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Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Panel Turns Down Request to Extend La Paz Center Permit

• Entitlements Still Sought from Agencies

BY BILL KOENEKER

With three members of the Malibu Planning Commission present, the panel turned down a request for a four-year extension of a coastal development permit and other entitlements for the Malibu La Paz commercial center.
Chair Jeff Jennings and Commissioners John Mazza and Rhoohi Stack agreed that the two years granted most CDP’s was equally fair for the proposed 112,000 square foot Civic Center retail and office complex.
The staff recommendation was for granting the four-year extension for the permits, and a Conditional Use Permit to allow construction of a nearly 100,000 square foot commercial complex.
“The applicant has requested a four year extension as this was the original length of time approved by the city council and due to the multiple agencies involved in complying with the conditions of project approval,” wrote the city’s Principal Planner Stefanie Edmondson in a staff report.
Staff and the applicant Don Schmitz told the commission La Paz has been working with the city and Caltrans on traffic mitigation measures and finalizing the wastewater treatment system working drawings. Additional time will be required to implement the traffic mitigation as well as submit the wastewater treatment system application to the State Water Resources Control Board and the California Department of Public Health for review and final permit approval.
However, commissioners questioned whether the four years was needed.
Mazza said he thought it was a fairness issue, since everybody else gets two-year extensions.
Upon learning the reason La Paz has not broken ground is that it has not gotten all of it entitlements from other agencies, Jennings suggested a shortened time line might put a fire under the applicant to finalize entitlements.
In November, 2008 the city council approved two La Paz development entitlements. The first request was the .15 floor area ratio or FAR project for construction of 99,117 square feet of commercial office and retail uses. The second entitlement request was the .20 FAR development agreement project for a 100,000 square foot city complex. The .20 project provided the developer with an additional 12,941 square feet of commercial square footage and allocated 20,000 square feet to the city for a future city hall complex.
The applicant applied for both the .15 and the .20 projects since the .20 FAR entitlement required approval from the California Coastal Commission and could potentially be denied.
The CCC certified the required Local Coastal Program Amendment in June 2010. Subsequently, the .20 project is set to expire June 10, 2014.
AGENDA ITEMS
On other matters, at the beginning of the meeting, Jennings announced he would have to recuse himself from a hearing on Casa Malibu because he had an affiliation with some of the individuals  at the hotel.
With Commissioners Mikke Pierson and David Brotman absent, the panel would have lost a quorum and could take no action, so the agenda item was continued.
Studio PCH, LLC, the applicant, which is a Malibu-based architectural and design firm, is asking for a permit to allow for a redesign of the oceanfront inn that has its own beach.
Plans call for less than fifty percent of the interior and exterior remodel of the legal nonconforming motel.
The number of rooms would be reduced from 22 to 16 and there would be an upgrade of the existing septic tanks to an alternative onsite wastewater treatment system.
Plans include the repair and maintenance of the existing bulkhead and pile foundation, replacement of hardscape, new trellises, water features, landscaping, a minor modification for a 50 percent reduction in the front yard setback and a demolition permit. The hotel is said to have been built in 1949.

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