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Cemetery Idea Emerges in Discussion Around Retiring Civic Center Land

The idea of putting aside land for a cemetery is one of several about how to preserve vacant land zoned for commercial use in the Civic Center of Malibu.

A discussion around how to preserve land in Malibu's Civic Center continued Tuesday at a town hall meeting, with some interest rising in the possibility of putting aside an area for a cemetery.

“We’re just exploring whether that would be feasible, if people are interested, and then we can look at specific areas,” Malibu Mayor Laura Zahn Rosenthal said during the nearly two-hour meeting.

This was the second town hall meeting led by Rosenthal and Councilwoman Joan House, who hope the meetings generate ideas about how to preserve vacant land zoned for commercial use in the Civic Center of Malibu.

Dennis Torres of Malibu, who is on a team of people researching the possibility of a cemetery in the Civic Center, said he believes the idea of a cemetery meets the needs of the community because it could preserve open space and generate income for the landowner.

"Virtually everyone I know in town wants to be buried here," Torres said.

About 20 attendees also discussed possible ways to relieve traffic in the Civic Center, including the possibility of a parking garage and a shuttle system.

In July, a group of about 40 people met and , which are researching:

  • Uses of purchased Civic Center land;
  • Research of bond, tax and other revenues;
  • Exploring donations, charitable trusts or other funding;
  • Changing zoning codes and developing a master plan for the Civic Center;
  • Gauging the appetite of Malibu residents for Civic Center;
  • Opportunities for naming rights; and
  • Forming development districts.

The meetings were put together following outcry from local activists and residents about the future of the Civic Center area.

Rosenthal said the meetings are meant to generate ideas at this point.

"Let's find some information, get some ideas and find some agreement, if possible, and then bring it back with some recommendations for the City Council about what we want to do, how we want to go forward. Are we going to have to do polling of the community?" Rosenthal said of the road ahead.

House said she believes these discussions come at a critical time for Malibu.

"I think the opportunity is now what we can preserve and how we direct the build out of the city and what we can work with different owners to see if we can't create more green space and keep the semi-rural environment," House said.

The next meeting is set for Sept. 11 at .

J. Flo August 16, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Smart, Bruce!
Terry August 17, 2012 at 02:52 AM
we dont need septics anymore anyway. have u seen the new gates toilet. maybe we can try them in city hall. they say you can use the waste for fertilizer. and we know how much bs there is in our city hall
Nancy Crow August 18, 2012 at 12:45 AM
I strongly support the idea of a cemetery for Malibu. Why should people be torn away from the place they have been all there lives in death.
Marshall Thompson August 19, 2012 at 05:05 PM
I agree with Nancy. Here's an interesting/controversial article about home burial: http://bit.ly/QPOTl7 I'm not advocating it (home interment) but death is a fact of life and it would be nice to have a Malibu Cemetery.
Jonathan Friedman August 27, 2012 at 04:16 PM
Interesting, I just learned that here in Massachusetts, state law requires all towns (not the cities, which are usually larger) to provide burial space for residents. I wonder if that is true in other states and if it were ever true in California. I suppose it would be nice to be buried where you lived. I plan to live forever, so I'm not thinking about that too much. Take a look at this: http://attleboro.patch.com/articles/seekonk-running-low-on-grave-space.

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