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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Arts Task Force Completes Overview

• Members Hope City Will Implement Recommendations

BY BILL KOENEKER

A number of the members who served on Malibu’s Cultural Arts Task Force were in council chambers Monday night when the panel turned in its final report and spoke to the Malibu City Council about what should happen as the task force was being formally dismissed.
Actor Daniel Stern and director Graeme Clifford told members the task force’s work might be done but an arts commission should be established to continue the next steps in promoting the arts in Malibu.
“I would love to continue to serve on it,” said Stern.
Both men agreed the task force had laid the groundwork for a permanent commission.
A short history of the panel recited to council members told of how its 11 members broke up into numerous subcommittees to explore different factions of the local arts scene and what aspects of those venues and individuals are in Malibu.
The task force looked at other cities for ideas and some of them seemed easy and doable, such as a cultural arts calendar and an online artists gallery.
A consultant, who was hired to oversee the task force, told council members there are 11 members who are all artists with strong personalities, but who managed to work together and arrived at a number of recommendations.
Task force member John Mazza said the asset in Malibu was identified. “There are many, many artists in Malibu,” he said, saying the strongest recommendation was to form an arts commission.
Both Mayor Laura Rosenthal and Councilmember Lou La Monte, who had promised an emphasis on the arts as part of their campaign promises, talked about the task force and the report.
“This report is one of the most comprehensive. Talk about moving forward on recommendations,” said La Monte, who added he was satisfied to see the definition of Malibu residents includes all of the 90265.
The mayor said she too thought it an amazing report. “It is money well spent,” Rosenthal added.
Councilmember John Sibert said he supported an arts commission, but had a word of warning for other panels.
“We should bring back an evaluation of all the commissions. Some of them may overlap,” he said.
Councilmember Pamela Conley Ulich, who brought up the idea of the arts and an arts commission eight years ago, said it offers a good example of the glacial pace of government. “This is a good lesson in government. It took eight years to get here. We should create a self-sustaining program,” she said.
BUSCH DRIVE PATH
After four public workshops and several Malibu City Council sessions, members this week decided to give the go-ahead to the public works department for the creation of a walking/pedestrian path along Busch Drive.
The council listened carefully to a detailed account of how visitors parking overnight on Busch Drive left behind trash, used condoms and human feces.
It was effective in having the residents along lower Busch Drive convince the council the previously approved eight-foot clearing is too large in some areas because it allows for overnight parking, rendering a walkway useless.
Councilmember Jefferson Wagner said he had attended all of the workshops and had gotten a lot of input, but this was the first time to have “gotten in the details. We do have to do something with Busch.”
Mayor Laura Rosenthal said, “I heard it differently.”
Wagner said they could create a pathway wide enough for walking, but not for parking. “That seems a reasonable request,” he added.
Councilmember John Sibert said having walked the drive, he knows the dangers.
Sibert reminded everyone the easement for the road and shoulders is 60 feet, which is owned by the city. He said the city might be able to end up with a pathway.
“I agree with Jefferson,” said Councilmember Lou La Monte. With something for walking but not enough for parking. If it doesn’t work, we can change it.”
“I’ll make a motion for a safe design plan,” Councilmember Pamela Conley-Ulich said.
Mayor Laura Rosenthal said she has probably the most first-hand knowledge of the road since she drives on it so much.
“Part of the problem is the path and parking to go to the beach. We asked the planning staff if one side could be for walking and one side for parking. We can’t say no to it since no parking is not allowed by the Local Coastal Program. If we put in a path, the cars will still park there. Maybe we could do that just in lower Busch?”
Rosenthal said her motion would call for the staff to take three months and work with the homeowners to plan with parking on one side and walking on the other side. That takes care of the LCP requirements and the safety issue. That would be from PCH to Rainsford,” the mayor said.
The council concurred and the measure was unanimously approved.

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