Rumors of the possible closure of Malibu Lumber concerns every one of us. Do we really want to drive to Agoura or Santa Monica for a gallon of deck paint and a brush? We have all been opposed to any development (mea culpa) ignoring the fact that this gives present owners of existing buildings such a monopoly, they impose higher and higher rents. Which then means the stores we do have are forced into expensive inventories targeting shoppers from out of town. More traffic and aggravation.
Now every community needs small stores where its citizens can buy children’s shoes and underwear, stamps, health items, sporting goods, hardware and building materials such as wood and tile. And what about the offices for our small production companies and screenwriters who’d prefer to work right here in our midst? There is just no office space available. So everyone drives out of town—more traffic!
What little space we do have zoned for light industry or building materials is mostly along Malibu Creek, surely much better used for evening strolls along park trails or indoor patio dining overlooking nature. So why not change all that?
Maybe it is time for the City Council to reconsider its priorities and zone space somewhere slightly out of the center for our real needs. And let our creek light industry move there and let our developers build for that specific zoning. Then we might keep our working chaps closer to home and find an economically viable place for our very necessary hardware store.
And a final thought. Why not hire a world class visionary (Moshe Safdie?) to help us avoid a piecemeal approach and suggest the way to achieve a really exciting future city.