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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Draft Recreation Master Plan Offers Insight into Future Demographics

• Respondents to City of Malibu Request for Input Provide ‘Wish List’ Headed by Adult Activities

BY BILL KOENEKER

The preliminary draft of the City of Malibu’s 2012 Parks and Recreation Master Plan will be unveiled for public scrutiny at a special meeting at Malibu City Hall this Thursday, starting at 6:30 p.m. The one-hour presentation will be followed by time for questions by the public, according to a municipal announcement.
The master plan is described as a guide to the city’s policies on future parks. open space, and recreational facility needs.
“The master plan will help the city meet the needs of its current and future residents by sustaining and improving our community’s unique parks and recreation assets,” said Mayor Lou La Monte. “The focus on community input is a critical aspect in this plan.”
The preliminary master plan, according to city officials, is based on current information gathered through a series of public workshops, focus groups and stakeholder meetings.
From January 2012 to June. 2012, the consultants conducted such interactions. “All of this constituted the subjective input process that sought the respondents opinion for parks, facility and program needs and their vision for the future,” the report states.
The report lists four points that constitute the perceived strengths, such as staff was overwhelmingly the most appreciated aspect of the department’s offering.
Other positive qualities include the number of parks and quality maintenance of parks and facilities, the variety of program offerings for all ages, and the partnerships with other agencies.
The report also notes the consultants discovered perceived opportunities for improvement, including walking/biking trails, additional sports fields, a community center with indoor recreation spaces, meeting places and offerings for all ages year round and revenue generating and operationally sustainable facilities.
Other new programs, respondents said, could be offered including arts and theater, senior programs, ocean-based and unstructured programs. Respondents insisted there should be more marketing and promotions to eliminate issues with lack of awareness.
In addition, an indoor multi-purpose, multi-generational community recreation space, additional sports field space, development of more places like Malibu Bluffs Park and more programming utilizing ocean and beaches, were suggested.
NEEDS WISH LIST
The greatest facilities needs identified by respondents were biking trails and greenways (73 percent), small neighborhood parks (61 percent), small family picnic areas and shelters (51 percent), larger community parks and multi-generational community center (46 percent).
“Those surveyed responded that their needs were being met at a rate less than 50 percent as they relate to a multi-generational community center, walking/ biking trails and greenways, visual/performing arts facility, indoor swimming pool and community gardens,” the report states.
“It should also be noted that respondents selected walking, biking trails and greenways at the highest percentage as their first choice as the most important facility to their household,” the report goes on to state.
The highest recreation program needs cited by respondents are adult fitness and wellness programs (46 percent), community-wide special events ( 38 percent), visual and performing arts programs (35 percent) and environmental education programs (35 percent).
“The survey results indicate that adult fitness and wellness programs, senior programs, visual and performing arts programs and outdoor skills/adventure programs were the most important to those that responded, It should also be noted that adult fitness and wellness programs had the highest percentage of respondents select it as their first choice as the most important program to their households,” the report adds.
The key findings of the survey results, according to the report’s consultants:Visitation to parks, facilities and sports fields is at or slightly higher than average at 86 percent with average being 80 to 85 percent; Malibu Bluffs Park is ranked highest for general use. recreation programs and activity participation is above average at 35 percent (average is 30 percent); and special event participation is below average at 30 percent (average is over 40 percent).
Of those using parks and recreation facilities, 91 percent drive to those destinations. Only 20 percent of those respondents stated they would attend more programs if a shuttle was available.
Survey results indicate the most important actions the city could take to improve/expand parks and recreation facilities are to renovate/develop open space (44 percent), acquire land for open space and trails (28 percent) and acquire land for small neighborhood parks (23 percent).
Over half of households are either very satisfied (29 percent) or somewhat satisfied (22 percent), with the overall value they receive from city offerings. Only 12 percent of households are either somewhat dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.
The report also undertook a community profile and a demographic analysis utilizing data obtained from Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc, the largest research and development organization dedicated to Geographical Information Systems, according to the consultants, which specialize in population projections and market trends.
All the data was acquired in 2012 and reflects actual numbers, according to the consultants, as reported in the 2000 and 2010 census and estimates for 2015 as obtained by ESRI.
The City of Malibu geographic boundary was utilized as the demographic analysis boundary.
“The Malibu service area population has almost flat-lined with minimal growth over the last 10 years and very limited projected growth over the next 10-15 years,” the study reports.
GRAYING OF MALIBU
Overall, according to the research, the city exhibits an aging population trend. Currently, the highest segment by population is the 55 plus with 36.1 percent and the lowest is the 18-34 population with 15.2 percent, which indicates a large range of variation between all the age groups.
“In the next ten years, the 55 plus population will grow to comprise over 40 percent of the total population. The median age rose from 42.9 in 2000 to 47.8 in 2010,” the report states.
The report indicates the income characteristics showed a growth trend. The median household income was $102,031 in 2000 and is projected to continually increase to $154,327 by 2025. The per capita income is also projected to increase from $67,043 in 2010 to $80,346 by 2025.
“Malibu’s comparative income characteristics are significantly higher than the state and national income averages. By 2025, over 42 percent of the population is projected to make above $200,000,” the report adds.                                                                                                                                                                   
Described as a “citizen-driven plan,” the document is intended to establish clearer direction to city staff, advisory committees and elected officials in their efforts to enhance the community’s parks and recreation services and facilities, according to municipal officials.
The master plan will also be used “to determine immediate as well as long-range goals in establishing priorities and statements of direction based on research and documented facts.”
Twelve years ago, the city council approved a master plan. Since that time,                                                                                                              the city acquired Malibu Bluffs Park, Las Flores Creek Park and construction of Trancas Canyon Park and Legacy Park.

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