PLANNING COMMISSION TO VOTE ON LA PAZ ON TUESDAY

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The Planning Commission on Tuesday will be asked to make a recommendation to the City Council on a revised version of the La Paz development agreement, which includes a proposal for a municipal wastewater treatment facility. City staff added the item to the commission’s agenda on Thursday. The City Council is expected to vote on the agreement Nov. 10.

The original agreement called for the developer of the Civic Center area property to donate 2.3 acres of land and $500,000 to the city for the construction of a City Hall. This would be in exchange for La Paz getting to build a 112,058-square-foot retail and office space complex. Without the donation, city law would limit La Paz to a 99,177-square-foot development. At the September City Council hearing on La Paz, Mayor Pamela Conley Ulich said she would prefer the donated land be used for a wastewater treatment plant that would be hooked up to various properties throughout the area. A La Paz representative attempted to respond to the request, but City Attorney Christi Hogin would not allow him to speak, saying it would not be in the city’s interest for a negotiation to take place during a public meeting. La Paz officials declined comment to the media after the meeting.

The revised development agreement does not specifically call for a wastewater treatment plant. It states the property could be used for “any municipal purpose, including a City Hall, library, community center, water quality infrastructure park or open space provided the City Council at a public hearing finds the use to be consistent with the adjacent uses, the General Plan and the Local Coastal Program.”

The Planning Commission in January recommended the City Council reject the development agreement and approve the smaller version of the project. The commission was asked to make another recommendation in August because La Paz had redesigned its septic system proposal. At the August meeting, a majority of the commission refused to make a recommendation, claiming the project had not been altered enough since January to warrant another recommendation. This angered La Paz officials and some council members, including Mayor Pro Tem Andy Stern. He specifically called out Commissioner John Mazza at the council’s La Paz hearing when he denounced the commission’s refusal to vote. This led to a heated verbal altercation between Stern and Mazza.

The meeting on Tuesday will begin at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall’s Council Chambers. The staff report can be accessed at this link: http://www.ci.malibu.ca.us/download/index.cfm?fuseaction=download&cid=13007.