Reiner Initiative to Appear on November Ballot

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Your Malibu, Your Decision

In a meeting where emotions ran high, the Malibu City Council voted 4-1 late Monday night to place the controversial formula retail ordinance, often called the Reiner Initiative, on the November “special election” ballot, rather than wait until the next local election in 2016.

City Council then unanimously voted to enact its own similar formula retail ordinance, instead of withholding the decision until after the election.

“I don’t … want to wait another four months to have something, because I think it’s important,” said Councilwoman Laura Rosenthal, who said she feared the Council’s decision to enact its own ordinance may be construed as attempting to overshadow the other proposal.

The decision to move forward with placing the so-called Reiner Initiative on the November ballot followed nearly two hours of heated public commentary.

Emotions ran high at the meeting, which ran nearly five hours, and voices were raised on both sides of the debate. More than once, Mayor Pro Tem John Sibert called the assembled to order as jeers or applause came from those in the audience.

Speakers included longtime Malibu residents who were skeptical of the necessity and legality of the initiative and comments from supporters, including local activist Rob Reiner, one of the key proponents of the measure.

“You don’t have to decide whether it’s a good initiative or a bad initiative; we’ll all figure that out as time goes by,” said Reiner, who urged the Council to focus on its immediate decision of when to place the initiative on the ballot.

The initiative, for which 2,300 local signatures were gathered, would place a 30 percent limit on the number of chain stores permitted to operate in Malibu shopping centers. It would also require a citywide vote on major shopping center development and commercial or mixed use construction over 20,000 square feet. 

The proposal will appear on the Malibu ballot as part of a countywide election set for November 4. 

For more on Monday’s meeting, check back later this week or pick up a copy of The Malibu Times on local newsstands.