City Council, staff recognize Kristin Riesgo as the new community service director  

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Kristin Riesgo was announced the new Community Service Director during The Malibu City Council meeting on Monday, May 22. Photo bty Samantha Bravo/TMT.

Council motions to bring back the Sea View Hotel project to the June 12 meeting after taking no action on April 24

To start off the Malibu City Council meeting on Monday night, May 22, the council and members of the public congratulated Acting Community Services Director Kristin Riesgo when she was announced as the permanent director after serving as the interim for nearly seven months. 

“We’re absolutely thrilled that she’s formally on board,” Malibu Arts Commission Chair Lotte Cherin said during commission comments.

“I was actually going to save that until the very end of my report, but I’m very happy to announce Kristin Riesgo as our new community service director,” City Manager Steve McClary said to start off his report.

McClary provided an update on the Malibu Bluffs Snack Shack, saying the County of Public Health expected the facility and issued the temporary use permit to sell food onsite by this week. 

McClary said all parks except the Malibu community pool would be open for Memorial Day weekend. 

“We do ask patrons to abide by park rules and remind people that barbecues, alcohol, and fireworks are prohibited in city parks,” McClary said. 

Mayor Bruce Silverstein motioned to move item 6.A, Malibu Library Set Aside Fund for Fiscal Year 2023-2024, to the next meeting. 

Sarah Flores, the City of Malibu’s new emergency service coordinator, presented the proclamation declaring June 10 as Public Safety Responder Appreciation Day in Malibu. The city will be honoring public safety responders during the Public Safety Expo on June 10.

During council updates, councilmembers congratulated Riesgo for her new position. 

Councilmember Marianne Riggins asked Interim City Attorney Trevor Rusin to respond to the accusations made towards Planning Commissioner Skylar Peak, who was accused of conflict of interest for doing electrical work this year on a house that he approved construction of five years earlier, in 2018.

“The owner that did hire Commissioner Peak was not the owner at the time the application was approved,” Rusin said. “As a result, there was no violation of the political form act; there is no financial benefit, promise, or paid commission to Commissioner Peak in exchange.”

Rusin added that current and former councilmembers had recused themselves from certain situations. 

“Just knowing an application or being friendly with someone does not require recusal, but if someone is closed friends with an applicant, such that they couldn’t be a fair decision maker, then recusal would be proper,” Rusin said. 

“I feel honored to have been able to appoint Commissioner Peak to the Planning Commission, he brings a wealth of experience in our community, his proven environmental concern, and his knowledge of the community is invaluable in his role as a planning commissioner,” Riggins said. “I’m really disappointed that there are members in the community that are choosing to attack him and his ability to continue to work for our community in a fair and balanced manner.”

Councilmember Doug Stewart motioned to add the Local Coastal Program amendment consideration for the Sea View Hotel at the June 12 meeting. 

During the City Council meeting on April 24, the council motioned to take no action and give no direction to this staff at that time. 

Motion carried with a 4-1 vote to bring back the item. 

Assistant City Manager Joseph Toney presented the Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2023-24. The budget includes the development process and calendar, direction and modifications, revenues and expenditures, department changes, general fund grant recommendations, and an overall summary. The staff hopes to adopt the budget on June 24. Council provided adequate direction to the staff to close the item. To view the Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year visit malibucity.org. 

Public Works Director Rob DeBoux presented the Assessment District 98-1 (Big Rock Mesa) and conduct the Public Hearing; and 2) Adopt Resolution No. 23-22 levying an assessment for the maintenance, repair, and improvements works, systems, and facilities pertaining to Assessment District 98-1 (Big Rock Mesa) for Fiscal Year 2023-2024. Council motioned to adopt the resolution.

DeBoux also presented Assessment District 98-3 (Malibu Road) and Assessment District 98-2 (Calle Del Barco). Council motioned to adopt the resolution.

The council moved on to appeal no. 22-006 and 22-012 — Appeals of Planning Commission Resolution No. 22-46 (33650 Pacific Coast Highway; Owner: Charals Haagan; Appellants: 180 PCH, LLC and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority. The item was continued from May 8.

The summary of the appellant’s reasons for the appeal include a blufftop setback determination for the project fails to conform to LCP LIP sections 10.4 (d)(1) and (2) and the applicant’s consulting engineer’s interpretation of the location of the top of the bluff is contrary to establish the law. 

The recommended action is to adopt Resolution No. 23-26, determining the project is categorically exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act, denying Appeal Nos. 22-006 and 22-012 and approving Coastal Development Permit No. 19-073 for construction of a new one-story, 6,567-square-foot single-family residence plus a 1,723-square-foot basement, 1,375-square-foot detached garage, 720-square-foot detached secondary dwelling unit, 412-square-foot tennis cabana, tennis court, swimming pool, spa and grading, and installation of a new onsite wastewater treatment system; including Demolition Permit No. 22-008 to demolish an unpermitted driveway, fencing, and landscaping located in the Rural Residential, Two-Acre zoning district located at 33650 Pacific Coast Highway (Haagan).

According to the report, MRCA’s decision contradicts the public access provisions of the Coastal Act and Malibu’s LCP. Failure to require a lateral easement for public recreational activities limits the public’s ability to move along the beach and PC’s refusal to include a lateral easement subverts the intentions of the Coastal Act and the Malibu LCP.

After Silverstein asked the geologists multiple questions about the project and the council addressed the lateral easement for public access, three of five council members motioned to approve the project, carrying a 3-2 vote. 

“I hope the Coastal Commission doesn’t reverse this because it looks like a beautiful plan, and I think you’re going to love living there if you get to put the house there,” Silverstein said. 

The next city council meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 12. 

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Kristin Riesgo was named as the permanent community services director at the City Council meeting on May 22. Riesgo had been in the position on an interim basis for seven months. Photo by Samantha Bravo/TMT