Taking a fighting stance

Local activist and former council candidate cause a buzz among the City Council when raising the feasibility of suing the Coastal Commission and the state of California, as well as putting the local coastal plan before voters.

By Ken Gale /Special to The Malibu Times

Another impetus for the California Coastal Commission and the City of Malibu to strike the right balance for a workable local coastal plan was proposed at the City Council meeting on Tuesday. It came from former council candidate John Wall.

Noting the commission and the city are bound to come up with a compromise LCP sometime next year, Wall then proposed the plan be submitted to the voters of Malibu for their approval in a referendum.

“If it’s turned down,” he said, “it seems to me the Coastal Commission will be in a weak position to sue the city government, since they’d have to sue the people, I think, and the matter will simply revert to where it’s been for the last 10 years, namely back to the commission for approval.

“This would inspire everybody to work with the people of Malibu on what they want.”

Moments later, longtime political activist Georgianna McBurney raised a question about further action against the Coastal Commission:

“How do we set up a legal defense fund in this city to financially enable the city to sue the California Coastal Commission and the state of California?”

These comments caused a buzz among councilmembers, who asked City Attorney Christi Hogin to comment on the legal feasibility of a referendum and of raising “tax deductible” donations to a legal defense fund.

Hogin said it might be possible for the city to both petition for a referendum and propose a ballot initiative on the LCP.

As to the legal defense fund, Hogin told the council “it is certainly possible for you to set up a fund or mechanism to take donations and earmark money to defend the city’s local control in the area of the LCP.”

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

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