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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

City to Vacate Parts of Rambla Pacifico after Months of Wrangling over Issue

• Council Members OK Creating Pedestrian Easement


After months of delay, the Malibu City Council this week, by unanimous vote, approved vacating a portion of Rambla Pacifico Road, but a revised resolution provided by the city attorney calls for the city to reserve a non-vehicular access for public use across the vacated right of way.
The Lower Rambla Pacifico Road Owners Association is trying to put in a private emergency access road to reopen Rambla Pacifico Road.
However, a staff report prepared by the Public Works Department insists the city’s road easement does not give it the legal right to sell its easement, transfer the easement to other parties, or even retain some municipal rights of the roadway for a trail easement.
Hogin said, the recommendation adopted by the council was “slightly different. We want to keep a trail easement. ROA is going to give us the trail easement for a non-vehicular trail.”
Attorney Alan Block, who said he represented the La Costa Property Owners Association said he was told the ROA does not have any insurance for road movement or slippage.
“The property owners do not oppose construction, but oppose construction on their property,” Block said.
Councilmember Pamela Conley Ulich said she thought it was a great addition that the city was keeping a pedestrian easement.
“It has been a long road, I’m glad we are reaching the end of this,” noted Councilmember Lou La Monte.
The vacation action, or rather inaction, was marked by fits and starts with the various hearings being scheduled and postponed for the last several months.
The ROA had pleaded with the city to not take action on vacating a portion of the road until they were finished with the roadwork.
The ROA had stumbled into several legal roadblocks and the evidence of who owned what on the easements and underlying easements complicated matters for the ROA and the city.
Monday night, Hogin acknowledged that various parties had raised concerns about ownership of the property owners’ easements and the ownership interests of the ROA. “It is still ongoing,” said Hogin, but said that claims that the road easements would revert to the adjacent property owners appeared to not be true.
“It is unfolding as the ROA said it would,” the city attorney added.

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