Workshops part of proposed deal with MBC

In the opening gun on the proposed long-term deal between the city and the Malibu Bay Company, the City Council authorized three workshops on a proposed park and community center on Point Dume, Friday.

By a 2-1 vote, with Mayor Tom Hasse and Mayor Pro Tem Joan House supporting, and Jeff Jennings dissenting, the council authorized the city Parks & Recreation Department to run workshops on the site to be donated by the Malibu Bay Company as an essential part of the proposed deal.

The workshops on the 19-acre site, fronting Pacific Coast Highway just east of Heathercliff Road, will take place before the June 27, 28 council hearings on the city-Malibu Bay Company deal.

At last month’s City Council meeting, many people, including Malibu Coastal Land Conservancy head Gil Segel, warned of rushing the deal through.

City Parks & Recreation staff, Parks & Recreation commissioners and, hopefully, volunteers would handle the workshops aimed at getting public input on a prioritized list of amenities for Heathercliff Park.

During public comment at the meeting, community education was emphasized. Parks & Recreation Commissioner Barbara Cameron put a priority on the city-wide mailing notice of the workshops.

“We should add a concise paragraph that the workshops are a very first step in getting an Environmental Impact Report,” she said, referring to the EIR on the city-Malibu Bay Company deal. “Community education is important.

“People are concerned about uses before a traffic study is done,” Cameron added. “The Council should educate the community about what issues are discussed in the EIR.”

Cameron and seniors activist Jo Fogg (Malibu’s Senior Citizen of the Year) said volunteers were crucially important to increase interest in the project. They were needed to prepare the mailings, host the workshops and summarize workshop responses.

“The workshops are a basis of information critical for Proposition 12,” said Cameron, referring to the recently passed parks bond measure. “We need the information as part of the city’s Parks Master Plan.”

“We should use volunteers to hold costs down and increase interest in the project,” said Fogg, referring to the $7,570 bid of City Parks Consultant Takata Associates for running the workshops. “Volunteers would spread the word around.”

Jennings dissented because he did not see the necessity of having an extra series of workshops when there would be so many of them on the city-Malibu Bay Company deal.

“We will have lots of critical issues,” he said, referring to City Manager Harry Peacock’s statements about the necessity for formulating a project for the EIR.

Jennings also said he had “trouble” with the mailing component of the council’s action.

“We will probably have 12 hearings for the EIR,” Jennings said. “These [Heathercliff Park] ones might not be the most important.”

A morning meeting June 17, at Point Dume, as well as June 21 and 22, were mentioned as possible dates for the workshops.

Deciding to use city personnel and volunteers rather than consultants Takata Associates saved the city $5,000. Takata had bid $7,570 for preparing, leading and summarizing the workshops. The council authorized $2,500 for the workshops and mailing, which includes $970 for postage.

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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