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 .