City Council: Parking Passes Pondered at Point Dume

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Residents from Heathercliff Condominiums and Dume View Villas are petitioning the city to create a parking pass system for 18 street parking spots around their complexes. 

The Malibu City Council will consider adding the city’s second neighborhood parking-pass system at its meeting on Monday, at the request of Point Dume residents fed up with a lack of street parking near their homes. But some wonder whether approval could spark a cascade of applications by other neighborhoods for similar rights. 

The council will also consider a city campaign to paint storm drains in west Malibu and vote on finalizing the city’s affordable housing needs through 2021.

Parking at Point Dume – Precedent-Setter?

The proposed parking system at Point Dume was unanimously recommended to the council by the Public Works Commission in October, after residents of condos next to the Point Dume Village shopping center complained of difficulty parking near their homes. 

“We’re at the whim of [shopping center] employees who have no real reason not to park where it’s most convenient,” said Jonathan Selig, president of the Heathercliff Homeowners Association, at the October meeting. 

Selig and five other condo owners in Heathercliff Condominiums and Dume View Villas requested preferential parking, because the shopping center employees are required to park offsite on residential streets and Pacific Coast Highway. 

The ongoing remodeling at the Trancas Country Market shopping center to the west has also sent a flurry of shoppers to the Point Dume center, according to the city’s staff report.

Malibu has only one other neighborhood parking-pass system: the Malibu Country Estates. MCE requires a pass from 2-5:30 a.m. to discourage Pepperdine University students from parking overnight.

Still, public works commissioners said in October they did not want to start a preferential parking trend in Malibu.

“We just don’t want to start something and have everyone come to us for parking pass systems,” Commission Chair Steve Karsh said.

Staff have recommended in favor of the measure. If the council follows the staff’s recommendation, staff would process a coastal development permit, notify the neighbors and bring an ordinance back to the council establishing the preferential permit parking in the area. 

Artsy storm drains?

City of Malibu staff is proposing an innovative art and media project to raise awareness to the importance of limiting stormwater runoff in Malibu’s ecologically unique western coast. The area is recognized by the state as one of 34 Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBS), due to the presence of underwater kelp forests as well as its rich ecosystem with whales, sharks, dolphins and a multitude of other species. The Malibu ASBS stretches approximately 22 miles from Latigo Point to Laguna Point in Ventura County. 

The city hopes to commission a muralist to paint several storm drains along the western coast with Malibu-inspired public art, with the goal of catching bystanders’ attention. The painting process and the purpose behind it would be filmed and then distributed via social media. Should the council vote to approve, the project should be completed by March or April at the latest, according to the city’s coastal preservation specialist Casey Zweig, who is spearheading the project. 

Because ASBS regulations prohibit pollutants from flowing into the ocean through public and private storm drains and streams, the city hopes to get residents on board with measures such as limiting water, herbicide and pesticide runoff from their properties. 

Affordable housing numbers – the Housing Element

The City Council also hopes to put to bed a thorny issue that has plagued the city for the past several years—the General Plan Housing Element. 

State law requires California cities to periodically submit guiding policies for future development to allow the potential for housing for all income types, including low- and very-low income. Incorporated as a city in 1991, Malibu did not submit a housing element to the state until 2011, despite being required to do so. That refusal became problematic when faulty population projections by a state group in 2011 calculated that Malibu would potentially need 442 units of affordable housing, which forced the city to rezone several parcels of land to comply with the 2008-2013 housing cycle. 

For the current vote, for the 2013-2021 housing cycle, Malibu is required to zone for just two units of low-income housing, due to its estimated population of 12,645, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.