The Zuma Beach land grab on behalf of a New York gallery owner just won’t go away.
An unrepentant City Council insists the proposal for a temporary museum to exhibit a pricey private photo exhibit on the beach is the greatest things for Malibu since , probably, the Whole Foods Market.
The on air and internet commentary that took the Council to task for its lack of transparency and failure to follow its own guidelines for such venture generated considerable response,, as I comment on 97.5 KBU and everywhere on radiomalibu.net
Some were in support of the project, in particular the Cultural Arts Commission, whose purview does not include land use , nor professionally vetting entrepreneurial New York gallery owners or expert oversight skills.
But most residents were opposed, pointing out the city’s abuse of its own policies regarding beach use and special interests.
This included a public plea, by Mari Stanley, at the last council meeting to rescind the request to the County to approve and aid the project, reveal the project ‘s detailed specifics, and hold open hearings..
In reply, city attorney Christi Hogin hemmed and hawed that though the council approved the concept for the museum, it was not a commitment, even though the resolution it approved contained that language.
\According to Hogin, all the Council did was ask the County to cooperate with the promoter Robert Dutesco.
And Hogin added if the county approved the concept, it would be returned to the city for proper hearings. We presume this include full details of the project’s operations, such as construction, entry fees, events, gift shop and financial data.
But hopefully the County who owns and manages Zuma will just deep six the proposal as being an illegal use of the beach. And the only possible hearings to be held will be to determine how the proposal was broached and a full disclosure of the involvement of the city’s commissioners and councilpersons.
There is concern that for the last 22 years the wild stallions of Sable Island Dutesco has photographed have figuratively become dray horses, tied to a cash cow. I trust the City is not being hustled.