Retail ordinance town hall set for Dec. 13

From left: City Manager Jim Thorsen, Councilwoman Laura Rosenthal, Mayor Pro Tem Joan House, Mayor Lou La Monte and Councilmen Skylar Peak and John Sibert. 

A community town hall meeting to gather input on the city’s plans to draft a formula retail ordinance and define “community-serving business” is scheduled for Thurs., Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. in City Hall’s Multipurpose Room. 

The City Council directed city staff to hold the meeting in response to community outcry in recent weeks over the closure of several small businesses in Malibu and the push for a retail or small business ordinance in Malibu. 

The meeting will be broken into two segments, one to address provisions in a drafted retail ordinance and the other to refine the definition of “community-serving businesses” in Malibu. 

The City Council held off on asking for a draft of a small business ordinance because of the ambiguity surrounding the term “community-serving.” 

Keypad polling devices will also be set up for attendees to vote on key questions.

Once the town hall is held, council members directed planning department staff to draft an ordinance that would legally require chain store owners to obtain a conditional use permit from the city in order to open a franchise in any Civic Center shopping center that exceeds 10,000 square feet.

Staff will also report back with research and input on “community-serving.”

“Following this meeting, the draft ordinance will be prepared by staff and scheduled for an upcoming Planning Commission meeting for public review (anticipated early 2013) with a City Council meeting following,” according to a release from the City of Malibu.