Planning commissioners lauded


In a poignant commemoration of community service, outgoing planning commissioners Jo Ruggles and Andrew Stern were praised for their dedication to the city.

Commission chair Ed Lipnick presented Ruggles and Stern with awards of appreciation and gifts for their four years of service, and engineer/developer Norm Haynie used the public comment period to add his commendations.

“No one takes a back seat to her for defense of the environment and fierce loyalty to the city,” said Lipnick of Ruggles, who was appointed by Carolyn Van Horn.

Noting that Ruggles has also been “an advocate for nocturnal little critters, against intrusive lighting,” Lipnick speculated Ruggles might be one of them.

Of Stern, who was appointed by Walt Keller, Lipnick said, “Andrew has been a delight to sit nearby. His humor and intelligence has informed our decisions.”

Commissioner Charleen Kabrin, the other incumbent, praised Ruggles for her institutional memory.

Haynie, who said he has attended nearly all commission meetings since cityhood, said, “The amount of work commissioners put in should be acknowledged. They spend three to eight days month preparing for meetings to bring the vision statement of Malibu to reality.”

“Although I don’t always agree with their opinions, people vote for what they believe is best for the city,” added Haynie .

In other business, commissioners received a status report on the update of the Zoning Ordinance from consultant Paul Crawford.

Noting that the City Council would have jurisdiction over the Local Coastal Plan, Crawford said the ordinance was ready to be changed from an “administrative draft” to a “Planning Commission Review Draft.”

Lipnick suggested that after Crawford meets with new Planning Director Barry Hogan, Crawford should develop a work plan schedule and revise the ordinance format to refer to the source material. That would help people who are seeing the ordinance for the first time, Lipnick said.

“We will have a fresh team of horses in a couple of weeks,” said Lipnick, referring to Hogan and a commissioner to be appointed by City Councilman Jeff Jennings.