I would like to take this opportunity to commend all the members of the Malibu City Council for their acute perception and their action at the Sept. 27 meeting, at which time a proposition for the undergrounding of utilities on the middle portion of Old Malibu Road was put forth.
The report of an “outside” consulting firm of lawyers and engineers was presented as to their recommendation, that is, each residential property on the south of the ocean side of Malibu Rd., regardless of size or frontage, were to be assessed an increase of $45,000 per lot. The same, therefore, for a 30-foot frontage or a 200-foot frontage lot. An even greater inequity for the Malibu Bay Co. commercial property across the street at the rate of one-third that of the residential property rate.
The undergrounding was turned down a few years ago as a joint venture by the Malibu Colony Association, as well as by the upper portion of the Malibu Road as being grossly exorbitant in cost as against the small aesthetic value only visible from the commercial side of the street. The major beneficiaries would be the private corporations—Southern California Edison Co., Falcon Cable Co. and Verizon Telephone Co., none of whom would contribute anything to the exorbitant cost to the residential homeowners.
Fortunately, our City Council was alert as to the gross imbalance and inequity between lot parcel size and current assessments and proposed new additional surtax, and the special treatment that was to be gifted to the Malibu Bay Co., the largest land holder and foot frontage on Malibu Rd. Who is paying what percentages for this engineering and legal report?