No Camping Ordinance Formally Adopted

LA County Fire Department (LACoFD) personnel finish mopping up a fire in a homeless encampment located beneath Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu on Sunday, July 18. The fire, reported burning beneath an underpass at Pacific Coast Highway and Cross Creek Road, was the sixth or seventh to occur under an overpass in Malibu this summer, LACoFD reported.

Amendments to Malibu’s no camping ordinance that effectively ban all camping within Malibu city limits were adopted into law on Monday during the Sept. 27 Malibu City Council meeting.

The ordinance states that “local climatic, geological or topographical conditions relating to the city’s location in a Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone, as designated by Cal Fire, increase the risk of wildfire from unpermitted heat sources and use or collection of flammable materials, and recent fires originating in local encampments of unhoused individuals, including encampments on vacant or undeveloped private property, have both necessitated emergency evacuation and clean-up efforts and threatened the health, safety and welfare of all Malibu residents (and residents of adjacent communities).” It also describes an increase in pedestrian deaths on Pacific Coast Highway in the vicinity of encampments. 

On Sept. 13, council voted, 5-0, to approve the ordinance that bans camping on property that is “within any area that the city manager, public safety manager or city council may determine from time-to-time to constitute an extreme fire danger … within 200 feet of a residence, and within 1,500 feet of a day care center or public or private school or college within the city limits of Malibu,” as well as “any city-owned public park, public beach or public street or public right-of-way, any undeveloped private property on which camping is prohibited, and on any land designated by the fire chief or the city manager as a fire risk area.”

The final passage of the ordinance was a consent calendar item at the meeting and did not require a roll-call vote.