News Briefs

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Three Planning Commission decisions appealed

Appeals were filed last week on two projects approved by the Planning Commission on June 20. Also last week, the Coastal Commission sent a notice to the city that a project approved by the Planning Commission on May 31 was appealed by the Coastal Commission chair and vice chair to the Coastal Commission.

Former City Council candidate John Mazza appealed the Planning Commission approval of a coastal development permit application for a porch and second floor addition to a home on Debutts Terrace. The project had originally been approved in April by the planning manager as an administrative coastal development permit. Projects obtaining these permits are considered less significant and do not require further approval by the Planning Commission.

Mazza argued the project should not have been limited to an administrative approval because he believes the home is on a ridgeline and the project did not strictly follow the ridgeline standards of the Malibu Local Coastal Program’s Local Implementation Plan. This means the applicant would have to seek a variance, which cannot be granted through the administrative approval process. The Planning Commission heard his argument last month and denied his request.

Mazza’s latest request will go before the City Council. If the council sides with him, the project will go back before the Planning Commission as a regular CDP application.

The other project appealed that was approved at the June 20 Planning Commission meeting is an application for a 5,338-square-foot, two-story home on Pacific Coast Highway in West Malibu. The appeal was filed by Thousand Oaks resident Paul Clark, who wrote in his appeal that he was president of an organization called Protection of Coastal Habitat. Clark wrote that the project would have a negative impact on the environment. He also wrote that the project would be on a coastal bluff, and needed to be relocated because of Coastal Commission law. The Planning Commission rejected the argument that the project would be on a coastal bluff when it was made at the June 20 meeting.

The project appealed by the coastal commissioners is for construction of a 3,035-square-foot, two-story home on Sea Level Drive. Appeals of CDP applications approved by the Planning Commission are usually presented to the City Council. But if two coastal commissioners sign on to an appeal, then the application can immediately go before the Coastal Commission.

West Nile virus hits California

The California health director recently announced that a 47-year-old Tulare County man has been infected with the West Nile Virus. His is believed to be the first human case in California this year. The man sought medical care for a fever and headache in early June and is currently recovering.

This year, West Nile has been detected in 34 of California’s 58 counties in 258 dead birds, 41 mosquitoes, four sentinel chickens and three horses. In 2004, 830 human West Nile infections were reported in California, with 28 dying from the virus.

West Nile is transmitted to humans and animals through a mosquito bite. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. Health officials emphasized that the risk of serious illness to humans is low and that most individuals who are infected with West Nile will not experience any illness. The elderly and those with compromised immune systems are at greatest risk for serious illness.

According to health officials, the most effective ways for individuals to prevent West Nile are to apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. One should also ensure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens, repair or replace screens with tears or holes and eliminate all sources of stagnant water that can support mosquito breeding.

For more information about West Nile, visit www.westnile.ca.gov. Dead birds can be reported on the Web site or by calling 877.WNV.BIRD.

Robb Report publisher grows

Malibu-based CurtCo Publishing, has recently acquired assets of the San Diego Magazine Publishing Co. CurtCo produces the luxury products magazine, Robb Report, and several trade magazines.

San Diego Magazine Publishing is the owner of San Diego Magazine.

Ventura County PCH closures

Various northbound and southbound lanes of Pacific Coast Highway in Ventura County from Big Sycamore Creek to Rancho Guadalasca Road will be closed through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. At least one lane in each direction will be open at all times. The lane closures are due to a resurfacing project.

Meeting to address campaign finance issues

A second meeting of the City Council Elections Ad-Hoc Committee will take place on July 13. The committee, which consists of Mayor Pro Tem Ken Kearsley and Councilmember Jeff Jennings, was formed to come up with recommendations to the City Council on amending the city’s campaign finance laws.

The committee’s first meeting took place last month. At that time, the committee members took public comment on various proposals. At the upcoming meeting, the committee will take further comment and discuss possible proposals that could go before the City Council for a vote in the fall.

-Tiffany Linder and Jonathan Friedman