Residents express their concerns on Malibu Inn Motel project during meeting

Nearly 20 speakers signed up to speak on the Malibu Inn conditional use permit amendment and joint use parking agreement with the existing restaurant Aviator Nation Dreamland during the Malibu City Council meeting Monday night. 

Staff recommended that City Council deny the appeals and approve the proposed amendment to the previously granted conditional use permit as conditioned. Council denied the appeal and motion passed with a 3-2 vote.

To start the meeting, Mayor Paul Grisanti presented a commendation to Jeff Jennings and Craig Foster, and recognized Malibu’s Annual Day of Preparedness on Nov.9. Director of the West Basin Municipal Water District Drought and Programs Scott Houston made a presentation on the drought emergency and their water shortage contingency plan.

Malibu/Lost Hills Lt. Dustin Carr provided an update on public safety, crime and statistics, and traffic. 

Carr said aggravated assaults were down 14 percent, robberies were down 33 percent, and armed robberies were down 57 percent. Auto theft was down 54 percent, and petty theft decreased 33 percent.

“Overall, the statistics are looking good; residential burglaries are still a concern,” Carr said. “Those numbers were up 75 percent, many of them were vacant properties, and many were by transients; there were no burglaries that occurred at high-value loss.”

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Carr suggested residents and owners lock their homes, especially if the property is vacant, implement security cameras, and protect valuables at home with a quality safe. 

As for traffic, Carr said although collisions are up in the city overall, there’s a 57 percent reduction in fatal collisions. 

As for council reports, Councilmember Karen Farrer thanked the speakers and said they hope to support the Malibu Farmers Market and its vendors. 

“This is a continuing conversation. There’s got to be a resolution,” Farrer said.  

Assistant Planning Director Adrian Fernandez presented item 4a to the City Council.

The recommended action includes adopting resolution No. 22-43, determining the project is categorically exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), denying Appeal Nos. 22-002 and 22-003 and approving Conditional Use Permit Amendment (CUPA) No. 13-006 and Joint Use Parking Agreement (JUPA) No. 14-001.

The amending Conditional Use Permit No. 09-009 and JUPA No. 10-001 would reduce the restaurant service area, increase retail tenant space, and decrease the number of required off-site parking spaces.

Two appellants submitted two separate appeals. The Aviator Nation Dreamland approval was improperly split from the Malibu Inn Motel project. Proceeding with the subject application separate from the Malibu Inn Motel application would constitute improper piecemealing under CEQA, with CUP and code violations, including noise complaints. The facility was fined, and no other complaints have been filed. 

Traffic-related issues at PCH include lack of parking, loss of public parking, and a parking agreement with Surfrider Malibu Motel.

The applicant was seeking to amend the existing CUP No. 09-009 and JUPA No. 10-001 to allow the reduction of the restaurant service area, to increase the space of an existing retail tenant space (Aviator Nation) and decrease the number of required off-site parking spaces in the JUPA to reflect the new number of required offsite parking spaces for the existing restaurant (Aviator Nation Dreamland). The two tenant spaces are located in the same building also known as the Malibu Inn building.

The Malibu Inn building will remain the same size. However, the interior space was reconfigured to convert restaurant space into retail. The subject application seeks to amend the conditional use permit to memorialize this change.

Councilmember Mikke Pierson said the appeal should be denied. 

“I understand that people are concerned about the hotel,” Pierson said. “These are two different projects, and if we’re talking about Dreamland, they don’t control anything else but their project. They don’t control the motel; that’s not their project.”

Farrer seconded the motion to deny the appeal.

Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Silverstein continued to question the findings and support the vision and mission statement. 

“Denying the appeal doesn’t get anywhere,” Silverstein said. “I asked a lot of other questions that we need to know the answers to, to make the findings that are responsible in a legitimate way.”

Silverstein said once the motion is denied, they still have to make the findings required to adopt the recommendations.  

“We should send this back for more fact-finding so that we can determine whether this is an appropriate application,” Silverstein said. “This is all about getting more spaces for the motel.”

The council voted 3-2, and the motion carried. The council motioned to move the Malibu Library Set Aside Funds for Fiscal Year 2023-2024 to a later date. 

Monday’s meeting was the last before new City Council members are voted in on Nov. 8. The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Nov. 14.

Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo
Samantha Bravo is an inspiring photojournalist based in Los Angeles California. She began her journalism career at Pierce College Media Arts Department. Twitter @samanthavbravo

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