Malibu needs to move on from the latest local government debacle, specifically the resolution to compel property owners to remove landscape encroachments from the municipal right of way edging roadways.
Not to belabor the issue, but I feel it is important to get the facts right and dampen the emotions that are still swirling in the aftermath in which reason argued by concerned residents prevailed over a too often ill informed City Hall.
As I comment on public radio KBU, radiomalibu.net and other select websites. the victory needs closure: the council thanked for its decision to rescind the resolution, and the residents for their persistence not to see the resolution simply suspended, but buried.
A big also is for the city to stop the nitpicking enforcement on homeowners and selective streets. Oversight will be needed, be it a Point task force or some sort of consortium of the concerned.
Let’s hope some lessons have been learned; that, as our founders commented, vigilance indeed is the price of democracy; that civil servants need to be civil, and city council must be transparent. And all, more courteous.
Already under fire for being too friendly to developers and special interests, the Council did not make their admittedly tough jobs any easier by stumbling over what could have been a reasonable plan for the Point, generating some validation in its waning days in office.
To those just tuning in, the ill-considered resolution was a questionable tailpiece on to what I have described as a traffic mismanagement plan. The plan had called for a grab bag of remedies that included lowering speed limits –good – and a smattering of questionable speed humps –all presumably to calm traffic.
Then there was the resolution requiring the clearing of the rights of way, which would in effect widen streets and among other things encourage speeding, and also attract more cars cruising for parking. So much for calming traffic.
We ‘re talking here of all landscaping, fences, walls and mailboxes, at resident expense, and not incidentally the selective removal of no parking signs. So long rural Point Dume and property values, hello suburbia.
No street site plans were offered, no priorities and timing, no city costs, let alone the cost to property owners, and no cost benefit analysis. What a pig-in-the poke; what an annuity for city staff and contractors.
You have to ask, what were they thinking at City Hall: a peace offering to the Coastal Commission, a stick-in-the eye to Council critics, or just flaunting their powers?
I am reminded of a recent comment made by the venerable Walt Keller, Malibu’s first mayor, that some times unfortunate things happen to well meaning people once elected to office.