City releases formula retail poll results

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Clickers used to tabulate votes last week at City Hall. 

The City of Malibu has posted official results from the Dec. 13 town hall polling forum where city planners gathered feedback on what the community wants to see in a Civic Center chain store ordinance—an issue that has pitted Malibu preservationists against free-market business advocates who believe residents’ wallets will determine whether they support chain stores in Malibu. 

The multiple choice questions tackled a range of issues. Several asked about the voters themselves, whether they were Malibu residents and whether they worked or owned businesses in the Civic Center. Others asked attendees to define what a chain or retail formula business is, and whether some types of uses, such as grocery stores or banks, should be granted exemptions from the ordinance. Nearly half of those polled said a chain store’s intensity (i.e., how many people it attracts) is the most important “subjective” aspect in evaluating the site.

To view the results, visit the city’s website

Staff plans on incorporating the results into a drafted formula retail ordinance that would have to earn a recommendation from the Planning Commission and also be approved by the City Council, then the California Coastal Commission.

Although staff envisioned presenting a drafted ordinance to the Planning Commission on Jan. 22, Associate Planner Joseph Smith said it might not make it onto the agenda by then. Planning staff could require more time to evaluate whether the ordinance complies with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).