Malibu Bay deal-less or more development?

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MBC ballot argument from opposition focuses on MBC owner Jerry Perenchio’s Colony property, saying he could develop up to 56 homes if a wastewater facility is built under the current deal. Supporters argue that Perenchio could develop more under current zoning codes.

By Jonathan Friedman/Special to the Malibu Times

The ballot measure arguments are out for the Malibu Bay Company (MBC) Development Agreement. Mayor Ken Kearsley and Mayor Pro Tem Sharon Barovsky wrote the supporting argument, while Malibu Community Action Network’s (CAN) Steve Uhring wrote the opposition argument. Two other people, CAN’s Bob Carmichael and Bill Sampson, signed the argument. But four people signed the supporting argument, in addition to Kearsley, who signed on behalf of the council.

“We wanted to get a cross representation of the people in Malibu, represent a broad spectrum,” Kearsley said.

Those who signed the argument were education activist Kathy Wisnicki, Telecommunications Commissioner Georgianna McBurney, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Advisory Board member Dennis Seider and former Parks and Recreation Commissioner Laureen Sills. Sills, who has stayed away from the political scene since personal circumstances forced her to resign from the commission, said she was motivated to sign because of the public benefits the agreement promises.

A self-proclaimed parks person, Sills said she likes the idea that a park could be built if the city purchases the Chili Cook-Off site. She said the company’s obligation to build a 5,000 square foot community center at its Point Dume property also was an opportunity the city should not pass up. She said if the agreement is not approved, MBC owner Jerry Perenchio might decide to sell his properties to somebody who would be not willing to offer these benefits.

Uhring’s argument states that the development allowed by the agreement will increase traffic greatly, that an environmental impact report was needed and not done on some of the features of the revised agreement and that the agreement paves the way for Perenchio to build 56 new homes on his Malibu Colony property.

McBurney called Uhring’s arguments funny, adding that the reaction of other people living in Malibu Colony prevents Perenchio from building that many homes.

“That argument is so stupid, it doesn’t bear any kind of consideration,” she said. “He’d (Perenchio) be hung by everybody in the Colony.”

But Uhring has contended during past City Council meetings that, with a wastewater treatment facility on the Chili Cook-Off site, Perenchio’s wastewater issues that prevented him from building homes on the property would be solved. But Uhring also questioned in his argument whether a facility will actually prevent the pollution of the ocean, creek and lagoon as the city says.

“Have you seen details of this magic plan?” he wrote.

In Kearsley’s argument he focused on the public benefits offered by the agreement such as a public park and a community center. Kearsley also wrote that the agreement includes less development than the MBC could do under the city’s zoning laws. In addition, he pointed out what he called the benefits of a wastewater treatment facility.

But Uhring said the argument left out some vital information.

“The biggest issue is it doesn’t tell the people if we don’t raise the $25 million, Perenchio gets to build another 155,000 square feet. It also doesn’t tell everybody that it requires a 30,000 square foot wastewater treatment plant on the Chili Cook-Off [site].”

Kearsley said the facility would be only 6,000 square feet. The agreement states that the facility can be a maximum of 30,000 square feet, but does not state a specific size it must be.