The newly formed PARCS (People Achieving Recreation and Community Services) would like to take this opportunity to make clear that our group represents the needs of all citizens of Malibu — from our respected senior citizens to our youngest children. Our aim is to provide both passive and active recreation as well as furnish community services which harmonize with our natural environment.
While PARCS supported deed-restricting the use of Charmlee Park to ensure its preservation as a natural, undeveloped area, we strongly disagreed with the process used to determine those restrictions during last Monday’s City Council meeting.
Because deed restrictions were not required or necessary as part of the city taking title to Charmlee Park, PARCS representatives requested a public hearing so that the community could have input regarding what restrictions would be appropriate. PARCS further stated that absent a public hearing, the council should send the matter to the newly formed Parks and Recreation Commission — or at the very least, have councilmen Hasse and Barovsky, as the council liaisons to the Parks and Recreation Department, sit down with all interested parties and work out a thoughtful, restricted deed.
Instead the City Council decided the fate of Malibu’s very first park by choosing to wordsmith restrictions proposed by the La Chusa property owners. At 10:45 p.m., without input from the community at large, the council decided it was all right to ride horses in the park, but not permit Girl Scouts and church groups to have organized overnight camping experiences.
PARCS applauds the La Chusa Property Owners Association for its activism and for the hard work in crafting the language for the deed restriction. However, permitting a small segment of our community to decide the use of 500 acres of open space is bad policy. And making policy on the fly excludes the community and invites litigation.
Charmlee Park is a wonderful, beautiful and unique area, and we fully supported its acquisition. However, we feel that the process of deed-restricting the park’s use was more exclusive than inclusive and more political than productive.
Anyone interested in having their voice heard with regard to the future of Malibu’s recreational needs as well as community services is invited to join our new organization, PARCS, by calling 457-4001.