City delays hearing on Malibu chain store ordinance

The Malibu Country Mart is one of several shopping centers in the Civic Center.

A public hearing and City Council vote on a proposed ordinance to regulate the number of chain stores in Malibu has been pushed back to Sept. 23. 

The hearing was originally set for Sept. 9.

City Manager Jim Thorsen said staff needed more time to prepare a final report and answer questions set forth by the Malibu Planning Commission at a July meeting.

“We’re still putting everything together, making sure we’ve got all the Planning Commission questions answered and want to make sure the public has plenty of time to review it,” Thorsen said in a telephone interview Friday.

The meeting looks to be heated, with local community group Preserve Malibu vowing to put the controversial ordinance to a local vote if the City Council refuses to pass the law, which would regulate the size and number of chain stores allowed to open in the Civic Center area. 

At a July 29 meeting, the Planning Commission recommended against the passage of the ordinance (4-1), arguing the proposal was too vague and needed further study