From the Pubisher: Around Malibu

The Malibu Town Hall on Homelessness played to an overflow crowd at city hall and, apparently, the city and the citizenry are focused on finding some solutions. The citizens’ groups have raised money, hired two social workers to go out in the streets and canyons and find the homeless, who number about 160, and try to get them into some sort of more permanent housing.

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Waterworks District 29, part of LA County, runs Malibu’s water system. The system — which was practically built by the Romans — is long overdue for replacement. The $250 million Topanga/Malibu replacement plan, which is years in the making, has suddenly come to a grinding halt and the $110 million first phase, for which they already have a good portion of the money, has apparently been blocked by some homeowners groups on the valley side who don’t seem to care much if we burn to the ground rather than inconvenience them. It’s not clear who has called the halt but some fingers are pointing at our supervisor, Sheila Kuehl.

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The prospect of an independent school district is getting closer and after a year of negotiation and 35 multihour meetings, the six member negotiating committee, half Malibu and half Santa Monica, seems to have found a livable deal. But it still has a way to go because the school board and the city councils of both cities probably have to sign off on the deal, most likely alongside the voters of both cities, a few other government agencies and probably also it will need a piece of special legislation in the legislature. The danger always is that some people will think whatever compromises were made are not quite good enough and will begin to nitpick the deal to death. Hopefully that won’t happen and we will end up with our own school district.

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On the Coastal Commission front, it’s been a bit quiet lately. I guess coastal is just catching its breath after slapping a Malibu homeowner with a $4.2 million fine for refusing initially to pay a million dollar fine or open up a coastal access (that had been given 20 years earlier by a prior owner) they inherited when they bought the house. A coastal representative told us with a straight face that the Coastal Commission was actually being kind, since they actually could have slapped them with an $8 million fine. The legislature has added to coastal’s purview and charged them with also achieving “social justice,” which translates to creating cheap parking at the beach, or cheap overnight accommodations. It’s the perfect trifecta. First, coastal runs up the price of building anything in the coastal zone with all sorts of conditions, then they drag out the construction process, running the finance costs up further, and then they want low and moderate income facilities and wonder why no one seems able to make the arithmetic work. Meanwhile, I don’t see the state rushing out to fix up the old Malibu Motel across from Topanga Beach and renting those out to low cost visitors. 

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Things may be looking up on the PCH. The yet-to-be-built La Paz project on Civic Center Way, in the Civic Center area, which I understand is pretty much shovel ready, has been sold to a local developer. The build-out includes some requirements to do some fixing of a couple of the PCH intersections, one at Civic Center Way and one at Webb Way. Additionally, a number of governmental agencies are working to synchronize the traffic lights on PCH, which is a much more complicated and technical process than I would have thought. Somewhere in the bowels of this county is a traffic control facility that I’ve never seen but I’m told looks something thing like mission control at NASA. When the PCH job is finished, the engineers will be able to control all of the traffic signals on PCH from this facility, vary signal length depending on traffic and, if something goes out, they won’t need to send out a crew to fix the signal, which we all know can take several hours. Instead, they’ll be able to just flip a switch. I suspect we’ll also see cameras at every major intersection. 

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Decided to leave our esteemed president alone this week and handed the job over to our columnist Burt Ross, who has been salivating at the opportunity.

13StarsManager
https://malibutimes.com
The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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