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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Council Says No to New Condos on Point Dume

• Controversial Parcel  Retains RR1 Zoning

BY BILL KOENEKER

The Malibu City Council this week refused to consider an amendment to the Local Coastal Program to change the Land Use Designation of vacant land on Point Dume planned for condominiums from Rural Residential to Multi-Family and to change the zoning designation from Rural Residential-one acre (RR-1) to Multi-Family for the parcel located at 29255 Heathercliff Road.
“My family has been on Point Dume since the 50s. I don’t think this project should be [Multi-family],” said Councilmember Skylar Peak.
The entire Rodriguez family urged the council to make the zoning change saying it was an error made by the Coastal Commission, which could be cleared up by a LCP amendment.
“We wanted the kids to stay with us. To have our kids close to us,” said Anna Rodriguez, in explaining why the family wanted to build a three-unit condo.
The applicant’s expediter Marissa Coughlin told the council she and her clients had done “due diligence” and had been repeatedly told by city planners it was just a matter of rectifying a zoning discrepancy. However, a neighbor said the council should not approve any more condos for Point Dume. “I can’t see condo after condo. It is not beautiful if a bunch of condos are built,” said John Lits.
“We have to decide if the city is right or if the Coastal Commission is right? The Coastal Commission said they made an error?” asked Councilmember Lou La Monte.
However, Planning Director Joyce Parker Bozylinski said during planning commission deliberations, the discussion turned to what the proper zoning should now be on the  vacant lot.
“If we are not looking at the discrepancy, it is best as a single-family [lot],” said Mayor Laura  Rosenthal.
Councilmember John Sibert said he also lives on Point Dume and is familiar with the terrain and zoning. “Point Dume is rural residential. By going forward with the multi-family, they are rolling the dice. Single-family makes the most sense,” he said.
“I’m concerned about exploiting an error. The case is deciding what is best for the neighborhood,” La Monte added.
Peak made the motion,  which was the staff recommendation, and the vote was unanimous.
The staff recommendation was for the council to adopt a resolution denying the request “without prejudice.”
The planning commission had originally directed the staff to return with a resolution recommending to the council denial of the requested LCPA and denying the subject coastal development permit with associated entitlements.
During the planning commission meeting, the staff returned with the denial resolution, where the planning commission with the consent of the project applicant separated the LCP amendment from the subject CDP. The planning panel continued the coastal permit to a date uncertain and recommended denial of the LCPA to the city council, according to a staff report.
“Had the LCPA and CDP not been separated, the planning commission resolution would have also denied the subject CDP. The planning commission’s decision on the CDP would have been appealable to the city council following the planning commission’s decision. However, the planning commission presented the option of separating the LCPA and CDP in order to allow a decision on the CDP and the merits of the development project to be evaluated by the planning commission once a decision on the LCP amendment is made,” the staff report states.
“Should the city council deny the requested LCPA, the zoning and land use designation for the subject property would remain as RR/RR-1 in the LCP. Staff would then revise the  zoning designation in the [Malibu Municipal Code] and include in a future comprehensive constancy LCP and M.M.C. zoning clean up effort,” the staff report goes on to state.
“Should the city council approve the requested LCP amendment, the item would be sent to the California Coastal Commission for review and certification. “In the event the CCC certified the LCP amendment, the zoning and land use designation for the subject parcel would then be in effect. Staff anticipates at that time the project applicant would proceed with the subject CDP application and the development project be reviewed at a public hearing before the planning commission,” the staff report concludes.
The LCPA plus a request for a conditional use permit had previously been heard by the planning panel, which took a different tack than the applicant, who considered it a “housekeeping” matter.
However, when the planning commission considered the matter at the meeting, debate ensued on how the zoning issues should be resolved.
The panel on a 3-2 vote with Commissioners Jeff Jennings and Carol Randall dissenting, denied recommending the LCPA process.
Plans call for the construction of a new, two-story, 4,459 square foot, three unit condominium building, uncovered balconies and patios and a 1,768 square-foot subterranean garage with six parking spaces on 29255 Heathercliff Road on Point Dume.
Commissioners could not agree about the map discrepancy between the Malibu Municipal Code Zoning and General Plan Land Use Policy Maps and the Local Coastal Program Zoning and Land Use Maps.
Parker-Bozylinkski explained only the council would be making the zone change; the commission could only make a recommendation to the city council.

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