I attended a ribbon cutting and presentation of a certificate of occupancy on Monday, Jan. 27, in Malibu West. The homeowner participated in the event because she wanted to let others know that rebuilding is possible. She thanked her architect, decorator, contractor and the City of Malibu, with a special mention for Yolanda Bundy, who heads up the building and safety department. Yolanda is establishing a terrific reputation for assisting those trying to permit and rebuild Woolsey homes. The homeowner pulled the very first site clearance permit as well as a very early building permit. The home is beautiful.
As of this writing, there are 57 homes with full permits and another 157 somewhere in the process. That is an increase of eight permits in the last two weeks. Twenty more applications will get us to the halfway mark. So far, only 14 homeowners have applied for a size increase of more than 10 percent, so the city’s offer of speedy and in some cases reduced cost permits has been successful.
Over the weekend, I had a conversation with a gentleman, trained as an attorney, who lost his home in Woolsey. He and his wife have since successfully navigated City Hall and they are now under construction. He expressed concern that the fire rebuild provisions in the city’s code limit some of the benefits to two years from the date of the fire. We also discussed that the reduced-cost permits for owner-occupied homes are only authorized through June of this year. He is not concerned for himself, but he is worried about his neighbors. Nov. 9, 2020, is only a week more than 10 months from now. Please submit your application as quickly as possible to qualify your project as a “fire rebuild.” The city council, or a future council, may alter the code and extend the time limits in the law, but why not play it safe now?
I’m still waiting to get some answers about whether the demographer has been retained and a possible schedule for the community outreach meetings. I’m eager, like many others, to discuss the transition to elections for city council persons being held on a “by-district” basis.