City Council Postpones Debate on Accessory Dwelling Units

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Debra Bianco speaks during public comment on keeping the Malibu Farmers Market at Legacy Park. Photo by Samantha Bravo/TMT

The Public Safety Department delivers a presentation on fire season preparedness at the meeting 

The Malibu City Council voted to table Title 17 (Zoning) of the Malibu Municipal Code and the Local Coastal Program to Update Regulations Related to Accessory Dwelling Units during Monday night’s meeting.

Contract Planner Joyce Parker-Bozylinski and senior planner Tyler Eaton presented the item to the council and answered a series of questions and concerns.

The proposed amendments would update the City’s LCP and Malibu Municipal Code (MMC) regulations for second units consistent with changes in state law. A second unit is another term for an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). The proposed amendments do not allow both second units and ADUs. The term “second unit” will be changed to “ADU” throughout both the LCP and MMC, as provided in the draft amendments.

The Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the amendments with modifications during a Planning Commission hearing on March 14.

After a lengthy discussion, the council motioned to table the item to a date uncertain. 

The Public Safety Department delivered a presentation on the city’s efforts in fire preparedness for the fire season. The city has begun hosting a series of weekly webinars throughout September with expert speakers from city, county and outside agencies to answer questions and offered valuable guidance on the types of hazards that Malibu faces, and how to prepare for those hazards.

For more information about upcoming events visit, www.MalibuCity.org/PrepMonth.

City staff also presented the Coastal Vulnerability Project.

City Manager Steve McClary provided a report on the city events, beach team, and upcoming meetings. 

Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriffs Sgt. Chris Soderlund provided a report on the traffic, beach safety and an overview of Labor Day weekend.

“The chaperone policy at the Malibu Chili Cook-Off was immensely helpful at keeping the kids in check; they had to have adult supervision to enter the Chili Cook-Off,” Soderlund said. “So that was a very nice policy to have, so I hope that continues next year.”

Soderlund provided crime stats for August. He said there’s a 5.1 percent increase in crime but has seen an uptick in violent crime.

“I think it’s due to the summertime, but summertime is winding down, so hopefully that will abate,” Soderlund said. 

Soderlund also reported an increase in robbery and assault on Malibu Road. 

“Malibu Road seems to be the hotspot,” Soderlund said.

Soderlund also confirmed the arrest in the fatal stabbing on Las Tunas Beach. 

To read more about the parking and beach citations, read the Public Safety Commission meeting on page 9.

For council reports, Mayor Pro Tem Steve Uhring raised his concerns with the Zuma Beach underpass, which has been flooded since June 2023. The upcoming Malibu Triathlon uses that entrance for the event in at the end of the month. Public Works Director Rob DeBoux responded and said it’s under the jurisdiction of the Department of Beaches & Harbors.

The Malibu Times will follow up with Beaches & Harbors in the next issue.

Mayor Bruce Silverstein responded to comments made by the public speakers, including the comment made by Debra Bianco on keeping the Malibu Farmers Market at Legacy Park.

“I think every one of us would love to give the farmers market permission to be at Legacy Park — we can’t, it’s deed restrictive, it’s not our deed, we have no authority to override that restriction,” Silverstein said. 

The last item addressed was the Woolsey Fire Fee Waiver Program and Rebuild Deadlines. 

On Feb. 24, 2020, the City Council adopted Resolution No. 20-10, which directed staff to waive certain Woolsey Fire rebuild fees; subsequent resolutions were adopted that modified the provisions of the program and extended the fee waiver program. For property owners to qualify for the existing fee waiver program, fee waiver applications were required to be received by June 30; all required planning applications were required to be deemed complete by June 30, and all required building permits are required to be obtained by Dec. 30.

Environmental Sustainability Director Yolanda Bundy presented the report. 

During the City Council meeting on Aug. 14, the council directed staff to research the reason some owners have not filed a rebuild application.

Bundy said after reaching out to families who have yet to submit an application, they found that families have had financial hardships, insurance issues, supply chain issues, and delays in relation to family illness.

“Out of the 69 families that we called, there [were] 20 percent who didn’t respond — we sent them emails, left them phone calls in the past two weeks and no response — but the majority was financial hardship and illness,” Bundy said. 

The 2018 Woolsey Fire destroyed at least 488 single-family homes. To encourage the public interest in rebuilding, the city waived certain planning and building permit fees related to there building structures that were damaged or destroyed by the Woolsey Fire. 

Property owners requesting a waiver of fees must demonstrate primary residency with an active voter registration, a valid driver’s license or other government-issued identification card with the address of the property that was destroyed by the Woolsey Fire acceptable to the city manager and file an affidavit with the city on the form specified by the city manager. 

The council motioned to bring a resolution in the next meeting. 

Due to timing, the council motioned to continue the Outdoor Warning Sirens System and Code Enforcement Ad Hoc Committee in the next City Council meeting. 

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Sept. 25.