Proposal merits support


    The proposed development agreement with the Malibu Bay Company (MBC) provides the next City Council with the following options:

    Option 1: To proceed in good faith with MBC in negotiating the details of the proposed agreement including “public benefits” through public hearings.

    Option 2: Allow MBC to have the increased square footage over Option 1, that the city zoning law allows without “public benefits.”

    Option 3. Acquire the undeveloped properties of MBC and other civic center properties for “public benefits” (wetlands/recreation).

    The reason I support Option 1 is it guarantees MBC certain rights in developing its own properties and, in return, secures for Malibu residents 25.5 acres of permanent open space, a 10-year building moratorium on the Chili Cook-off site, and a 19-acre parcel in Point Dume where MBC will fund a new senior/teen community center, ball fields and related amenities.

    Option 3 is not viable because to acquire the undeveloped MBC properties it requires a willing seller, and MBC, the major landowner has indicated it is not a willing seller.

    This current proposal may not be all we want, but considering the alternative, we need council members who will act in good faith with the Bay Company and for all of the community in finalizing this proposal.

    As a longtime resident, I share your concern to preserve Malibu’s fragile seaside-residential character. This agreement honors our concern by limiting MBC to only 122,000 square feet of new commercial development for the next 10 years, at the same time as it permanently eliminates more than 300,000 square feet allowable commercial building and associated traffic.

    In spite of this, we are being asked to believe that a financial grant will be available from the state to fund the purchase of the MBC Civic Center properties. Since there existed no financial line item in state Propositions 12 or 13 for these properties, any such effort by the City Council will force MBC to proceed with their current application under Option 2.

    We need to change the council thinking that has cost the city over $2 million to settle the original Mobile Home lawsuit; allowed 398 condominiums instead of three homes at Lunita/Bailard; a city council approved expenditure of approximately $400,000 for a specific Civic Center Plan that was subsequently rejected by the Council; and a Point Dume Headlands settlement that will cost the city $500,000 over 10 years. That’s $3 million which could have been used for “public benefits.”

    Council members House and Hasse have provided the council and community a remarkable opportunity for our consideration. I hope you support this.

    John Harlow,

    former mayor and council member