Incoming, outgoing


Mayors talk shop

Newly appointed Mayor Andy Stern says city energies will be focused on issuing Local Coastal Plan permits-159 permit applications are in the pipeline.

By Hans Laetz / Special to The Malibu Times

Malibu’s incoming and outgoing mayors gave brief, and somewhat humorous, assessments of the city before the annual Chamber of Commerce mayor’s lunch Thursday.

Outgoing Mayor Sharon Barovsky pointed with pride to the pending transfer of ownership of Bluffs Park from the state, “which in perfect governmental logic was going to give us $7 million to move the ball fields 30 feet up the coast,” to the city.

Barovsky also pointed to the city’s partnership with Santa Monica College in getting voter approval for Measure S, a college bond issue that allocates $25 million for a joint city-college arts and education facility to be placed somewhere in Malibu.

The office of mayor has rotated to councilman Andy Stern, who told members at the business luncheon that city energies will be expended this year on implementing the Local Coastal Permit process drawn up for the city by the California Coastal Commission.

“We’ve issued LCP permits, actually, two of them, since Sept. 13, 2004,” Stern said. “But we’re making progress. The Planning Department is doing its very best but dealing with that document (the state-mandated coastal plan) is at best very difficult.”

Stern noted that new LCP requests filed since the coastal plan was approved has brought the total number of Malibu LCPs in the pipeline to 159.

Stern voiced cautious hope that the city’s proposed coastal plan amendments “that we feel were made in the spirit of the Coastal Act” will be approved by the Coastal Commission later this year.

Stern, an attorney who now works as a Realtor, said the other center of attention this year will be a proposed central sewer project for the Civic Center, Malibu Colony and Serra Retreat areas. That proposal, which might cost as much as $50 million, is aimed at reducing chronic pollution problems at Surfrider Beach.

In response to questions from the audience, Stern and City Manager Katie Lichtig said the Cornucopia Farmers’ Market at the old Civic Center parking lot is on hiatus while its operators decide whether to apply for new permits.