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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Planning Panel Recommends Trail Incentives

• Commercial Projects Would Not Be Included in Plan

BY BILL KOENEKER


The Malibu Planning Commission last week approved recommending the city council adopt a Local Coastal Program Amendment to create development incentives for trail dedications.
The purpose of the LCPA, according to municipal planners, is to create an incentives plan for trail dedications offered within the city that would establish a new discretionary request called a trail dedication incentive or TDI that would be available to property owners seeking to provide a trail dedication as part of a residential development application. The TDI would not be available for commercial properties.
The TDI would allow “minor deviations” from required development standards in exchange for an offer to dedicate or OTD or direct grant of a trail easement, according to city planners.
“One deviation from the code is allowed for each dedication,” said the city’s Associate Planner Joseph Smith. “It is more of the carrot approach than the stick. There is more criteria than just being on a [trail] map.”
Don Schmitz, who is the chair of the city's Trails Committee and a land use consultant, agreed that the "stick was never successful,” referring to the California Coastal Commission's attempts in obtaining OTDs.
Schmitz said there were several “significant differences,” between what the committee handed in and what the planning panel got from the staff.
He said those were the percentage of the deviation and special accommodations for unique important links to allow greater incentives, “That is [a] hugely important [difference],” he added.
Another developer Norm Haynie asked whether there is legitimate nexus. “It all has to do with value because there is a loss of privacy,” he said.
Commissioner Jeff Jennings said the goal is a program that works and that he was reluctant to think this proposal will work.
Chair John Mazza said trails are an asset for Malibu, “maybe not everyone,” but for most an asset and the city might as well have incentives.
In other action, the commission approved an application for a remodeling project on Bonsall Drive that included utilizing the Rosemary Thyme Trail as an emergency evacuation route for the hillside Cavalleri neighborhood above.
The applicants agreed to put a gadget on the gate with instructions on how to open in case of a wildfire. Neighbors with large animals can now walk their pets to the traditional staging area at Zuma Beach.

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