Blue Ribbon Panel Is Considered for First Step toward View Protection Law
• Council Members Say They Want to Hear from All Sides
BY BILL KOENEKER
BY BILL KOENEKER
Having declared the creation of a view protection ordinance their number one priority, the Malibu City Council is expected next week to discuss formation of a blue ribbon advisory committee on a citywide ordinance.
In April, the voters were asked to give their input into whether the city should undertake such a measure and the electorate overwhelmingly advised the council they wanted to see such a law on the books.
Council members subsequently made view preservation their number one priority and decided to form a blue ribbon panel to include as many individuals as possible in the early formative stages of an ordinance.
Municipal officials are apparently using the Malibu County Estates process as a guide. After the city declared its intentions to create an ordinance for the neighborhood, city staff and the MCE homeowners association worked closely to craft a measure.
However, in the final days of passage and subsequent enactment, critics came forward with numerous objections to how the law was written.
To head that off this time, city planners are suggesting that a blue ribbon committee could be very helpful in collecting and evaluating community concerns on a citywide law.
“If the committee is formed, it is recommended that at least one member of the committee be a licensed landscape architect or biologist. It may also benefit the committee to include a land use attorney or professional planner,” wrote the city’s associate planner Richard Mollica, who emphasized that large committees “pose difficulties in establishing meeting dates and may also present challenges in reaching consensus. Additionally, staff is suggesting that community members seeking to serve on the committee be required to complete and submit a city commission/committee member application.”
The council could then decide on an appropriate number of committee members and the composition of the panel from the applications, according to Mollica, who added staff is recommending that each council member appoint a committee member and that two at-large members be appointed by the entire council.
At the same time, Mayor Pamela Conley Ulich wants to see if there is any interest by the council in forming a blue ribbon committee to discuss potential uses of property at Point Dume that city officials are contemplating acquiring.
The city is considering the purchase of the property as a potential site for a city hall, senior center, library, teen center or ball fields.
The mayor is requesting that the council consider forming the panel to discuss the feasibility of the various potential uses of the property, if indeed it is acquired.
The announcement that the city might acquire the almost 10-acre parcel located north of the intersection of Heathercliff Road and Pacific Coast Highway has already generated considerable controversy.
Critics contend the rural nature of the property is not conducive to municipal/institutional uses and that the mayor’s efforts are detracting from the proposed plans for other city projects and may even sabotage them.
However, supporters suggest the site would be ideal for a teen center or possible satellite library.
The financial realities suggest a library or city hall might be more feasible since there is money that was already set aside for those two uses by city leaders in recent years, and both would have an annual revenue stream.