WEST MALIBU SHORT CHANGED AGAIN BY A SLEEPY CITY HALL

The new curbing is finished at PCH and Trancas Canyon Road but without a right turn lane as requested by residents and promised by the developer and City Hall.

Unless you live in West Malibu, as I comment on 97.5 KBU, radiomalibu.net and select websites, this is really not much of a concern, such as traffic on the east PCH.

But I did think it worth noting as an indication of the fog enveloping City Hall, and how such items annoy.

Indeed, my dogs become noticeably agitated if I must wait a minute plus before making a right turn at the light at the corner, on the way to Trancas Canyon Dog Park for their daily social engagements,

However, as some residents revealed, the failure to install the turning lane is just one of a number of oversights by City Hall concerning the development of Trancas Canyon Market.

And this was a development for which there were numerous  public hearings where residents raised a host of concerns, which both the Planning Commission and City Council promised to address. And so did the developer.

Apparently holding public meetings to review a major project is one thing in Malibu, while getting the actual plans for the project stamped and approved at City Hall, another.

To be sure, the shopping center is popular, if not a little pricey; the Starbucks and the Vintage market attracting both locals and tourists, as do the mom and pop’s, such as Natii.

And the outdoor concerts have been a big success. Parking is also adequate, though access and particularly egress onto PCH difficult.

Nevertheless, according to residents who have monitored the planning, the 17 acre project is not as promised, and not as environmentally and people friendly as it could be. No words were minced.

Observed a former city planning commissioner in an e-mail that was circulated publicly, the project was bungled from the get-go, adding, perhaps “deliberately? “

She contended the net acreage was not calculated correctly, of course in favor of the developer.

In addition, the dedicated equestrian trail recorded on the parcel map was not installed, although it was to be a condition of approval. Further, the east parking lot was allowed to intrude into the riparian habitat area of the creek, and added that no historical survey was done although demanded.

Also noted was that a pedestrian path to the beach from Morning View Drive was not installed as required.

However, she added that “a strange structure,  with no permits, popped up behind the employee parking lot, blocking the view of residents on Trancas Canyon.”

The residents were further short changed by the developer failing to construct an emergency evacuation route for Malibu West, as had been promised when a parking lot blocked the original route.

She added “with various conditions incomplete or ignored and obvious violations not addressed at all, the city allowed the shopping center to open for business.”

Though issuing a public e-mail, the planning commissioner requested her name not be used, out of fear that the city might retaliate, with flash property inspections or a law suit.

Another resident added another condition of approval ignored was that the power lines supplying the shopping center across PCH were supposed to be “temporary” and buried, and are not. Several others conditions also have not been met.

And I thought City Hall was just napping when it failed to follow through on the turning lane.  It now appears it was fast asleep on many items promised the public, or frankly just duplicitous.

Is its negligence endemic? To be continued.

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hallkaplan

Parallel careers as an urban planner and a journalist, principally at present airing commentaries on pubic radio 99.1 KBU.FM The many arrows in my quiver have included Emmy award winning reporter/ producer for local Fox Television News, design critic for the Los Angeles Times, urban affairs reporter for The New York Times, an editor of The New York Post, contributor to various popular and professional publications, news services and broadcast outlets, including Reuters, NET, NBC, CBS, NPR and the BBC. Founding editor of the East Harlem (NY) Independent. A diversity of professional positions and consultancies in the private and public sectors, (Metro, Disney Imagineering, Howard Hughes, M. Milken, NYC Educational Construction Fund, US Comptroller of the Currency etc,) assorted academic appointments (UCLA, USC, CCNY, Art Center etc.), and always open to new challenge. And let us not forget fashioning sand castles and acting on 90210, crafting TV docs, design reviews, master plans. Books: "The Dream Deferred: People, Politics and Planning in Suburbia," "L.A. Lost and Found," an architectural history of Los Angeles, "L.A. Follies," a collection of essays, and co-author of "The New York City Handbook." Writings have appeared in academic texts, commentaries on the web, scripts for TV, and wherever, latest the Architects Newspaper, The Planning Report and Planetizen.

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