One other project presented to the Planning Commission was not approved for a coastal development permit because public opposition prevented the commission from hearing the item. It will go before the commission again on March 21.
By Kevin Connelly/Special to The Malibu Times
The Planning Commission granted two residential coastal development permits on Monday, the first ones ever granted by the city of Malibu. The commission approved applications for a 6,762-square-foot home on Zumirez Drive and for a 3,235- square-foot home on Pacific Coast Highway in West Malibu. A third project that was before the commission was withdrawn from the agenda because of public opposition, and will reappear at a future meeting.
Monday’s meeting was the first in a series of sessions that the Planning Commission will conduct over the next several months on projects that have received municipal approval based on city laws, but have to receive coastal development permits because of the two-year Local Coastal Program dispute between Malibu and the California Coastal Commission. The dispute came to a tentative conclusion in December when the state Supreme Court refused to hear Malibu’s request to put the LCP document drafted by the Coastal Commission for the city up for a vote. So Malibu must now grant coastal development permits based on that document.
The Zumirez project received support from an unusual ally, former City Council candidate John Mazza. He is usually known for speaking at meetings against development proposals.
“I very much would like to thank the applicant [Frank Kearze] for submitting a file that had everything needed to review the file and determine that is was qualified,” he said. “It was very easy to go through their files. It was very easy to see they considered everything that was necessary, which is not the case in the other two cases tonight, where there are certain areas you cannot find anything at all. This project qualifies all the way down the line. I think if other applicants would be as diligent in their applications there wouldn’t be as many appeals.”
This comment was seemingly so out of character for Mazza that private planning consultant Norm Haynie jokingly asked for a “copy of the transcript.”
Kearze took the microphone next: “Can someone come up here and pinch me?” he said. “It’s been a long journey to get to this point here. When we initially started this project our architect had suggested that we build a larger house. He had stated this particular neighborhood requires a house of this stature and size. We decided to go the other way with this.
“We went out of our way to design a house that would fit into the neighborhood,” he continued. “We didn’t want to inhibit our neighbors’ views or push the property lines to the maximum. We designed within the envelope that we were allowed and even less than that. We look forward to getting on with it.”
The more contentious issue Monday evening was the application for a 10,953-square-foot home on Sea View Drive. The item was placed on the commission’s consent calendar, which meant it was expected to be approved with little discussion. But public opposition forced the item to be removed.
Commissioner Carol Randall read a letter sent to her from Pat Greenwood, a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission.
“I hope this [project] can be pulled from the consent calendar in order to have a public hearing,” Greenwood wrote. “There are many issues involved with this project, both in content and [procedure]…There are many, many issues in this project including neighborhood character, trails, earthquake and geological concerns, drainage, and uncompacted…dirt hill put there with no permits in 1991 and story poles which should be reinstalled.”
The Planning Commission, which could not discuss the issue at this meeting, will hear the issue at the March 21 meeting.