City Council approves Sea View Hotel Project; looks to honor Juneteenth as a federal holiday


Mayor Pro Tem Steve Uhring commented on the recent Planning Commission meeting and election of chair

The Malibu City Council addressed a series of items during Monday’s City Council meeting, including the Award Agreement for Wireless Communication Facility Application Review Services, Broad Beach Geological Hazard Abatement District (BBGHAD), and the Sea View Hotel Project. 

For public comment, Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) Board of Education member Stacy Rouse asked the council for intervention on the new Malibu High School building.

“We want to see that government can work together in the inner agencies and for the good of our citizens,” Rouse said. 

For city manager updates, City Manager Steve McClary said Busch Drive entrance is closed due to flooding and Westward Beach will be closed due to concrete issues.

“So we’re concerned on traffic backing up on PCH and we’ll be strategizing with Beaches & Harbors and Sheriffs Department on how we can best mitigate those potential hazards,” McClary said. 

The Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Soderlund provided an update on the traffic, safety, and the citations the beach team has issued year to date.

Soderlund said the beach team issued 55 alcohol citations, 64 traffic citations, and 132 parking citations, and had 18 vehicles towed.

“And that’s just in one weekend,” Soderlund said. “We’re going to be out this Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday in full force for the Fourth of July weekend.”

Soderlund reported on a felony traffic stop near Geoffrey’s Restaurant and Escondido Beach and said the suspect was arrested for domestic violence. 

For council updates, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Uhring commented on the Planning Commission meeting that occurred on July 19, where Commissioner Skylar Peak was voted as chair and Commissioner John Mazza as vice chair.

“In the last Planning Commission meeting, John Mazza, who was then the vice chair, was scheduled to be the chair of the Planning Commission. In a vote led by [Commissioner] Jeff Jennings, John was denied that position of chair,” Uhring said. “John has been volunteering his time and energy in Malibu for over 25 years, he’s been a Planning Commissioner since the early 2000’s, … so I guess my point is: This gentleman has a major portion of his life trying to make Malibu better, and I can’t think of anything that he’s ever done which has been in opposition of our general plan or done to do any damage to anyone here in Malibu.”

Uhring apologized to Mazza and the community. 

“I think you deserve better — this is not what you elected us to do,” Uhring said. “I think we have a responsibility to act like adults as we go through this, and focus not on ourselves but what’s going to make Malibu the city the best.”

The council moved on to item 3B5, Commission Work Assignments for Fiscal Year 2023-24.

Two members of the public spoke, asking to reinstate the telecommunications commission and SMC antenna tower.

“I understand that telecom is both a necessity, as well as a convenience, but there’s a line which after it crosses necessity and convenience, so they’ll have to examine that question as well,” Mayor Bruce Silverstein said. 

Council approved 3B12, Award Agreement Wireless Communication Facility Application Review Services. The Professional Services Agreement with Center for Municipal Solutions (CMS) for Wireless Permit (WP) and Wireless Right-of-Way Permit (WRP) application review services for a period of five years.

The council moved on to B16, the Broad Beach Geological Hazard Abatement District (BBGHAD), and Public Works Director Rob DeBoux provided the staff report. 

For decades, various portions of Broad Beach were subjected to beach erosion and emergency repairs. In response to this, the property owners on Broad Beach approached the city to form a Geologic Hazard Abatement District for the purpose of constructing protective measures and to restore the beach area. The proposed measures included beach nourishment and rehabilitation of the dunes with associated vegetation and habitat. The project would create an approximate 65- to 75-foot wide dry sand beach and 40- to 60-foot wide restored dune area. The district would fund these improvements along with future beach sand replenishment.

On June 6, 2011, a petition for the formation of the BBGHAD was submitted by Kenneth Ehrlich, on behalf of the Trancas Property Owners Association (TPOA).

According to the report, the BBGHAD has obtained permits and entitlements for the project from the California Coastal Commission, State Lands Commission, Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles County, and Caltrans. The representatives from the BBGHAD have been coordinating the project with the city and addressing any concerns regarding the project, including the traffic impacts.

Since this date, the BBGHAD has spent more than $23 million on project studies and permitting. Project funding is obtained by special assessments from the 128 property owners within the BBGHAD boundaries. Future funding for the sand nourishment, monitoring, and studies will be obtained by a special assessment placed on the 128 property owners.

Members of the public and the Malibu West Homeowners Association spoke opposing the project. 

“This is broken, this is not working, we don’t see it going anywhere, and we would really like to see a vote,” Mike Pierson said. 

The district may dissolve by a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors of the district or by a vote of the property owners within the district. The property owner vote must result in over 50 percent of the assessed value of the properties within the district to dissolve it.

“I understand that we don’t have that legal authority to compel you to have that vote, and I would also understand why you wouldn’t want to have that vote, if you’re not required to, but I think it would be a great sign of good faith, and would put a lot of the public objection that we’re hearing repeatedly addressed,” Silverstein said.

 No motion was needed, and the council received the report.

The council approved the Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2023-24. The Proposed Budget totals $81.8 million in revenue and $93.2 million in expenses and includes General Fund annual revenue of $57.0 million and General Fund program expenditures of $58.2 million. 

The overall budget includes nearly $11.7 million in one-time General Fund capital project expenditures from accumulated committed fund balances. This includes $8.6 million in General Fund committed fund balances for capital and $2.8 million for Disaster-related capital. 

Silverstein mentioned the recent Juneteenth holiday and asked, since the city did not honor the holiday this year, if they should consider adding it to the budget for next year.

City Clerk Kelsey Pettijohn said the holidays are recognized in The Malibu Municipal Code and said they could adopt an ordinance to include Juneteenth. 

The council approved the Collection of Fees for the Implementation of the California Integrated Waste Management Act within the Malibu Garbage Disposal District. 

The last item on the agenda was item 4.C, the consideration of Local Coastal Program Amendment No. 16-006 (Sea View Hotel Project).

Members of the public spoke in support of the project. 

“It’s time. I think Norm [Haynie] has done what he can, I don’t have all the details like the other speakers, but I’m speaking from my heart and as a local businessman,” said speaker Jefferson “Zuma Jay” Wagner. “I’ve been in business in Malibu, it’ll be 50 years this July, and I think it’ll help benefit some of the small mom and pops shops in that area.” 

Silverstein motioned to ask for an extension. He did not receive a second. 

“That’ll put us in the same place in April, without the crunch that we were put in the last couple weeks. This project is not shovel ready,” Silverstein said. “Further time to work this out isn’t going to delay this project getting started.”

Councilmember Paul Grisanti motioned to vote for the recommended action: 1) an ordinance of the City of Malibu amending Local Coastal Program Amendment (LCPA) No. 16-006 as adopted by Ordinance No. 491 pursuant to the conditional certification action taken by the California Coastal Commission (CCC) on Feb. 8, 2023, 2) Direct staff to schedule a second reading and adoption of Ordinance No. 508 for the July 10, 2023, Regular City Council meeting, and 3) Direct staff to notify the CCC when the LCPA has been adopted.

“I’d like us to consider what we will be spending the money on that we get,” Grisanti said. 

Councilmember Doug Stewart seconded the motion.

“Norm has done what we asked him to do and I don’t think we can ask him for any more,” Stewart said. 

Councilmember Marianne Riggins said she was disappointed on how the project was brought to the council.

After discussion, the council approved the project 4-1.

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for July 10.