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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

City Council Given Update on Trancas Country Market Remodeling

• Shopping Complex’s Night Lighting Request Pulled from Planning Commission Meeting Agenda


Malibu West activist Cindy Vandor came to council chambers at the regular meeting of the Malibu City Council Monday night to complain about the lack of safety features incorporated into the Trancas Country Market shopping center.
“The shopping center is still 50 percent short on parking. The plan was approved without knowing how much retail is coming in. An exit road is needed. We don’t know about the bus turnarounds. We were told they would be given beepers. There is no deceleration lane on Pacific Coast Highway. There is no right hand turn. Caltrans killed that plan.” she said.
Planning Director Joyce Parker Bozylinski was asked to report to the council on the shopping center’s remodeling project.
She said the shopping center is parked to code, plus an additional 36 spaces beyond code.
The bus turnaround is planned in the employee parking lot, which is gated, so there is still an issue about bus drivers gaining access.
An evacuation route was planned between the applicant, who offered a dedicated easement and the HOA, but that there has been some discussion about the language used in the agreement between the HOA and the shopping center owner.
The planning director was asked what was the current estimate for a completion date and said six months.
Activist Hans Laetz said his settlement agreement with the center’s owners contains a contract for a right hand turn lane. “They submitted the plan to Caltrans and was told there are 12 deficiencies in the plan. I have no indication they are acting in bad faith. I sure wish the City of Malibu would look at this. The owners thought the right hand turn is in their best interests,” he said.          
The on again, off again Malibu Planning Commission hearing for nightlights at the Trancas Country Market is off again for a Tuesday, Jan. 22, hearing date, according to the city’s public notice.
The staff recommendation is to remove the item from the agenda, “which is at the request of the applicant. The item will be rescheduled for a public hearing at a later date.”
The request also seeks changes to the landscape plan, the native trees plan and the master sign program.
The matter was originally scheduled for an Oct. 1 hearing, but was postponed after the applicant wanted to meet with neighbors, who were beginning to raise concerns about what the developer wanted to do.
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.
It was then put back on the agenda for the Jan. 22 hearing.
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.
However, the current agenda notice and the previous one does not stipulate how many light 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.”          
This is the second set of changes or amendments to the coastal permit that have been requested.
Night lighting has become an issue, especially in Malibu Park, because of lights approved for the high school sports fields and a new proposed parking lot.
The planning commission turned down night lighting for the planned 150-car high school parking lot.
Last week, the planning commission approved a request by Trancas Starbucks Coffee for a Conditional Use Permit to allow for a 441-square-foot expansion and operation of the existing coffee shop located in the shopping center.
According to the planning department, the applicant successfully sought a permit 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, according to a city planner.

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