In other matters …


Despite their 2-2 vote on forming an ad hoc committee to renew the city’s cable television franchise [see accompanying story], the City Council was able to unanimously approve the following items Monday night.

Streisand/Brolin home

After two months of public hearings and last-minute Planning Department approval of revised plans, the council approved plans to demolish the existing Zumirez Drive, 4,198-square-foot home and garage of Barbra Streisand and James Brolin and replace it with a 6,424-square-foot home and garage.

This approval rejected the appeal of the couple’s neighbor Eric Jacobson.

Reacting to charges of favoring celebrities, council members emphasized their approval was based on city law.

The 3,418-square-foot main house and 442-square-foot garage basements were not considered in the project’s total square footage because there are no regulations on basements, Councilman Tom Hasse said. (Basements are part of the hillside ordinance being reviewed by the council’s Architects and Engineers Committee.)

The current house is closer to the coastal bluff’s Environmental Sensitive Habitat Area than the planned house is, said Councilwoman Joan House, referring to a determination the top of the bluff was now at an 84.8-foot contour line rather than the originally drawn 93-foot contour line.

According to the city’s resolution, the height of the 28-foot, two-story house was found to be consistent with others leading up to the end of Zumirez Drive and within 500 feet.

Code enforcement

The council approved the proposed resolution on the charter of the Code Enforcement Task Force created last month.

The charter includes: 1) grandfathering; 2) permitted uses; 3) ancillary structures; 4) entitlement; 5) costs, fines and requests for permits; 6) guest houses versus second units; 7)written complaints; 8) written code enforcement policy; 9) expanding the function of the Building Board of Appeals; 10) lack of county records; and 11) consideration of amnesty.

The council also continued naming members to the task force.

House named Realtor Terry Lucoff and architect Marc D. Jackson; Hasse named attorney Bill Sampson; and Keller named contractor Bruce Terranova. Carolyn Van Horn still has to name the 15th member.

Attorney Sam Birenbaum, who applied to be appointed to the task force even though criminal misdemeanor charges are pending against him and his wife, Nidia, for illegal building activities, lambasted city staff for abusing their discretion.

Calling creation of the task force a “token gesture” after hundreds of people told the council how they were living in fear, he asked the council to suspend all criminal prosecutions and resolve cases by alternate dispute resolution. The council refused to do so.

Drug/alcohol rehabilitation facilities

The council approved authorizing the city lobbyist to seek an amendment to state law to distribute residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities throughout the city. Hasse’s amendment to look into legal challenges of the law was also approved.

City attorney

The council approved the legal services contract with the new city attorney, Steve Amerikaner, based on changes suggested by Jeff Jennings and Councilman Walt Keller. Amerikaner agreed to revise his contract to clarify that his billing rate would be $196 per hour for all basic services, and agreed to charge for only half his travel time.

Traffic study

The council awarded a contract to Katz, Okitsu & Associates to prepare a traffic turn study for Pacific Coast Highway.

Water quality

The council authorized the mayor to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with other agencies to submit a joint application for a federal grant to fund the Malibu Creek Watershed Wide Monitoring program.