Trancas Park Neighbors Kick Off ‘Save the Ridgeline’ Effort
• Residents Say City Appears Unaware of How Much Land Alteration Is Required by Project
BY BILL KOENEKER
BY BILL KOENEKER
Shifting the emphasis from how much grading is proposed to create Trancas Park, critics are now focusing on the ridgeline they say will be destroyed by the proposal.
The Malibu City Council is scheduled to hear an appeal of the planning commission’s approval of the park plans, which include a multi-use sports practice field, a dog park, a tot lot, parking spaces for 64 cars and 128,000 cubic yards of grading for the seven-acre park on the 13.5-acre site along Trancas Canyon Road. The meeting is set for Monday, Feb. 23, at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.
“Save the Trancas Ridgeline” is the new rallying cry for critics. The effort has even spawned a video on YouTube called “Save Trancas Ridge.” The video highlights the ridge where critics contend the city will shave off 125,000 cubic yards, including a rock outcroppings and a cave.
The video cites the city code that prohibits the removal of prominent rock outcroppings and caves and accuses the city of approving a destructive plan that will obliterate what are described as natural features that support habitat for hawks, bats and other creatures.
The video, which pans across the ridge and downwards towards Trancas Creek, urges the public to attend the city council meeting next week to convince local lawmakers that an alternative plan will allow for the park amenities, but save the ridge.
There are actually two appeals by two groups of individuals seeking to overturn the planning panel’s approval.
Both sets of appellants have criticized the grading approved for the northern ridge of the park, where the dog park, tot lot and picnic area are to be sited, because the area has to be “significantly altered by extreme cuts into steep slopes and the playing field has to be filled and elevated 10 to 13 feet.”
The appellants are also asking the city council to consider alternatives that avoid development of the upper ridge and prevent so much landform alteration.
In other action, the city council is poised to adopt an ordinance establishing a penalty schedule for administrative citations.
The fines would range from $100 for first time violations, $200 for a second violation of the same law within one year or a $500 fine for each additional violation of the same ordinance within one year.
Last summer, the council adopted an ordinance that established the administrative citation procedures. The staff was then directed to bring back a proposed penalty schedule for the citations. The government code allows a local agency to enact an ordinance making any violation of any law enacted by the local agency subject to an administrative fine.
The proposed law is primarily aimed at zoning and building code violations as a means to beef up the code enforcement officers’ ability to seek compliance with individuals responsible for violations.
However, what the city refers to as “the administrative penalty procedures,” can also apply to a wide array of the city’s ordinances, including the ban on plastic shopping bags, health code violations, noise and the ban on expanded polystyrene food packaging, among a myriad of other city ordinances.
The municipality’s proposed law also sets out a hearing procedure with the right of judicial review with the decision of the hearing officer appealable within the court system.
Indicating the city plans to maintain a get-tough attitude, the ordinance states that those who are cited, don’t win their appeal and still refuse to pay the fine, may be subject to a lien procedure.
“Imposition of a lien must stem from a citation for the condition or use of real property, or any improvement thereon, that is owned by the citee,” the proposed ordinance states.
Staff conducted a study of nearly a dozen cities near and around Malibu, including Agoura Hills, Westlake, Calabasas and Thousand Oaks and found they all utilized the $100 to $500 fine schedule.