Plans for renovations and updated lighting at the Trancas Country Market are drawing some concerns from neighbors at Malibu West.
A public hearing on a request to amend a coastal development permit for the market's previously approved lighting plan will likely not be heard until the Nov. 19 Planning Commission meeting at Malibu City Hall.
The early design of the plans include a parking lot with 43 pole mounted lights, 12 to 20 feet tall.
"The lighting concept plan further indicates that the developer's goal was to keep the light levels as low as feasible in an effort to 'keep home owners and local HOA (with roughly 250 families) happy," a city staff report dated Sept. 27 states.
According to an updated staff report released Thursday, the developer is working with Malibu West home owners to address their concerns about the proposed lighting plan, and to give more time for public input on the project.
In an email attached to the report, neighbors have asked that lights at all reserved employee parking spaces be turned off once the businesses are closed and that lighting be reduced at night to the current levels.
A representative for the project wrote in the email that some lights will need to be left on for security purposes, but that the goal is to keep the lighting level low.
At an earlier Planning Commission meeting in October, Hans Laetz of Malibu spoke against the proposed lighting plan.
"It looks like they are trying to keep it very low intensity and very low altitude. I am concerned which the light fixtures they are choosing are not shielded," Laetz said.
He said the developers have also worked to protect the Trancas Lagoon. He said Caltrans has not been satisfied by the amount of space dedicated for a right turn lane.
"They’ve made a real good faith effort in terms of keeping us happy," Laetz said.
Cindy Vandor, a Malibu activist, spoke out against the plans for the shopping center.
"These developers have a lot of work to do to make traffic safer, and you have to make them do it," Vandor said. "Or else someone is going to get killed just trying to get in or out of Malibu West."
She asked commissioners to dedicate an easement for a road for emergency evacuation of Malibu West.
"Lives are at stake but these developers don't care. Scott Rozier and the Dubberts sent lawyers to fight this. They didn't care about the survival of residents, when there are emergencies, they didn't want us to be able to evacuate and get ambulances and fire trucks into Trancas Canyon," Vandor said.
She also requested a safe bus accessible bus stop turn around and waiting area.
In a blog on Malibu Patch, former Public Safety Commissioner Susan Tellem encouraged Malibu residents to oppose the lighting plans.
"We're heading full steam ahead into death by a thousand cuts," Tellem wrote.