City attorney says city may ask court for an order to allow it to issue
permits while contesting the Local Coastal Plan. Sheriff's station plans sweep of Trancas Creek area in response to
complaints about day laborers loitering,
drinking and harassing people.
By Jonathan Friedman/Special to the Malibu Times
Rejecting an offer before it had even been made, the California Coastal Commission refused to cut a deal with Malibu to allow the city to grant coastal permits without signifying it has agreed with Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Allan J. Goodman's recent decision on the Local Coastal Plan (LCP).
With the City Council deciding whether to appeal Goodman's decision that said Malibu residents couldn't vote on the LCP mandated by the Coastal Commission, it had hoped an agreement with the commission would give some relief to those waiting for coastal permits.
City Attorney Christi Hogin at last week's City Council meeting said she approached the commission, but learned that it had already met in closed session to turn down any deal. But she added the city could still get an order from the court to allow it to do that.
In other action last week, the council voted unanimously to apply for a grant of up to $500,000 that could make Point Dume streets safer by building a decomposed granite pathway along several connecting roads. Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School parents had encouraged the city to apply for the grant.
However, the idea of building a pathway has irked some residents. Several Point Dume residents said the pathways would lead to several problems, including decreasing the streets' width. This could force people to park in the middle of the road, creating a dangerous situation in which buses and cars would have to drive around the parked automobiles, they said.
"This could be really scary if you stop and think about the consequences," said Charlene Kabrin. "So I think it needs a lot more study."
Supporters of the pathway spoke about the need for safer Point Dume streets.
"The roadway is not a safe area for pedestrians," William Buckley said. "It has speeding vehicular traffic."
City Manager Katie Lichtig said the plan would be examined in great detail and could be changed if the city were to get the grant, including joint meetings between the Public Works and Public Safety commissions and by receiving input from Point Dume residents.
Also at the meeting, the council chose against making Malibu declaw-free. A testimony of nearly 20 people, including entertainer Buddy Hackett, was unable to persuade most councilmembers to pass an ordinance outlawing an act they called inhumane. Several councilmembers said the ordinance would be impossible to enforce, with people able to go elsewhere for the procedure.
"I really have a hard time with the council engaging in symbolic acts," Councilmember Jeff Jennings said.
But Joan House said her fellow councilmembers were ignoring the significance of passing such an ordinance.
"It makes a statement of how we value all life, not just our lives, but the life of each and every animal," she said.
Instead of an ordinance, the council voted unanimously to send a letter to Sacramento opposing declawing. Also, the council voted 4-1, with Andy Stern dissenting, to direct staff to draft an ordinance requiring a person watch a video about declawing before the pet could get the operation.
In other action, the council unanimously approved a development agreement with DS Ventures LLC for the construction of an eight-unit condominium on Pacific Coast Highway near Carbon Canyon Road. The council also voted unanimously to send a letter to the state against Assembly Bill 974, which would give the Coastal Commission the power to identify and protect sacred Native American sites. Malibu's Native American Cultural Advisory Committee encouraged the council's opposition, saying it could decide those matters. Lastly, the council approved the schedule for the Malibu Bay Company Development Agreement process, with the first meeting scheduled for June 9.
During the public comment period, Malibu West Homeowners Association President Dermot Stoker spoke about day laborers gathering in front of HOWS Trancas Market. He said some of them who do not get jobs spend the rest of the day drinking in Trancas Creek and harassing women. Stoker also said in a phone interview last week that he has found tents and other temporary shelters set up in the area.
Hogin said the city could not prevent people from asking for jobs because it was a violation of the First Amendment. But she said they could be cited for such things as jaywalking, harassment or drinking in public.
Malibu's Los Angeles County Sheriff Liaison Lt. Gloria Gressman said in an interview Sunday that since the market is on private property, people could be arrested for loitering. She added that a sweep of the creek area was planned for sometime this week.