Determining Malibu's Parks and Rec Future

Two public workshops will begin the process to update Malibu's Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

What are Malibu's unmet parks and recreation needs and how should they be prioritized? The city will begin the process to answer these questions tonight with a public worshop at . A second workshop will take place tomorrow night.

The city is in the process of updating its Parks and Recreation Master Plan, which was completed in 2000. This document serves as a blueprint for the city on what its parks and recreation needs and priorities are, and how the city should spend money to meet those needs. Residents will have a chance to give their opinions on this issue at the workshops.

"It is important for any master plan to succeed, it must be a community-driven model," said Neelay Bhatt of PROS Consulting. The Indianapolis-based firm was hired to help the city with the update process.

The workshops are crucial because this will allow PROS and the city to hear from the residents, but the information gathered from them will not be the only source used to update the plan. Interviews will also be done in the community to gather further opinions and PROS will do a statiscally valid survey of Malibu.

"We often mistake want with need … you need to prioritize based on the community's values and the true unmet needs," Bhatt said.

Once the plan is updated, the will be able to use the document as a guide for municipal spending on parks and recreation projects and programs. Bhatt said creating or updating a master plan the right way is crucial if a city wants to gain community support. He looked to his firm's recent work in Charlotte, N.C., where a master plan update led to voters approving a parks and recreation bond measure.

"The saying is that money always follows plans," Bhatt said. "If I am looking as a community member to spend some money or allow the city to to spend more money, I need to know where it is going and why it is going there."

The workshops will take place at 6 p.m. tonight and tomorrow in the Multipurpose Room at City Hall, which is located at 23825 Stuart Ranch Road. For more information, call the city's at 310-456-2489.

Marcia Hanscom February 15, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Here's an idea: What about supporting programming for the incredible NATURAL resources Malibu has? i.e., supporting a program for interpretive nature education - where young people can learn to be junior ranger/story-tellers. As opposed to building lots of infrastructure that is not in harmony with the rural, nature that is what makes Malibu special. There are educational grants for things like this from foundations and government agencies -- so money does not have to be raised from Malibu continuing its addiction to additional pavement and rooftop generating development.
Kristin Kiefer February 15, 2012 at 07:14 PM
In case you did not know there are several junior ranger programs in Malibu run by state parks and other agencies as well as great Junior Lifeguard programs at Zuma (LA County) and Leo Carillo(State) and nature programs at Charmlee.
Glen Gerson February 23, 2012 at 07:06 AM
Malibu is a great place for family functions,social events and conference centers.But it also needs to be upgraded as development never stops and needs and wants are only increasing day by day.The parks and recreation centers should be dealt effectively by the PROS.The people of malibu should come together and speak in unison.
Injured small dog April 29, 2012 at 04:41 PM
Will they ever put a simple fence down the middle of the dog park so that small dogs can enjoy the place without the threat of large dogs attacking them? Owners of large dogs have said to us "My [80 lb.] dog is the friendliest dog," just prior to this big dog pouncing on our 7 lb. and rattling her like a rag. And, of course, the guilty party did not accept responsibility (financially or otherwise), as we had to take our injured and bleeding dog to the vet. How many more such brutal episodes will we have to endure before the powers that be put up a simple fence?
Brian Eamer April 29, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Bring this issue straight to the Malibu City Council and at the same time to Parks and Rec Commission so that they will do something about it. You will also have to write emails to all of them and let them know that yours is not an isolated incident. I have tried to take my little dogs to the park but end up always thinking that something bad will happen when a bigger dog jumps up and lands on mine or worse. At this point I do not take my dogs up to the park unless there are no dogs present or there are only a few dogs and I can communicate with the dog owners and get a good feeling that it will be alright to let my dogs in. Separation fence does seem to make sense unless it will breed barking and aggression between the fence. In that case the Fence should have green screen on it so that it could eliminate this possibility.


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