With the hiring of a new planning director, the rotation of the Planning Commission chairmanship and the appointment of Richard Carrigan to the commission, there is a sense of renewed purpose on land use issues.
All three men appreciate the urgency of finalizing the zoning ordinance, having the Local Coastal Plan (LCP) certified by the California Coastal Commission and updating the General Plan.
Finalizing the Zoning Ordinance and LCP will help people get development permits sooner, while the General Plan is mandated for review by state law.
Here are thumbnail sketches of the people involved. As new commissioners are appointed, The Malibu Times will profile them.
New planning director
Although Malibu’s new planning director has not worked in coastal areas, he has served in new cities and relishes their challenges.
“I know what kind of excitement you need to deal with all issues at once,” said Barry K. Hogan about the zoning ordinance and General Plan. “I’m excited about the opportunity to move Malibu forward.”
He begins work and will be introduced to the city June 12.
Hogan was the first planning director for the city of Poway and was the national award winner for its Comprehensive Plan.
“We worked on the General Plan and Zoning Ordinance at the same time,” said Hogan, a 27-year planning professional. Seven hearings before the City Council, as well as meeting with the business community and building department, “helped to diffuse fear of too dramatic a change,” Hogan said.
Hogan has a bachelor and master’s degrees in urban planning. In addition to his work in Hemet and Poway, he has also served as a planner for the new city of Rancho Cucamonga.
He has been assistant planning director for Hemet (population 62,000) for the last four years, where residential development guidelines were just completed.
Noting he has seen the Environmental Impact Report on Malibu Bay Company projects in the Civic Center, and that he will look at the Local Coastal Plan, Hogan said he is aware there is “a variety of direction concerning the environment.”
“I like challenges,” he said.
New commission chair
New commission chair Ed Lipnick’s background in political science, applied science and writing has served him well.
The 60-something Brooklyn native with a BA in political science and an interest in chemistry runs commission meetings courteously and efficiently. He quickly spots discrepancies in maps and surveys.
His first action as chair was to announce that he would like all resolutions to be written and amended as clearly and concisely as possible.
Before he began motion picture writing in the ’80s, Lipnick was a computer programmer for Systems Development Corporation in Santa Monica, a senior analyst in the Information Sciences department of the RAND think tank, and a research associate for USC’s School of Medicine.
His writing partner was Sharon Barovsky, whom he met in 1963, when he moved to Malibu. Noting they sold pieces but nothing was produced, Lipnick said, “We had some moderate success.”
Lipnick retired in 1990, preferring to devote his time to investments and politics. He was Councilwoman Joan House’s treasurer in the 1996 campaign, and she appointed him to the commission then. In 1998, Lipnick served as treasurer on the late Councilman Harry Barovsky’s campaign.
Noting the full plate of planning priorities, Lipnick said, “The biggest thing affecting Malibu, the 800-pound gorilla that no one talks about, is Pepperdine University. It has a huge effect on Malibu and the city has no control over it.”
Lipnick said he most likes the “quasi-judicial aspect” of being a planning commissioner, hearing individual projects, testing the evidence and making the decision.
“It’s not easy for people to govern themselves,” said Lipnick of his service. “Everyone owes a duty to something for the city and I’ve enjoyed it. If everyone does a little, we can continue to have a great city.”
New planning commissioner
Richard Carrigan was just appointed by City Councilman Ken Kearsley. He has a degree in philosophy, an MBA in finance, and was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy.
Carrigan has spent the bulk of his professional life in finance: four years in the arbitrage department of Goldman Sachs, and 26 years as an independent market maker in the Chicago Board options exchange.
He has been a private investor in Malibu since 1986.
For the last two years he was Chairman of the Board of Malibu Stage Co., the city’s professional theater company.
Saying he resigned from Malibu Stage Co. because he was seeking new challenges, Carrigan noted the Planning Commission deals with the “single most important issue in Malibu, executing the mandate of the community with regard to land use.
“I want to make sure the city doesn’t become another Newport Beach,” Carrigan said.