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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Deadline Nears for View Restoration Applicants

• Extent of Interest Will Be Factor in What Council Does


Homeowners have until Sept. 26 to submit a View Restoration Program application, according to city officials.
The Malibu City Council adopted an experimental wait-and-see VRP for property owners interested in restoring a previously existing view currently blocked by landscaping on March 12, 2012.
During the debate some council members argued there might be hundreds of homeowners who would seek such a program, while other council members argued there were only the same dozen or so residents who would want to go through the process.
The city does not currently have an ordinance that allows for restoration of a pre-existing view obstructed by landscaping. The VRP gives property owners the opportunity to inform decision-makers of their interest in restoration of views if an ordinance were to be adopted in the future.
Future view restoration regulations may be adopted that apply only to those who have submitted a VRP application.
Consequently, the program currently exists merely as a head count for planning officials and council members to see how many applicants are interested in pursuing restoration for council members to determine if they would enact legislation.
In a municipal press release announcing the deadline, planners note a view may be restored to a view that existed on the date of city incorporation (March 28, 1991) or the purchase date, whichever is more recent, if future restoration rights are enacted. Future restoration rights may apply only to VRP participants.
“Currently, there is no ordinance that allows for restoration of a pre-existing view obstructed by landscaping, Results will be reported to the city council, at which time the council may consider enacting view restoration rights to VRP participants,” the press release states.
City planners say property owners will be required to provide evidence of a pre-existing view, proof of ownership and date of acquisition of property at the time of submittal.
There is an application fee of $271. Upon receipt of an application, planning staff will contact the applicant to schedule an appointment to conduct a site visit to document how the applicant’s existing view compares to the pre-existing views.
If future restoration regulations are not adopted, VRP participants may request a refund of their application fee, unless they want the city to retain pictures of their view for preservation purposes.
Those property owners who wish to preserve their existing view and possibly restore a view they had in the past if a future ordinance is to be enacted may submit what is called a uniform application requesting a primary view determination and a view restoration program application. They are required to pay the one-time $271 fee.

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