2019 in Review: July

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    Pepperdine University President Andrew Benton (far left) with Senior VP & CIO Jeff Pippin (center right) perform as part of Mesa Peak.

    • At a packed-house meeting at City Hall, Malibu Planning Commission found out what the local citizens thought about their plan to down zone all of Malibu by as much as 25 percent. The civic theater was filled and an overflow audience in an adjoining room all heard a parade of longtime locals lambast the plan, the stupidity of the planning commission that was pushing it, and many other opinions about their capabilities that are unprintable in a family newspaper—all of this while Malibu was trying to recover from the disastrous Woolsey Fire. For roughly 3.5 hours, the planning commission sat there for speaker after speaker, almost all in opposition to the proposed downsizing. A few courageous souls had the temerity to stand up for the downzoning ordinance, claiming that Malibu was being “mansionized,” but to little effect. The planning commission finally voted and essentially passed it all back truculently to the city council for decision.

    • The following week, city council took action on the proposed downsizing. Where planning commissioners, who are appointed to their posts, seemed to be politically tone deaf to the public uproar, city council members are politicians and all immediately started backtracking. In large letters, they all said, “Sorry to have made you so unhappy” and killed the measure in a 4 to 1 vote with only Mayor Jefferson “Zuma Jay” Wagner voting for it.

    • In the more normal world, the hot weather 4th of July brought a half-million visitors to the Malibu seaside for the holiday weekend. As usual, the beaches were crowded, the traffic backed up for hours and parking was woefully inadequate, and the city’s solution to it all was to send volunteer cops around to write tickets. One of these days, the city will admit that 12 million or so people actually come here every summer and the solution is to turn some of those city-owned lots into temporary parking lots for the summer rush. The city will make some extra dollars and visitors won’t have to park all over the place, causing traffic hazards.