parcel is 34.9 percent. However, the applicant had requested a variance for the slope/density factor requirement to allow for lot sizes of 2.3 acres and 3.6 acres.

The commissioners concurred that this subdivision would not be consistent with the general plan.

“I don’t see justification to this application,” said commissioner Richard Carrigan, who had visited the site and stated that he wishes everyone was as fortunate as Keach to own such a piece of property.

As the commission debated, they talked about a zoning text amendment initiation that could affect future subdivision requests for that area, but increased density may follow if such an amendment is made.

Commissioner David Fox indicated that this area seemed to enjoy a lot of open spaces and subdivision would change the character of the neighborhood.

In other matters, another property owner who was looking forward to building a house on Anacapa View Drive where he plans to live after retirement, had his proposal approved by the commission in a 5 to 0 vote.

But an important issue in his case, which may affect future property owners who want to build in that area, is inadequate water resources.

The commission suggested that when lack of water is an issue for a specific area, the city could implement a building moratorium for that particular location in the future until the problem is resolved.

As he was talking about the Anacapa home, commissioner Andy Stern said that the city should look into whether or not standards are adequate for that neighborhood because water is being trucked in every day. “It’s a traffic problem and a fire hazard,” he said.

But since the homeowner had accommodated neighbors’ concerns by moving the house down slope to minimize the impact on viewsheds and reducing the height of the proposed home from 28 to 18 feet, as well as planned to have water tanks on the property in the best possible location to appease neighbors, the commission approved the project unanimously.

The building of one new, two-story home on Sea Vista was almost approved, but was continued because the commission did not think neighbors had a chance to voice their concerns since they were not properly notified. The commission voted in favor of a short continuance to Sept. 5 to allow for rebuttals.

Aside from issues that were on the agenda, the commission also heard a couple of speakers who came to share their concerns about Pepperdine University’s request to increase the dumping of treated water onto Winter Canyon and the bluffs above Malibu Road in case of emergencies.

This increase would consist of 250,000 gallons of treated effluent per day. The problem is that Pepperdine has historically and illegally discharged water in that canyon in the past. David Kagan and Melanie Goudzwaard, on behalf of the Malibu Road Property Homeowners Association, clearly indicated they are against this request.

“We think the current approach is a Band-Aid solution,” they said as they asked the city to take action on this matter. “Property owners cannot dump water this way and Pepperdine should be held to the same standards.”

In the past, Councilmember Ken Kearsley has suggested that a committee be established to facilitate communication between the city and Pepperdine, said Carrigan.

Pepperdine’s continued growth has always had a big impact on the City of Malibu and there is not much the city has been able to do about it thus far, since the university sits outside city limits.

Barry Hogan, city planning director, introduced two new assistant planners, Sheila Powers and Andrew Ho, at the Monday meeting.

And last, but not least, a father and mother with their young baby, who waited for about three hours, were given approval from the commission on a variance for a road extension. They have been waiting for years to receive the variance — it took less than 10 minutes to be approved after finding they had met all the requirements.