Eight condominium units adjacent to Las Flores Creek between Pacific Coast Highway and the ocean were approved Monday by the Planning Commission, 4-1 (Charleen Kabrin opposed). The two new structures will each contain four units.
City planners urged approval of the project, which sits on land between Duke’s Malibu restaurant and the Union 76 Station, and noted the construction includes a widening of a culvert that carries water under the highway to the ocean. The widening of the channel increases the space for floodwaters to drain into the sea. The developer will be allowed to construct parking space that will jut over the widened area of the culvert.
Commissioner Ken Kearsley dubbed the project a “win-win situation” for the city. The alternative, he said, is a hotel and restaurant with increased car traffic.
In moving for approval of the project, Kearsley described the narrow channel as a traditional headache. “We’re not doing it for them,” he declared in referring to the developer. “We’re doing it for the people up Las Flores.” He pegged the widening of the channel as a $200,000 benefit to the city. “What we’re getting is relief for our brothers and sisters up creek…. Don’t reject this, you guys.”
Architect Schuyler Brown said he has worked on the project for some three years, and the outcome is lower than the required height for the site. The project beautifies a blighted lot, he added.
Commissioner Ed Lipnick secured a condition that the two parcels of land between the restaurant and the gas station be treated as one for all condominium documents, and that there be one condominium board.
The east parcel will contain 23 parking spaces, even though 15 would be required for the site. The “extra” spaces would be used by the second, more westerly structure.
Commissioner Jo Ruggles objected to the construction of a 14-foot wall along the property line with the gas station. She secured approval of an eight- to nine-foot wall to be screened with plantings.
Charleen Kabrin unsuccessfully sought a continuance for further study when she claimed the parties had never previously explained parking would extend over the widened flood control project. She asked for an alternate parking scheme with a conventional channel.