Skylar Peak voted as Planning Commission chair, John Mazza to serve second term as vice chair


Chili Cook-Off site approved with conditions to include fire extinguishers in every parking lot

To start off the Planning Commission meeting on Monday night, June 19, Commissioner Skylar Peak was voted as chair and John Mazza as vice chair. 

Commissioner Kraig Hill said he had an issue with the length in terms each commissioner needs to serve in order to be nominated. He said because council members get shuffled in the middle of a commissioner’s term, when they appoint someone new, things get broken and they have to “restart the clock” with planning commissioners.  

Hill voted for Mazza to be chair but did not receive a second motion. 

Commissioner Jeff Jennings voted for Peak for chair of the Planning Commission.

Motion passed 4-1 vote.

There were no other nominations for vice chair. Mazza was voted as vice chair for the second term. Motion passed. 

The Lechuza Beach Public Access Improvement Project was moved to Aug. 7. 

For staff commissioner comments, Hill addressed his concern with returning to in-person meetings on July 17. The item was not on the agenda for discussion, but he proposed to implement a hybrid style where they have one meeting in-person and the rest through Zoom. 

“There are definitely benefits to in-person meetings, but I think on Zoom, it provides more of a better roundtable environment for us, more immediate relationship in the room, you can’t pick all that in-person,” Hill said. “I think the Zoom format gives the chair a better format to give control of the meeting, it’s not usually a problem, and obviously, the travel costs.”

The City of Malibu posted on the website the following morning that the Planning Commission will hold its meetings hybrid remote and in-person at City Hall starting July 17. 

“It is better — it’s better for the applicant for us to be there in-person, you can read body language better, here you can’t even read their body language, you can’t see anything, I think that it makes for a better process to do it in-person,” Jennings said. 

Jennings said virtual meetings might get more people to participate in meetings. There was no action made to this proposal.

Peak recused himself from 5.A, which was the 41st Annual Chili Cook-Off and Carnival. 

“I am going to recuse myself from this project because I recently did some volunteer work for the Boys & Girls Club and I don’t want there to be any conflict of interest,” Peak said. 

He turned the item to Mazza. 

The four-day Chili Cook-Off occurs on Labor Day weekend, from Sept. 1-4. The event will take place on the city-owned parcel at 23575 Civic Center Way and will feature amusement rides, a chili cook-off competition, live music, and booths with food, merchandise, and public service groups.

Chili Cook off site 3
This map shows the site of the Chili Cook-Off and Carnival, which was approved by the Planning Commission. The Cook-Off is scheduled for Labor Day weekend, Sept. 1-4. Contributed Graphic

The Boys & Girls Club of Malibu Director Kasey Earnest was in the meetings and answered the commissioner’s questions. 

Mazza and Hill had a list of questions in regards to event hours, safety, if there was a lighting ordinance, and parking. 

“I don’t believe because the city is waiving all fees here; we don’t want to get into a situation where we turned down groups and not others,” Mazza said. “We want to make sure it’s not challengable for organizations that would not fit in that category.”

Mazza asked Planning Director Richard Mollica if they are covered by the city’s municipal codes. 

“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it and let them run their show,” Jennings said. 

Mazza motioned to add the condition to include fire extinguishers in every parking lot, and Hill asked if they will shut off the lights at 11 p.m., to which Earnest answered that the TUP requires them to do so at that time. 

Commissioner Dennis Smith was frustrated with the number of questions Hill and Mazza were asking Earnest. 

“What are we doing here?” Smith said. “It’s once a year and it’s four nights, it’s gone on for many years.” 

Mazza motioned to approve the item, and the motion carried. 

The commission moved on to Coastal Development Permit Amendment No. 22-005 and Mazza motioned to approve the item with it following the Dark Sky ordinance.