Neighbors show support for a Woolsey Fire rebuild project at Planning Commission meeting 

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The Malibu Planning Commission. Screengrab.

Monday’s meeting adjourned in memory of Matt Rapf, who passed away suddenly on Sunday 

To start off the Planning Commission meeting on Monday night, Planning Director Richard Mollica asked the commission to move item 5A, a Coastal Development Permit No. 21-053, an application to demolish the existing single-family residence and construct a new single-family residence, attached garage, attached guest house and pool cabana, onsite wastewater treatment system, landscaping, and associated site improvement, to Jan. 20. 

A speaker called in and said they were the owner of the property and asked why the project was delayed to the next meeting, and Mollica said there was an issue raised with the grading plan. 

“The applicant (who is also the architect) informed us that they would be amenable to continuing to a date certain so that the revised grading plan could be included in the packet and the grading quantities,” Mollica said. 

For staff updates, Commissioner Skylar Peak thanked the city, Caltrans, the sheriff’s, the fire department and Public Works for clearing the roads during the rain.

“We’re very fortunate to have those resources here, so I’m very grateful for that,” Peak said. 

The commission moved on to item 5B, coastal Development Permit Amendment-Woolsey Fire No. 23-001, Site Plan Review No. 23-037, an application to amend Coastal Development Permit-Woolsey Fire No. 22-007 to change the location of an internal stairway leading to the second floor, and other minor exterior and interior improvements.

Recommended action was to adopt Planning Commission Resolution No. 24-12, determining that the project is categorically exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act, and approving Coastal Development Permit Amendment–Woolsey Fire No. 23-001. That amendment would approve Coastal Development Permit-Woolsey Fire No. 22-007 to approve an after-the-fact change in the location of an internal stair area leading to the second floor, add a trellis and lightwell, and other minor exterior and interior changes to the previously approved single-family residence for a total development square footage increase to 4,639 square feet; including Site Plan Review No. 23-037 for additions over 18 feet in height, not to exceed 24 feet in height, for a flat roof located in the Rural Residential, Two-Acre zoning district at 30125 Harvester Road (Jersie Investments, LLC).

Speakers included neighbors who were in support of the project but were concerned with the permitting process and wanted to bring their concerns to the commission and the city.

“I do not oppose my neighbors rebuilding, this is more of the procedure of how this is done,” one speaker said. “Could you please change things so maybe you send neighbors registered letters that they have to sign for, because many of us are no longer living in the neighborhood because we have to live in other places because of the fire, so we’re not getting The Malibu Times, we’re not going to see it that way.” 

“I’m just happy that we can get him (homeowner) moving and get it done because after five and a half years, we’re kind of tired of construction going on like everyone else,” another speaker said. “I’m endorsing this project, the way it is now. He did it to benefit us and I felt like I had to come here to support him in that effort.” 

Peak acknowledged the speakers for their comments and said to celebrate that. 

“Here you have a neighbor being neighboring and, I think that’s the most important things in our community,” he said. 

The commission motioned to approve 5B.

The commission moved on to Coastal Development Permit No. 22-040, an application to restore a wetland buffer that was disturbed due to unpermitted weed abatement.

After discussion, the commission approved the motion to restore the wetland buffer and remove invasive plants. Motion passed. 

The meeting adjourned in memory of Matt Rapf, who passed away suddenly on Sunday.

The next commission meeting is at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 20 at the Council Chambers.