It will also decide whether to offer medical benefits to council members.
By Jonathan Friedman/Assistant Editor
City Attorney Christi Hogin will offer the City Council three options on Monday night on how the city should deal with the coastal development permit issue. The council is expected to approve one of those three options.
At its Sept. 27 meeting, when the council unanimously voted to petition the Supreme Court to hear the city’s case against the California Coastal Commission, it asked Hogin to come up with a proposal to allow the city to issue coastal permits. In the past, Hogin has said that issuing coastal permits would jeopardize the city’s case. The three options she will offer on Monday include: an ordinance based on a chapter of the Coastal Act to allow the city to issue provisional permits; for the council to wait for the Coastal Commission to consider an offer by the city that Malibu offer coastal permits without prejudicing its case; or for the council to take no action and reconsider the matter only if the Supreme Court decides to take up the case. The city might not hear from the high court until as late as mid-January.
In her staff report, Hogin expressed caution about whether the proposed ordinance would be legally sound for people to receive valid permits. As for the city’s offer to the Coastal Commission, the commission is expected to vote on it at its meetings Oct. 13-15.
No coastal permits have been issued in Malibu since the city’s conflict with the Coastal Commission went to litigation in the fall of 2002. The conflict began when the Coastal Commission drafted and approved a Local Coastal Program for the city. Malibu residents quickly gathered more than 2,400 signatures to put the document up for a vote. The Coastal Commission said that vote was not legal. A Los Angeles Superior Court judge and the Court of Appeal have since sided with the state agency.
The Coastal Commission says the city is supposed to issue coastal permits based on the Coastal Commission-drafted Local Coastal Program. But Hogin has said that would put the city in a position in which it could be looked at as accepting the document, jeopardizing its case. This has led to 110 projects, which have all the other necessary permits, waiting for coastal permits. And another couple hundred projects are working their way through the system, eventually needing coastal permits.
Also on Monday, the council will hear a presentation from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on Measure A, a half-cent county sales tax increase that will appear on the ballot in November. The money generated from Measure A would go toward law enforcement services, including the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station.
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 in July to place the tax measure on the ballot. Several cities sent representatives to lobby the county board in support of the measure, but Malibu was not one of them. The council has not taken any stance on the measure, nor has any been proposed to the council by city staff.
Additionally, the council will hear Malibu architect Ron Goldman’s appeal of the Planning Commission’s May 17 approval for the construction of a 9,707-square-foot office building that would be located next to his office building on Pacific Coast Highway near the Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue. Goldman, who had written a letter in opposition to the project when it went before the commission, alleged there were several miscalculations and errors in the staff report that was presented to the commissioners.
Lastly, the council will be presented with an ordinance proposal for council members to receive medical benefits.
According to the city, the cost to provide council members with medical, dental, vision and life insurance would be $374 for a single person and $1,076 for a family of three or more.
Councilmember Pamela Conley Ulich first proposed the idea in August. She said at the meeting that she thought more candidates might have run in the last election if council members were better compensated for the long hours they work. Council members currently receive $300 per month for their work. If the council were to approve the medical benefits, they would not go into effect until after the 2006 council election.