Planning Commission reminds city of the five-year deadline related to Woolsey Fire rebuilds


Former Mayor Skylar Peak welcomed back to the commission at Jan. 17 meeting

Former mayor of Malibu Skylar Peak returned to serve as a commissioner during the Planning Commisson meeting on Jan. 17. Peak was appointed by Councilmember Marianne Riggins.

Peak served as mayor from March 2014 to January 2015. Twenty-nine years old at the time, Peak was known to be the youngest person to serve as mayor of Malibu. 

SkylarPeak CourtesyCityOfMalibu

“I just want to say I’m looking forward to this role and I just wanted to thank my fellow commissioners for welcoming me to this role and thank all the staff at our city, to keep the public, our community, and our property owners, as happy as they can,” Peak said. “I think that anyone who has ever had one of these seats has their own take on how they’re balancing those interests and sometimes that’s different for everyone but I think people always do a good job so I look forward to working with all of you.” 

Planning Director Richard Mollica began the meeting by thanking the City Council for approving the consultant’s proposal. 

“We’re very appreciated of the council OKing a budget amendment for the department so that we’re able to get all these consultants here to help out with this,” Mollica said.

The new consultants included Rick Casswell, Allison Cook, Jerry Hittleman, John Kanlund, Nader Khalil, Adam Pisarkiewicz, Lily Rudolph, Gabriel Salazar, Marina Sek, Akashi Shah, Joseph Smith, Brenna Wengert, and Mary Wright. 

Vice Chair John Mazza asked the new consultants for a rundown of their coastal experience.

“Vice Chair Mazza, you’ve stumbled upon one of the difficulties we have with hiring, that is the hardest thing, attracting folks to the city with coastal experience, and we’ve been fortunate, a good majority of this group,” Mollica said. “Oftentimes, it’s folks with little to no experience in the coastal zone and that’s something we work very hard to try to find.” 

During commissioner’s comments, Jeff Jennings mentioned the five-year deadline for Woolsey Fire rebuilds.

“The time limit is five years, so we’re coming on to that,” Jennings said. “Im looking at the website, and number of people have been able to rebuild — it’s not everybody. I just wanted the staff and public aware of that potential problem.”

According to the city’s website, an application for a fee waiver needs to be submitted by June 30. All required Planning Department applications also need to be deemed complete by that date. All required building permits should be pulled by Dec. 30 (fees will have to be paid for any building permit pulled after Dec. 30 before it will be issued).

A Planning Verification Woolsey Fire (PVWF) planning approval will expire five years from the date of destruction, at the latest. PVWF applications must be submitted within three years of being destroyed, with a building permit obtained within five years from the date of the fire (Nov. 9, 2018).

“I think Jeff is very spot on with making the public aware of that,” Peak said. “The [City] Council will hopefully bring that up, I think that’s very much in our communities interest and it’s going to have a big affect on a lot of people.” 

Mollica said he will bring that to the city manager’s attention.

The commission received and filed the Planning Director’s report on the approval of Administrative Coastal Development Permit No. 19-022 and Minor Modification No. 22-002.

The commission adopted Resolution No. 23-01. 

The commission motioned to continue Coastal Development Permit No. 17-104, Variance Nos. 19- 035, 19-036 and Minor Modification No. 20-012, an application for a new single-family residence and exterior site improvements to a date uncertain. 

The next Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for Feb. 6.