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Thursday, July 05, 2012

Meeting Explores Ways to Reduce Commercial Parcel Development

• City Schedules Public Session to Gauge Local Interest in Trying to Limit Civic Center Density

BY BILL KOENEKER

Described by the mayor as a “brainstorming session,” Malibu city officials are inviting the community to a town hall meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, July 10, at 7 p.m. to talk about how to preserve vacant land zoned for commercial use in the Civic Center area.
 “The creation of the Civic Center Property Owners Negotiation Ad Hoc Committee illustrates the city’s attentiveness to the needs of its residents and visitors,” said Mayor Laura Rosenthal, who, along with Councilmember Joan House, comprises the panel.
“Preserving vacant land zoned for commercial use is one way to ensure that Malibu retains its rural landscape. We look forward to a productive meeting filled with great ideas.”
Community members were asked to comment.
“Didn’t they mention that right after they voted to start the Civic Center district for the sewer?” That is what gives those properties value. Now the Civic Center properties are worth more. That seems kind of stupid if you are trying to acquire them,” said local activist Andy Lyon.
Preserve Malibu spokesperson Janet Katz took a different direction. “For me, I think it is an exciting idea in the right direction,” she said.
Another local activist, Hans Laetz, said, “Once again the Civic Center seems to be the only issue in Malibu. We have open space needs at Trancas and Point Dume. I don’t see those on the agenda. In 1999 the city’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan said we were short ball fields for the kids. The last three parks created by the city had no [real] ball fields.”
Preserve Malibu proponent Carla McCloskey said, “I don’t think we have to develop it. We can have open space. I think it is a great idea to talk to these people. It would be great. I don’t think it is impossible,” she said.

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