The “faces of Measure R” are a group Arnold York calls the “coterie of people who are almost pathologically angry about just about everything.” Former Mayor Jeff Jennings refers to these faces as “The Coalition of the Disaffected.” There are some nice people and some of my friends who support Measure R, but why aren’t the reasonable people stepping up and having a meaningful discussion about the pros and cons of Measure R? 

The reasonable people aren’t vocal and they have left their messaging to the group I am going to name “Always Angry Rouge Group” (AARG). These are the folks who scream and yell at City Council meetings, have been escorted out by the sheriff, who have tried to stop the Chili Cook-Off and who have never won an election. The real issues of Measure R are buried in the $300k campaign whose screaming messengers have clouded some real discussion points. 

Putting development projects on a ballot seems like a good idea. No one wants big development in the city. I have personally fought it for the 30 years I have been here. Measure R will push all discussions into back rooms without rules and bypasses representational democracy. 

What about when a developer/ property owner loses the vote and takes the City of Malibu to court? Lawyers, judges and settlements will dictate what gets built — not us. How many people remember why there are so many condos over by Lunita? That was the result of a property owner/ bank, being taken to court. 

Please read Measure R very carefully before you vote and try to figure out exactly who and how these land use plans are going to go forward. Who is going to be responsible for deciding on all the amenities for our city? AARG? Please read and discuss how easily a developer whose project loses an election will sue the city and that will most certainly cost the city millions and lead to land use decisions being part of a courtroom settlement. 

Our voices will never be heard if Measure R passes. 

Laureen Sills 

(16) comments


We've all seen their attacks. Bunch of aging bullies, pumped up by their moment of "power" with their Queen Bees on council. Arms-length list of people attacked by this gang. Harassed. Shunned. Insulted. Email chains of bullies. Seen them yelling at someone in a parking lot.

The pathology is all theirs. Diagnosis. Narcissism.


I have personally seen Laureen and company rail on people in public. The mentality of 'mean girls rule' and everyone else looks like a bunch of imbasiles in par for their course.


Here we go from one of Rosenthal's notorious leaders of her "mean girls club". They swarm around their Prom Queen Laura like a bunch of enamored high school girls. If any Malibu resident finally has had enough of Rosenthal's well known antics of basically stalking any minion who might have the nerve to disagree agree with her, they start passing around school notes decimating the offender.

This group can never debate with facts, because they rarely have any in their favor. Malibu is fed-up of the lock this same old, literally, gang has on our city. The other side has the Mayor in office, but god forbid that would be noted. The only sane person who wouldn't stand up and say "enough" are either too afraid of repercussions or are registered members of this small gaggle of cheer leaders surrounding the principles of this group, which include Jennings put on the Commission by non other than their Wizard Of Ozed who hangs out behind the curtain slugging wine from a box.

Yep, most of this town has had enough. They excel at dishing it but boy do they hate to take it. Take your collective pom poms and go home. School ended decades ago.

Lois Lyons

I would like to know how our voices will not be heard if Measure R passes. What is it in Measure R that will gag people from speaking up? Is Laureen Sills implying that allowing the public to vote on projects would have that effect? Sounds like Doublespeak to me.


OH Boy

Hans Laetz

Sorry, Marianne, up is still up and down is still down.

La Paz didn't get a variance, it got something much worse. It got a statement of overriding considerations, which means it doesn't need a variance.

You are correct (partially) at Lumberyard, I heard "upstairs" and assumed roof, not second floor. The bottom line is they have a severe parking problem and can only meet their city parking requirements with double-double-stacking and valets.

Trancas didn't need variances because City Hall bureaucrats bent the rules for them into a pretzel, something that Coastal said was illegal. I dropped the suit when the builder's nonbinding decision not to build at Riders and Ropers was converted to a written contract that prohibits building there. What we won at Trancas was IN SPITE of City Hall, not thanks to.

And let's look in depth at the most recent City Hall fiasco, the putative hotel. The City Planning and Public Works departments wrote a draft EIR that dramatically underestimated traffic impacts. As late as last December, our wonderful City Hall was still giving developers a green light to overload PCH. Even today, right now, the city bureaucrats are operating under ludicrous traffic measurements and projections.

Credit Joyce and her staff for buying this argument, and requiring a full CEQA study on the La Paz-Soboroff Strip Mall-Malibu Bay Co et al plan to rip out the trees at the lagoon. But we are still seeing City Hall spend a lot of time on design, and not on impact.

Yeah, the hotel Draft EIR blew up because several hundred errors were found in it by interested citizens, who did the work that city planners should have done.

"The draft is the initial document that is sent out to get comments." NO NO NO. You and everyone else at City Hall seem to be laboring under that severe misunderstanding of state law. The -draft- is required under CEQA to be an accurate representation of what the impact of a project will be. Malibu keeps saying, over and over again, "we will fix it in the final EIR." There is very specific case law on this.

If the current system it is working, it is only because a few dedicated folks are continuously playing CEQA wahckamole down at City Hall.

Andy Choka

This letter is total BS and Hans is correct. Just look at any planning commission agenda and you will see at least 10 variances. The supposed angry group turned out to be almost 60% of the voters who turned down Sharon and Joan House's scheme known as Measure M to give away 685,000 sq ft of commercial development and 40 houses to the Malibu Bay Company almost ten years ago. Yes the voters voted because the council was forced to put it on the ballot by a initiative. They say we will be sued. Why was the city not sued when it voted down their development scheme last time ? Answer , because it is legal just as Measure R is legal. Anyone who has lived here ten years like Laureen Sills knows better. She voted (I am sure) for the ill fated Measure M. Why did she not sue when she lost ?

Marianne Riggins

Hans, you examples are not exactly accurate.

La Paz was not approved with any variances, the city made a determination that the water and traffic improvements that are required to be incorporated were an off set for the impacts. That is normal mitigation.

Lumberyard did not approve restaurants on the roof. The center has a 2nd floor space that was set for a small restaurant, the planning commission approved some additional sq.ft. for the restaurant space (no new sq.ft. to the buildings, only changes to existing space) provided the center added free valet service.

Trancas didn't need a variance to allow for the development on the other side of the creek. The previous developer listened to the neighbors and down sized the proposal. This is an example of how the current system works, residents express concerns and the city and property owner can work to propose solutions.

Soboff site still under review, time will tell what the final project ends up having.

Hotel site, who knows what could end up there. It is zoned CV 2, so more than likely we will see a hotel once again proposed. After checking the city site, I don't see a final EIR, there is a copy of the Draft EIR and the comments received, but it doesn't seem to be a final to date. The draft is the initial document that is sent out to get comments, after they are received then a final can be written and incorporate mitigations to concerns raised. Only then can the community and council determine if the proposal is a benefit for the community.

The current system is working and the public does have a voice, all of your examples show how concerns are raised and solutions are found. Measure R does nothing to improve this.

Jon Right

It is too bad the architects of R did not read this link before they wrote their initiative. They probably would have decided not to exempt one of the current shopping centers, which makes the chain portion of R discriminatory. In case malibeautiful missed it, the City Council has already passed a chain retail ordinance. It can be amended as necessary to fix the unforeseen problems. The R version cannot be changed, unless we go through another wasteful initiative campaign or a Judge throws it out.

Anyway, it is not about the chain stores, R is about power at City Hall.

bill wilson

As for this letter... Rubbish !

Measure R is the first of what should be many more restraints on development.

Other cities who have done it are doing just fine legally.

Still scared ?

And in Santa Monica is definitely a model Malibu should be looking at for the future... imagine veto power over any moves to abandon Malibu's mission statement !

Hans Laetz

"Variances are given for a lot of very good reasons..."

Not in Malibu. Here, variances have been handed out like candy. Wrose, developers play the city staff like a piano.

Do you need the footnotes again, dear friend? OK:

-- La Paz, "statement of overriding considerations" that allows 44 hours of Level F traffic congestion every week on PCH.

-- Lumberyard, severe shortage of parking places, yet another variance so more restaurants can go on the roof, requiring quadruple-stacked car parking.

-- Trancas, originally planned to span the creek until certain residents killed those variances.

-- Soboroff's strip mall, with a traffic program that is based on city benchmarks that declare there is never any beach congestion on weekends.

-- The (aborted) Rancho Malibu hotel, where the city planners wrote an EIR that was so error-filled that the developer retreated in shame once the public saw it.

Marianne and others voice confidence in the professionals in the Planning Department, the appointees on the Planning Commission, and the politicians on the City Council.

I share no such confidence. Every commercial project that has gone to City Hall in 15 years has come back stamped OK but with huge legal problems -- and always in favor of the developers.

Marianne Riggins

Variances are given for a lot of very good reasons, our local fire station required 6 in order to be rebuilt, because for the proposal the county proposed our General Plan, Municipal Code and Local Coastal Program would not have allowed it's approval.

You are correct, a developer can propose all the variances they want in their proposal, that doesn't mean they will get approved.

I 100% support and encourage residents to be involved in our city government, but I happen to think that Measure R will do more harm than good. It will not stop development, only "popular" project will be approved. It will not stop traffic, visitors come here for our beaches and public land, shopping is a secondary thing. It will not help small business, it does nothing to protect small businesses.

And residents that have a different opinion then yours are not a special interest group or have a personal agenda, we just happen to want different things than you. In a community that happens, what we need to do is listen to one another and find the things we do agree on and understand when we disagree and find a compromise we can live with.

mari stanley

Under the CURRENT proposal, you are correct Marianne but nothing at all prevents any other developer from presenting a development plan within the allowable building envelope without the multitude of variances, credits or inevitable 'slipping by the planning dept' truths which we've all seen to this point!
I am curious why the City has chosen to basically retire the very General Plan and Mission Statement which the council members swore an oath to uphold without a formal process - involving the public - to have exactly the "vision" you keep proposing as your personal agenda to remodel the City of Malibu as you and other special interest groups/individuals deem to sneak by the voters.

Marianne Riggins

Stevewoodzy, there is no evidence that a park will be built in the Civic Center area if Measure R passes.

The video depicts unrealistic development possibility in the Civic Center, many of the parcels included in those calculations would not be able to develop to the current maximum allowed due to environmental setbacks and other existing restrictions.

Steve Woods

Reasonable people made this Video with reasonable visuals and clear facts
Park or Parking lot ? Your Malibu ,Your Decision

Steve Woods

""Our voices will never be heard if Measure R passes. ""
Laureen Sills

WHAT ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Our voices will NOT be heard unless Measure R passes !

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