Observed with dismay was the recent Malibu Planning Commission and the city’s compliant staff, twisting themselves into a knot at a recent meeting reviewing the Malibu Beach Inn’s latest development requests.
A painful review of the convoluted chatter rfevealedthat after commission indicated it would probably reject the requests, it wavered as city staff blabbering on suggested some half-witted and unattractive alternatives.
This included painting a questionable “do not block” traffic zone in front of the Inn, ostensibly for guests and parking valets. Also suggested was allowing a particularly ugly multi level parking lift fronting the hotel site, by relocating a proposed swimming pool. Talk about dumb and dumber
As I comment on public radio 99.1 KBU and select websites, you would think staff was in the employ of the developer, and not working for the city and therefore sensitive to residents and the city’s mission to protect its rural seacoast character. The only person making any sense at the hearing was Lester Tobias, a local architect, rising from the audience to take exception to the requests and the city’s mishandling.
You would have hoped that at least the commission would remind staff of its job, but they, like the council members who appointed them, tend to be self absorbed. Malibu, we have a problem, that the next local election may, or may not, solve.
Meanwhile, as for the commission hearing, it involved the beachfront hotel requests to park on the landside of PCH, in the former Hertz property. This would allow it to build the swimming pool on its present inadequate parking lot.
The formerly immodest motel has been consciously compromising the city’s building and zoning codes, and the local coastal plan in recent years as it morphed into a high end hotel and over priced restaurant. To be sure, this has been accomplished legally, however arbitrarily, while a less than competent city smiled, however amiably.
The latest incursion was the construction of a signaled cross walk that screwed up commuter traffic for several days. This compounded the crush of cars already there for the slavering celeb scene at nearby Nobu.
As I have previously riled, Caltrans had typically mindlessly approved the crosswalk, while the city, also typically mindless, had explained that the PCH was not its jurisdiction. It is, if City Hall would only assert itself.
But after being chastened, city council members indicated it would not approve the hotel’s latest artiface, though after the planning commission aired it. That was the last meeting, where the air was unfortunately hot air.
Another hearing has had to be planned, which unfortunately will be the night before the Fall election. Hopefully the rejection then will be a no brainer. Actually, considering that the planning commission and city staff will be involved, better make that a half-brainer.