Smaller is better

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In 1947 the Malibu Township Council (MTC) was formed by a group of Malibu homeowners who agreed to band together to preserve, protect and promote Malibu’s community, culture and environment. In the 60-plus years that have followed, the MTC has remained true to the vision laid out in that initial homeowner meeting. As former MTC President Leon Cooper wrote “The MTC has been our town’s watchdog, biting when we feel we’re being put upon by those who want to change Malibu into something else.”

Unfortunately, as was reported in last week’s newspapers, the Trancas Canyon Park project is an instance where the MTC determined it was necessary to exercise its “watchdog” role by filing a lawsuit challenging the City Council’s approval of an Environmental Impact Report for the park.

Trancas Canyon Park started out as a small local pocket park to be built on land that had been donated to the city. Most residents agreed that a park, designed to fit into the existing parameters of the donated land, was a good idea. By the time the park was approved by the City Council it had grown to a $3.7 million project that involved flattening hillsides, destroying wildlife habitat and eliminating views and jeopardizing homeowner privacy. The Malibu West Homeowners, who asked the MTC for assistance, felt that they would be totally overwhelmed by the city’s design for the park.

The City is now rethinking their approval of this large project and has convened a public workshop to gather resident input. This workshop recommended a smaller park more in line with the original pocket park concept. We are encouraged that the City Council has reached out for this resident feedback and we are hopeful that the final park design will be more in line with their recommendations.

Our lawsuit was filed to provide backup protection for your friends and neighbors living in the Trancas Canyon neighborhood. If the final design of the park accommodates the needs of these Malibu West Homeowners, the MTC lawsuit will go away. This is certainly the outcome we are hoping for.

Steve Uhring

Malibu Township Council