Critics Unsuccessfully Urge Council to Reconsider Its Trancas Park Action
• Majority Says No New Info Warrants Reconsideration
BY BILL KOENEKER
BY BILL KOENEKER
Critics of Trancas Park as it was recently green-lighted by the Malibu City Council got a second bite at the apple at this week’s meeting, when the agenda item for permits and entitlements previously approved by the council was pulled off the consent calendar.
Councilmember Pamela Conley Ulich, who, with Councilmember Jefferson Wagner, was ta dissenting vote at the hearing two weeks ago, pulled the matter and council members were faced with a well-organized campaign of critics who wanted to testify again before the council.
City Attorney Christi Hogin explained the council’s options, since they had already had a hearing and voted on the matter.
She said the item was brought back before the council since the changes made to the resolution must be formalized and then reviewed by the council.
“If you don’t like it, you can re-notice the hearing or vote for the resolution as stated by the staff,” she said.
It did not take critics long to ask for revisiting the matter. They began urging the council to vote to reconsider the resolution and approve a motion for another hearing. Dozens spoke to the council, as dozens more cheered them on and insisted new information was given to council members that warranted another public hearing.
Attorney Frank Angel, on behalf of the appellants, recommended the council vote for reconsideration. “Do the right thing, direct staff to revisit the Environmental Impact Report,” he said.
However, Conley Ulich, who made a motion for a new hearing, could not pick up a third vote. “It is never too late to do the right thing. I hope to resolve this without litigation,” she said, in urging the majority of the council to support her motion.
Repeated threats by park critics seem to suggest that litigation is imminent.
However, Councilmembers Sharon Barovsky, John Sibert and Mayor Andy Stern were not inclined to revisit the issues.
Barovsky said she wanted to move forward and had not been convinced by anything put forward in the public testimony Monday night.
Sibert said he had wrestled with the matter but was not in favor of revisiting any of the issues since so many people wanted the park. Stern stated he did not hear anything different this week than he did two weeks ago.
Then a war of words broke out between Conley Ulich and the mayor. Conley Ulich said she thought the council could be culpable if anything untoward happened in the park especially because of geology concerns.
She also argued there was enough evidence to demonstrate the Environmental Impact Report is flawed and would not hold up in court. She began to cite evidence when Stern accused her of laying down a case for the potential plaintiffs.
They were interrupted by Barovsky who called for a vote on the motion, which failed on a 3-2 vote, with Conley Ulich and Wagner voting for the motion.
After some more quibbling and a condition sought by Sibert to include water conservation measures as a condition, a resolution that upholds the planning commission’s approval of the entitlements was approved on a 3-2 vote, with Wagner and Conley Ulich again dissenting.