The times, they are a-changing! Since I last reported on the status of rebuild permits we have seen some actual progress. The total number of applications is now 166, of which all but 11 have cleared the planning review. We can now report that over 34 percent of those homes lost in the Woolsey fire within the city limits of Malibu have applied for approval to rebuild. It would be wonderful if we could get that number up to 40 percent before Nov. 9.
Even more encouraging is the fact that the pace of final permits being granted is starting to increase. In the last three weeks, eight additional homes have been granted building permits. That is a rate of two-and-two-thirds per week, a much better performance than the one per week reported three weeks ago.
The city is working hard to help you rebuild. The dollar value of the permit processing fees waived by the city has climbed close to a total of $600,000 as of this writing.
I’m eager to hear some feedback about the new presence of the California Code Check employee now stationed at the rebuild desk to make code check a bit faster and a lot smoother. I’d also like to hear from some of the many people who have been contacted by City Manager Reva Feldman or Rebuild Coordinator Ashley Despard in the last week about value added of the outreach.
The next city council meeting is scheduled for Oct. 14. There are two items of general interest that may interest you.
The first is Agenda Item 4B: “An ordinance to prevent trespass in the Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone.” It is hoped that this ordinance will enable our law enforcement professionals to expeditiously remove those found camping or dwelling in the designated areas. This ordinance follows an example in the City of LA and forced removals may be limited to red flag days only.
Later in the evening, at Item 7A, the council will receive a report on “District-Based City Council Elections.” If this method were adopted, you would only be able to vote for a candidate running to represent your district. The result would be the Balkinization of Malibu. Those elected would only be answerable to the district that elected them. We are much better off having all our representatives responsible for and answering to the whole community. I am eager to hear what possible benefit Councilmember Skylar Peak—who introduced this item—believes this method will yield for the community.