Seven subcommittees were formed this week as part of an effort to explore ways to preserve vacant land zoned for commercial use in Malibu's Civic Center.
The town hall-style meeting, which was led by Malibu Mayor Laura Zahn Rosenthal and Councilwoman Joan House, drew more than 50 people Tuesday at . House and Zahn are on the Civic Center Property Owners Negotiation Ad Hoc Committee, which was established in May.
"It was really an effort to brainstorm and not quash any ideas. I think we were able to do that," Rosenthal said. "We took around four pages of notes … We got those coalesced into seven groups and people volunteered on what they wanted to get involved in."
Malibu Planning Commissioner John Mazza said he attended the meeting, which lasted nearly two hours.
"I’m encouraged that the city is looking at the process. I’m discouraged they don’t seem to be putting a lot of staff support behind it," Mazza said.
Rosenthal said the meeting was meant to empower residents to take action.
"It wasn't a staff driven project, but a community driven project. We really asked people to step up and get involved and do some research and get together," Rosenthal said.
More than two-dozen ideas were generated, which were divided up into seven categories. Those ideas, which will be studied by the subcommittees, focus on:
- 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.
Another meeting is scheduled for Aug. 14.
Rosenthal said she is looking for a way to share the ideas in an online forum, so that participants can provide feedback.
"We do want to get things moving because projects are moving forward. This isn't something we can be leisurely about. That's why we set up another meeting in August. We are working in the process on how to include everybody and have the public involved," Rosenthal said.
More than 1 million square feet of development is on the table for the area in and around the Civic Center, including an upscale hotel, a Whole Foods and an extension of Santa Monica College.
Do you have ideas about the future of Malibu's Civic Center? Did you attend the meeting? Share your ideas here.