• The City of Malibu is still struggling with complaints from some neighbors about abuse of short-term rentals and looking for an answer that will pass legal muster. The most recent attempt is to consider limiting short-term rentals to spaces where the homeowner is also present in the home, similar to something that Santa Monica has done, which has apparently passed court review so far.
• The City of Malibu decided to ban rodenticides citywide on private as well as public property even though there are some legal questions about whether or not they can do it. It’s not unusual for cities when there is enough political heat to just pass something to mollify the electorate and then not spend much energy on enforcement. It happens all the time.
• Apparently the City of Malibu traded in future additional ballfields and perhaps a community center at Malibu Bluffs Park for 50 campsites in the area just above Malibu Road when they decided to kill the swap with Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Joe Edmiston, the executive director of the conservancy, announced that he intends to move ahead with the campsites, and thanked the City of Malibu, a bit tongue-in-cheek, for killing the original swap, which would have given the city some additional Bluffs Park land in return for the city owned Charmlee Park.
• The year ended much as it began with the city and many of its citizens focused on how to recover and rebuild from the Woolsey Fire, get some of those kids back in school and restore Malibu real estate to its pre-fire momentum. There are some positives, one year post fire. Real estate sales are moving, slowly at first but seem to be picking up steam. According to the city, 200 single family residences have been approved by the planning department and are in various stages of development. We estimate that when those homes are all being built—say, at an average of 3,000 square feet and $600 per square foot to rebuild—the city of Malibu will see about $1 billion flowing into Malibu from the fire insurance money, many citizens will be returning and many of those businesses that are just hanging on will be OK if they can last long enough.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Healthy New Year.