On Monday, the Malibu City Council voted to approve temporary chain regulations for new stores in the Malibu Civic Center with a 12-month sunset clause. The formula retail ordinance no longer requires a conditional use permit and a 3,500-square-foot cap was eliminated on new stores. The council put a 45 percent limit on the number of chain stores in the center.
In response to the vote, Preserve Malibu called the council's action "political gimmickry that will do nothing to limit big box stores or runaway development and escalating traffic problems in Malibu."
"We will now go to the voters and ask them to enact a reasonable and impactful retail ordinance capable of preserving the unique character of our community," according to the statement.
The group also called the council's action "100 percent meaningless."
California state law allows the voters to petition to put an initiative on the ballot, but they need the support of 10 percent of registered voters, Malibu's City Attorney Christi Hogin said previously. That could mean as many as 950 signatures.
In 2000, voters approved Measure P, known as the "Malibu Right to Vote On Development Initiative," but it was upended by an initiative sponsored by the city.
The original Measure P sought to give residents the right to vote on proposed projects with more than 25,000 square feet if they require a variance, a conditional use permit or exceeds the density of zoning limitations, or permits construction or widening of a public roadway.
The movement takes aim at more than 1 million square feet of proposed development in Malibu's Civic Center.
Projects in the works include the Rancho Hotel project, Malibu Bay Company development, “Whole Foods in the Park” and the Crummer subdivision next to Malibu Bluffs Park. The La Paz project is already approved.
The Malibu City Council also voted on Monday to draft design guidelines and a Civic Center specific plan, which could take a year.