• Malibu has become a hotspot for Airbnb renters coming to town for a few days and looking to get a piece of seaside life. Demand increased 186 percent in 2016. Airbnb has identified Malibu as one of the 15 “hotspot” cities that people want to visit and the city’s share of the transient occupancy tax, known as the TOT, is a growing item in the city budget.
• The plan to increase the recreation area in Malibu Bluffs Park, adding fields and other amenities, once again bought out the varying sides to the City Council meeting. The council—as they typically do with a hot potato item like this, especially one that pits rabid environmentalists who want nothing against parents who want more fields—put their foot down and sent it back to staff for further study.
• Waterworks District 29, which is part of LA County, runs the antiquated and far from adequate Topanga/Malibu water system, which suffers from old undersized water pipes and lack of sufficient water storage. The multi-million-dollar upgrade plan (estimated as high as $250 million), first unveiled in 2013, has stalled recently from a combination of the high price tag and the resistance of some groups who oppose it because they fear it will create more population growth in the mountains. With fire season upon us, the risks keep growing.
• After a heated council meeting, they voted, 3-2, to declare Malibu a sanctuary city, but it proved to be not the end of the issue but only the beginning. Many citizens were later upset that the issue had just been sprung on them and the council had not considered all the consequences, but despite the unease the vote held, Malibu is officially a sanctuary city.