Malibu Surfside News

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Panel Grants Permits for Fire Station

• Current Facility Will Be Demolished and Completely Rebuilt

BY BILL KOENEKER

The Malibu Planning Commission, at its meeting last week, unanimously granted permits and entitlements to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works for construction of the new Fire Station 71 located on Point Dume.
Just minutes later, the commission also OK'd the new temporary station for firefighters near Zuma Beach headquarters.
The building plans for the new station include demolition of the existing facility and reconstruction of a new station on the existing site.
The county successfully sought to expand the fire station to encompass a total of 5800 square feet.
The proposed expansion would not increase staff size but would provide six individual dorms, separate shower facilities for male and female staff, and a new ADA compliant restroom, according to municipal documents.
The living quarters would expand from 1277  square feet to 3500 square feet with three internal parking bays for a new fire engine truck and paramedic squad car.
Commissioner John Mazza asked about the night lighting. “Will this look lit up like a shopping center?” he asked.
Planning panelists were told only very low lighting would used and that the shielded lighting would be confined to four poles.  No more than current lighting.
The county successfully sought a coastal development permit and conditional use permit for an increase of more than 500 square feet in the commercial neighborhood zone, a minor modification for a 38 percent reduction in the required front yard setback, variances for an increase in the maximum floor area ratio from 0.15 to 0.19,  a 74 percent reduction in the required east side yard setback, a 78 percent reduction in the required rear yard setbacks, an increase in the maximum height for a flat roof from 24 feet to 28 feet, parking within the front yard setback and a 21 percent reduction in required landscaping.
Most commissioners did not blink at the number of variances and modifications required to expand the station except Chair Jeff Jennings.
“It is hard not to support the fire department, but this is bizarre,” he said.
Jennings went on to say most of the time the restrictions are used to block construction especially when an applicant comes in and says, “I want this big house and this is how I want it.” The commission can use their discretion when there are too many variances or they are egregious, he said.
“Now we get something we want or need, we ignore all of it. Basically we ask what do you want to build,” Jennings added.
The county was also granted a demolition permit to remove the existing fire station and accessory structures.

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