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Malibu Residents Rank Walking, Biking Trails as Greatest Recreational Need

The public is invited to hear a presentation on the draft of the 2012 Parks and Recreation Master Plan, which will go before the Malibu Parks and Recreation Commission on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Malibu residents ranked walking, biking trails and greenways as the most important recreational need in the city, according to a study included in the updated draft of the 2012 Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

Indoor swimming pools, small neighborhood parks and off-leash dog parks trailed not far behind in the ranking of Malibu facility and amenities priorities.

A special meeting of the Parks and Recreation Commission is set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11. Following a one-hour presentation, there will be time for questions from the public, according to Bob Stallings, Malibu's Parks and Recreation director.

The plan was drafted based on input through a series of public workshops, focus groups and stakeholder meetings, Stallings said.

"The Master Plan will also be used to determine immediate and long-range goals in establishing priorities and statements of direction based on researched and documented facts," he said.

According to a survey of the community, the top five priorities out of 28 outlined by residents included walking and biking trails, small neighborhood parks, indoor swimming pools, off-leash dog parks and a multi-generational community center.

The residents ranked adult soccer fields, youth football fields, year-round synthetic fields, adult baseball and softball fields as the lowest priority.

The plan, which recognizes the limited amount of land available in Malibu for recreation, outlines a goal to extend partnerships with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District to allow for increased community use of school properties.

Other goals outlined in the draft include creating "a more accessible community through greater use of walking, biking trails and greenways," as well as evaluating the need of a new multi-generational community recreation center, according to the draft.

The city's first Master Plan was approved by the Malibu City Council in 2000 and identified several unmet recreational needs in Malibu.

Several of the goals of the first plan were addressed, including the purchase of Malibu Bluffs Park in 2006, the completion of the Las Flores Creek Park the construction of Trancas Canyon Park and Legacy Park in 2010, according to Stallings.

Hans Laetz October 07, 2012 at 04:29 PM
This report has severe deficiencies. It looks like the people who prepared it landed in a spaceship from Planet Consultant. It uses the word "beach" precisely four times, each time like this: "Incorporate beach and ocean use in programming." I just checked the Calabasas master parks plan, it mentions Malibu's beaches more than Malibu's. The word "surf" appears exactly once. No mention of past city efforts to try to take over the fenced-off Dan Blocker County Beach, which was given to the public by the Bonanza TV stars decades ago and still is verboten. No mention of the city's rightful and needed role in the management of county or state beaches, or state and federal canyonlands inside the city limit. No mention about beach access, No mention about beach parking for Malibu residents. No mention about how other cities, like Santa Monica and San Diego, build facilities FOR THEIR OWN RESIDENTS to use and enjoy the beaches.
Hans Laetz October 07, 2012 at 04:33 PM
The report completely glosses over the Legacy Park deficiencies. As it inventories Legacy's strengths, the only recreational attribute it can find is this: "Legacy Park provides good places for people to walk." The word "bicycle" or "bike" appears just four times, No mention of all of the heavy bicycle use on PCH. No mention of all of the California Coastal Trail. No mention at all of Malibu's obligations, under its own General Plan (not to mention the LCP and state law) to provide for safe bicycling on PCH. This plan looks at the overused, loved-to-death soccer/lacrosse/baseball/softball field at Bluffs and proclaims their condition "good." It looks at the hundreds of cars that have to park on Malibu Canyon Road or illegally on PCH and pronounces Bluffs parking "good." Did these people even attend a little league game and contend with that overcrowding? Skateboarding and the need for skateparks? Barely mentioned. And it favors partnering with the SMMUSD on multiuse. That means further impacts on Malibu High neighbors, who are already at the saturation point. Serious, serious holes in this report.
Hans Laetz October 07, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Wow. One of the busiest public beaches in California is in Malibu, is used by Malibuites, and affects Malibu dramatically. Yet the word "Zuma" appears only in reference to the "Zuma Room" (AKA McClure Tunnel Room) at City Hall. And wouldn't you know it, this report pronounces the Zuma Room conditions to be "excellent?" May I submit that many, many Malibu residents consider the windowless, airless, fluorescently-lit Zuma/copier room -- to be a condition far less than "excellent."
Valerie Sklarevsky October 08, 2012 at 05:36 PM
I like to daily walk the pedestrian walk way at Zuma. A huge problem is that people ride their bikes on this walkway which is an accident waiting to happen. There are many "NO BIKES" spray painted on the sidewalk but it is very faded and needs to be repainted, and it should be enforced by life guards and their should be a fine. If there is an accident a lawsuit could be brought against parks and recreation and Malibu. Valerie Sklarevsky
John Mazza October 12, 2012 at 03:10 PM
I completely agree with Hans that ocean recreation was not given the emphasis it should. What he did not mention is that the demographics showed that the 0-18 population is declining and the senior population will explode in the nest 10 years. Senior recreation especially indoors (and indoor multi use) was identified as a priority need.
Hans Laetz October 12, 2012 at 03:20 PM
John's right. The needs of 45-plus residents for indoor recreation was clearly spelled out in the year 2000 master plan. And those needs have gone unmet -- and that's bad enough. But the draft report does not even mention the current Master Plan. Last night's plan blithely pronounces that the city has made "excellent" progress in fulfilling recreational needs, as set forth in the old Master Plan. NOT ONE of the seven goals approved by the City Council has been met. But this is not discussed in the Draft Report. I am confidant that the parks and rec director will fix the dire deficiencies in this draft report. I think the consultant really went off the rails here.
Max October 12, 2012 at 03:44 PM
"Legacy Park provides good places for people to walk." What deficiency?? Sounds great to me. It is a beautiful, quiet, serene place to take a peaceful stroll, view a natural setting, see beautiful birds, see and hear the rustling of the vegetation, see the pond --- all without skateboards, roller blades and bicycles speeding by from your rear. I personally think it's a wonderful departure from over-development. It's much better than the alternative: another commercial shopping area. Landon provides playing fields for the kids, picnic areas for the families, large areas of manicured lawns, a kiddie park, whale watching areas and a community center... which is also wonderful. We're so fortunate to have such diversity in our small town.

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