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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Planning Panel to Consider Trancas Center Outdoor Lighting Proliferation

• Critics Aver Potential for Significant Adverse Impacts


The City of Malibu Planning Commission is scheduled to hear an ongoing request by contractor Scott Rosier to amend a coastal permit for exterior night lighting at the Trancas Country Market at a public hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 22.
The request also seeks changes to the landscape plan, the native trees plan and the master signage  program.
The matter was originally scheduled for an Oct. 1 hearing, but was postponed after the applicant indicated that he wanted to meet with neighbors who were beginning to raise concerns about changes that the developer was proposing for the project.
The staff recommendation for a scheduled meeting last month was to continue the public hearing to a date uncertain by pulling it off the calendar.
The original request for the shopping center, which is currently under construction, included changes to the previously approved lighting plan to allow the addition of 43 pole mounted lights that vary in height from 12 to 20 feet located throughout the parking lot and pedestrian areas, as well as other site lighting and building mounted lighting, according to a public notice is?sued by the city’s planning de?part?ment.
However, the current agenda notice does not stipulate how many poles are sought, but indicates an amendment “for proposed changes to the conditions of approval including changes to the previously approved lighting plan which includes the addition of pole mounted lights that vary in height from 12 to 16 feet located throughout the parking lot and pedestrian areas, as well as other site lighting and building mounted lighting.” In addition, the developers are seeking changes to the landscape plan, changes to the native tree plan, changes to screening requirements for onsite wastewater treatment pods and approval of a master sign program.          
The shopping center is still currently being remodeled and this is the second set of changes or amendments to the coastal permit that has been requested.
Night lighting has become an issue, especially in Malibu Park, because of lights approved for the high school sports  field and a new proposed parking lot.
The planning commission turned down night lighting for the planned 150-car high school parking lot.
Even more controversial is the field lighting recently installed at the football field at the high school at nearby Malibu Park.
The MHS field lighting was not heard by the planning commission, but was approved by the city council, instead.
Critics of the night lighting plans point out that the requested lighting, when considered cumulatively, would result in significant negative impacts to the night sky that cannot be fully mitigated.
Earlier next month on Monday, Jan. 7, the planning commission is scheduled to hear a request from Starbucks coffee officials for a permit to allow for a 441-square-foot-expansion and operation of the existing coffee shop located in the Trancas shopping center.
According to the planning department, the applicant wants to remodel and expand the coffee shop tenant space by removing the wall that separates it from an adjoining 441 square foot storefront that is currently occupied by a surf shop.
Once the project is completed, the total area dedicated to Starbucks will be 1545 square feet.
The new 441 square foot addition will be primarily used to add additional storage space and a restroom, according to a planning staff report.
The expansion, according to planners, will not result in additional seating or square footage to the existing building.
The existing hours of operation are not proposed to change.

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