Malibu Surfside News

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Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Archive Serves as Time Machine for Visit to Malibu’s Past

• Prices Were Lower and Inflation Higher but Many Local Issues from 1979 Remain Relevant

BY BILL KOENEKER

A copy of the Oct 25, 1979 issue of the Malibu Surfside News appears to affirm the old French proverb, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.”
 The issue date was chosen randomly. If one meanders through the edition that is a black and white copy, they discover how which things have changed and which are still ongoing or the same.
One of the stories that stands out on page three is a headline that reads, “Commission Looks at Lane Use for Kanan-Dume Truck Problem”
That certainly sounds familiar. However, the commission reported upon in the story is the South Coast Regional Coastal Commission, which had not yet taken action on turning the bicycle lane of Kanan-Dume Road “into an emergency truck escape lane.”
The matter had been heard previously by the commission and was being placed back on the agenda for the following week.
The newspaper reports, “Malibu Township Council President Giles Welch said the bicycle path which goes up the road for three miles offers an inexpensive and quick approach in the serious problem of trucks unable to handle the mountain through the road’s steep grade going to the coast.”
Welch went on to say the suggested alternative is the only viable interim solution while dollars for an arrestor bed or escape ramp are being discussed by the county.
Opposite the story is a full page ad announcing the Malibu Center, now called the Malibu Country Mart, located at the corner of Civic Center Way and Cross Creek Road was opening and was offering the community a variety of new stores “shopping in the comfort and convenience of Malibu’s most beautiful and newest shopping center.”
Some of the stores featured were Amazon, Ltd. selling imported clothing; Malibu Patio Mart, offering outdoor furniture; Guldimann Jewelers, The Sweet Tooth—both of those seem self evident; Tudor Rose, providing “herbal facial and body treatments”; Cowboy Bob’s selling “classic contemporary sportswear”; the Sport Source, serving Malibu’s sports needs; and American Savings.
One of the biggest stories of the issue was a decision by the Coastal Commission 8-2 denying a permit request by George Dunne for a single-family home on a ten-acre parcel atop Zuma Ridge that they voted shouldn’t be developed, irrespective of size since it did not meet access requirements.
The story reports the parcel was landlocked with its only access a dirt road. The commission reiterated its posture that parcels considered for development must have access to a public road, a private road that meets public road standards or be at least 300 feet from such a road
Michael Fischer, the executive director of the commission, pointed out the Santa Monica Mountains are “treacherous,” that the area in the county is a “sensitive environmental area” and the path of a wildfire of the previous year passed directly over the property.
Commission opponents, according to the news report, criticized the coastal panel as a “no growth” body that was attempting to block all development in the Santa Monica Mountains.
An ad below the Dunne decision featured the specials of the day at Butterfield’s Stage Depot located at 22969 Pacific Coast Highway (now the home of the Malibu Inn) and offered prime rib of beef for $6.95 during sundowner special from 5 to 7 p.m. or a seafood dinner for $5.95.
Turn the page and there is a full page ad for the Market Basket announcing it was celebrating its 49th anniversary. The sale items offered a pound of apples for 29 cents, whole or rib half pork loin for 99 cents per pound, cabbage for 10 cents per pound, and a dozen large eggs for 69 cents.
The Forum or opinion piece opposite the Market Basket ad is a heartfelt nearly full page commentary “On the Anniversary of the ‘Death of our House’”
The story was about the aftermath for one family, whose house burned to the ground during the 1978 fire that ravaged Zuma and Trancas canyons burning homes in the canyons, on Broad Beach and residences in Malibu West and other locations.
From being advised to firstly getting toothpaste and underwear to obtaining clothing one day at time, the piece by Dorothy Menville also captured the intense gamut of emotions that ran through each family and her own during the past year after the disastrous inferno.
Real estate professionals were a mainstay in Malibu during those years. There was Posey Carpentier, Realty, Century 21 was represented by Pritchett Realty. There was also Malibu Realty, Corliss Realty Register, Harliegh Sandler Realtors, Coast and Canyon Realtors, C&C Realty, Michael Stearns Real Estate.
While the names have changed with the consolidation of so many realty companies over the years, there was a marked difference in real estate prices.
There was a Malibu Bay condo penthouse for sale for $174,500. A stone and wood mountain cabin on the market for $165,000 on 8.1 acres.
A new Broad Beach house consisting of four bedrooms and 2.5 baths priced at $465,000. A new listing on Selfridge on Point Dume 4-plus-3 priced at $485,000, and another Point Dume listing on Zumirez for “a new redwood and glass on one acre” for $349,000.
Not to leave out the renters, there was a 3-plus-2 with two fireplaces, pool, redwood hot tub on a half acre for $1300 per month. A Malibu Gardens 2-plus-2 condo for $750/month.
The Whale Watch Restaurant on Westward Beach Road featured a sushi bar. Alice’s Restaurant was offering gourmet brunches, weddings and theme parties.
Trancas and Colony markets advertised those 1979 prices and Rainbow Grocery had established itself at 22917 Pacific Coast Highway. That’s one more grocery store than Malibu has today!

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