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Residents Research Ways to Preserve Civic Center

More than two dozen ideas were generated this week about how to preserve vacant land zoned for commercial use in the Civic Center of Malibu.

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.

Wendi Werner July 13, 2012 at 03:41 AM
I encourage people to come to the next meeting.
Marianne Riggins July 13, 2012 at 01:38 PM
I agree, the first meeting was great, very positive ideas, can't wait to see what we can make happen together.
Jackie Robbins July 13, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Councilwoman House's great idea about creating a non-profit status for the City of Malibu is not listed but should definately be included, the City could be surprised by donations of land, and/or other services in exchange for tax write-offs. How do we come in contact with others that have signed up for the same sub-committees? Or should we be preparing a fuller view of our ideas individually for the August meeting? Please advise. I need a full map of what is considered to be "Malibu Civic Center"....anybody? I found the meeting to be stimulating and it personally gave me the first "good" feelings I've had about Malibu's future in a long time, I hope we can make some impact. I was inspired to get involved by Margot Feuer, who was a longtime customer of mine...she passed away in recent weeks, but she is credited with having envisioned the "Backbone Trail of the Santa Monica Mountains"..........many things are possible.......
R Y A N July 13, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Because the Civic Center already has two commercial retail shopping centers with insufficient parking for their demographic/clientele, and too much traffic for the 2-land road, the City should establish a Civic Center Vacant Land Retirement Fund. Tax-deductible donations and PARKING TICKET REVENUE bound to increase from the just authorized City Council resolution. Add in the $25 per TOW fee that the City receives for doing nothing. Tows restore parking for another vehicle (which reduces traffic circulating for a vacant parking space) which helps relieve traffic congestion.
John Mazza July 14, 2012 at 12:44 AM
Jackie--On March 8 the city council considered the diversification ordinance for civic center businesses. The staff report for that project is linked below and it will tell you more than you want to know about the civic center. On page 25 of 89 there is a map of the civic center that shows all current development and what can be built in the future. Everyone interested in this subject should take a look and what can happen and is happening. http://www.malibucity.org/download/index.cfm/fuseaction/download/cid/18407/
Jackie Robbins July 14, 2012 at 04:14 AM
Thanks John, I took a quick look-see, but the document will not allow me to copy the map. Ideally if I could find that map but not in color, just a black and white accessor's-type map like you would see in at the building dept. I'd like to have something I can blow up BIG so I can draw on it.
Jackie Robbins July 14, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Got a copy of the map from Jae....thanks guys :0)
J. Flo July 14, 2012 at 05:16 AM
Great to see you at the meeting, Jackie - let's talk soon!
Cindy Vandor July 14, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Why didn't Laura & Joan show maps or provide facts about traffic limits, water limits, and waste limits? What are you hiding?
Jackie Robbins July 14, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Cindy, the meeting's purpose was gathering ideas. All of the information you want is available, if you, personally take the time to find out, then even you, could bring it to the public if you feel it's necessary. Our Mayor and City Councilwoman are trying to create a public forum so that, we the people, can find out how to implement change, what changes we want, if change is what we want, and what we are up against if we find roadblocks. There are vast rivers of information out there that has to be sifted through, which area are you going to work in?

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