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Not fooled by hard sell

I was disheartened to see our City Council-appointed Parks and Recreation Commission publicly endorsing the Malibu Bay Company (MBC) development agreement ‘donation’ property on Point Dume. While including their individual names as supporters in the (Malibu Bay Company paid-for) full-page ad is fine, using the commission endorsement should not be allowed at this time (if any time).

While I respect the efforts of the Parks and Recreation Commission, they should not be publicly supporting a project that has not yet been properly evaluated by City staff and is under Environmental Impact Review by our Planning Commissioners. After all, our Planning Commission continues to state they have not had enough time to properly review the project’s impact. Our city staff has not been able to develop all necessary reports on the project for timely public review and discussion. How then can the Parks and Recreation Commission reach the conclusion that this portion of the MBC agreement is acceptable as is?

Look closely at the lovely photographic rendering in the expensive ad. It does not show ingress and egress to ball fields on a very dangerous curve of PCH nor indicate how many parking spaces are included Are there enough for two simultaneous ball games with more games ending/beginning and senior/community center activities? Is there enough safe parking or will cars be parking along PCH? What are the sizes of the two ball fields, buildings, parking lots, etc? Did the ad mention that our City would have to put up $2 million dollars (in addition to the MBC donated $5 million) and that MBC would have final approval on anything built on the ‘donated’ property? Did it mention that the Point Dume ‘donated’ park means we are giving MBC the rights to more commercial and residential development in our Civic Center and Trancas? Who said there was truth in advertising?

While many of us strongly support the search and acquisition of ball fields for Malibu’s children, our Parks and Recreation Commission has only further ‘politicized’ the largest development agreement to come before Malibu citizens. Such public endorsement infers that this is the ‘best’ plan we can negotiate and, as proposed, it meets all necessary requirements of Malibu’s General Plan. It isn’t and doesn’t.

As expected, the Malibu Bay Company has started their public relations and marketing campaign to ‘sell’ this agreement to our community. And they are using Malibu’s current weakness of too few ball fields to do it.

Tami Clark

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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