Measure R Passes

Rob Reiner and Jefferson "Zuma Jay" Wagner were major proponents and supporters of Measure R. Malibu voted to pass the new law in the Nov. 4 election. 

[This post has been revised. See editor's note.]

The hard-fought Measure R campaign culminated late Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning, as the controversial chain store and development ordinance Measure R was passed with support from nearly 60 percent of Malibu.

Approximately 59.3 percent of registered voters who participated in Tuesday's election said "Yes" in favor of new restrictions on chain stores in Malibu and also declared they want to take to the polls on all major commercial developments measuring more than 20,000 square feet, according to figures posted after 2 a.m. on Wednesday by the L.A. County clerk and registrar. Nearly 41 percent of participating voters were opposed to the measure. 

Malibu now becomes part of a handful of coastal towns in California that allow residents to take a stance on major developments, including Del Mar and Encinitas. 

Preliminary results had been too close to call Tuesday evening because the clerk only posted absentee results. Finalized results did not go up until early Wednesday morning.

Finalized results (100% precincts reporting):

Yes: 59.27% (1,954 votes)

No: 40.73% (1,343)

Measure R proponent Rob Reiner released this statement early Wednesday:

"Last night’s election result is a major victory for the residents of Malibu, all of whom now have a stronger voice over the future of our community. Measure R will help preserve the unique character of Malibu and combat increased traffic and the destruction of open spaces by giving voters a say on the 1.5 million square feet of commercial development currently planned in the heart of the city and on future development plans. 

I would like to extend an enthusiastic thank you to all those who signed petitions to place Measure R on the ballot, who volunteered on the phones and the streets and, most importantly, who voted for this historic new law for our city."

Developers who campaigned against Measure R, including "No on R" campaign funder Steve Soboroff, have threatened to file suit against the constitutionality of the measure. Check back for more reaction to Measure R's passage.

Editor's Note: A previous version of this story stated 59.3 percent of registered Malibu voters said "Yes" to Measure R. It has since been modified to clarify that 59.3 percent of Malibu voters who participated voted "Yes." 

(39) comments

Hans Laetz

Jon, out there in Fox News Land you can make up your own facts. Here in ReinerBu, as your idiot consultants named it, we are going to hold you to the reality standard.

The fact is that the city's current (and laughably feeble) traffic counts for the Soboroff Strip Mall show an 11 percent increase in traffic on PCH.

The land is zoned commercial. That means housing would require a city council zoning change. Fat chance. Low cost, high cost, or in the middle cost housing is not legal. So your proposed hissyfit of revenge housing is dead.

No city councilmember would want an end run around either the letter or the spirit of R. Those darn 59 percent mandates tend to get a lot of impact.

59 percent of the people were fooled, Jon? No wonder you distrust those damn voters.

Hellwood when can we put the skate park back where it belongs?

Jon Right

Woodzy, if you read what I wrote weeks ago you would see I said it did not matter how the vote turned out. If the lawyers don't kill it, the City will interpret it so as to comply with the law. Reiner may have to pony up more money for a compliance lawsuit. In any case, something will be built on these properties sooner or later. The R leadership will have little to say about it.

If I were a developer, I would build exempt low income housing. I think they can make a very good argument that the million dollar trailers no longer serve that purpose and Malibu is mandated to have a percentage of low income housing. Coastal would like it, so rezoning should not be a problem. How about a hostel for bird watchers and backpackers?

You sound like a very young.

Wendi Dunn

I am pleased to see such a turnout and appreciate all of the calls, texts and emails from the community thanking the measure R supporters.

Steve Woods

Jon Right , It is not surprising that you have had one or two drinks too many in the last few days , the pain must hurt . Be careful on the liquid pain killers , moving on is important to encountering positive goals after surviving a big loss. There will be other goal post in your future . Be strong !

Jon Right

Given the universal hatred of developers and the disinformation about traffic, it appears that the No group did not do too badly after all. Of all the ballots that were cast, a 306 vote swing and R would have failed. It is quite possible that the voters will fix this before the courts do. Maybe we should just leave the signs up.

It seems some are congratulating themselves a little early. To use a football metaphor, the punt receiver has just run a 90 yard return and starts celebrating his good fortune on the 10 yard line. Too bad he doesn't see the 275 pound defender that is right on his heels... and we are only in the first quarter.

I appreciate the thought that we can now have a ball park on these properties. It should have stadium lighting, an awesome sound system and we can sell advertising on the fences. Let's not forget a paved parking lot for tail gate parties, ya that's it, better than a market!

Steve Woods

Chumash , Bob and millions of NON Malibu Residents are Celebrating the success of Measure R and so they should and they are grateful that local residents rightly voted to have the freedom to choose how our commercial areas will evolve rather than the developers who desire to turn Malibu into just another generic coastal Strip Mall.
By the way , Bob Purvey is a man of integrity and though he cares about clean water for surfers and keeping environments pristine ,he has never profited a cent from his passion of ecological preservation .Unless you can prove otherwise ,I would not advise spreading disinformation and distortions of the truth.
The public beaches,trails, parks, federal creeks and State Lagoons are not owned by the people Malibu but by all Americans .
PS For the first time since Caltrans and the Marblehead Land Company developers filled in and destroyed the Malibu wetlands in the 1930's for the Colony summer home sub division , the Lagoon is flourishing with unprecedented numbers of waterfowl species and varieties of large schools fish , shrimp, crabs , crustaceans, invertebrates, plankton , raccoon, coyotes ,weasels , deer , due to the improved water circulation . Check out the SM Audubon bird counts


Bob Purvey you don't even live in Malibu. Don't jump on our celebration of Measure R passing. I hear now you want to do more "restoring" ( profiting) of Malibu creek. Stay away from our ecosystems. You are no better than the developers. At least we know what they are about. You hide under the flag of environmentalist but you are nothing more than a profiteer. Shame on you for how you and your kind destroyed our beloved marsh.

Bob Purvey

The commercial developers own the city government and staff. Yes there may be some that have integrity and realize they work for the people but for most job security is their #1 concern so they go along to get along. Public health and safety must be a top priority in action not in words alone. The city has spent millions of tax payer dollars defending these developers instead keeping the developers from trying to build inappropriately. One recent settlement alone cost the city $6.5 million in tax payer funds. The city has spent tens of thousands of hours on these developer’s needs instead of educating them about public health and safety and the need to fix existing problems with PCH traffic congestion and water pollution first. The deception game must stop now.

Jon Right chooses to decry the losses that may be incurred due to law suits over property rights. How about the millions of dollars the city has already lost over lawsuits defending these developers? How about the law suits the developers already lost against the city?

You can't fix a problem with a problem.

Public health and safety is the overriding issue and the residents have given the city notice that they better stop favoring commercial development or plan on moving out now.

Candace Brown

I wish the Malibu Times had a "like" or "unlike", or "agree" or "disagree" option for the comments. That would give readers an indication of the city's residents' overall thinking.
Also, it would be terrific if contributors were required to use their real names.
It is difficult to trust those who hide behind pseudonyms...
Candace Brown

Marshall Thompson

No Whole Foods? Big deal. I think Malibu will survive. Now might be the right time to look into a bond issue so we the people of Malibu might purchase all these open lands in the civic center, and take them public for open space, ball fields and the like.

When you look at the current traffic loads - no scientific study needed, just watch for ten minutes anywhere on Civic Center Way or Cross Creek - you realize there is no more room for additional commercial traffic.

Steve Woods

Anti- Malibu Mission Statement / Pro developer Jon Right says , "So, we got even with a greedy developer, what a popular notion, but did we shoot ourselves in the foot just for spite? No Whole foods, no park, no Movie theater, no Urgent Care... what a great plan, but we showed him!"
Hey Jon (not ) Right , We , the people of Malibu, will decide what WE want and we will have a mature, intelligent , truthful discussion of what our needs are , not what developers want are or what they think Malibu should be . If we the people of Malibu believe in the importance of building a Whole Foods , A park , a Movie theater or an Urgent Care and are willing to accept the consequences of traffic and tolerate or sacrifice any degradation to OUR quality of life then we will act and vote accordingly . We do not want outsider developers dictating our way of life . Sorry , your loss , Our Win !! [beam] Pop the Champagne Corks


Everyone should be at city hall on monday night for item 7a

DISCUSSION: Mayor Peak inquires about the possibility of moving the City's General Municipal Election to the same day as the statewide general election on the first TuesdayafterthefirstMondayinNovemberofeven-numberedyears. Thegoalisto increase voter turnout. Since incorporation, the City's elections have been held on the
second Tuesday in April of even-numbered years.

Elections in Malibu should be in Nov.

Jon Right

Not to rain on the parade, but a few thousand insular voters are not going to overturn constitutional law. Unfortunately, the City will defend R with taxpayer dollars and then use taxpayer dollars to pay the judgement should we lose. It will certainly delay things and maybe that is fine, but the value of delay should be measured against the consequence of a court imposed decision and possible punitive damages. The anecdotal argument that there will be no lawsuits is simply naive.... this is Malibu.

We have embarked on a new era. One where a deep pocket outsider can partner with a minority of disaffected activists promising free ice cream to the uninformed. The question was clever, they asked, "do you want to stop development and traffic jams?" Obviously, that has only one answer, but it is what they didn't say that will be painful in the long run. It looks like our new political party will give us years of vitriol, deception, claims of signs stolen, individual vilification and more community turmoil, but why stop here. Bob says, "we may indeed recover and restore the historical wetlands." Well, whose house are we going to tear down to do that, and what does this have to do with commercial development anyway?

So, we got even with a greedy developer, what a popular notion, but did we shoot ourselves in the foot just for spite? No Whole foods, no park, no Movie theater, no Urgent Care... what a great plan, but we showed him!

This looks to me like this is the dog that caught the bus. We will have to wait for the courts to decide, before we truly know the results of R. If nothing else, Malibu lost a piece of its' neighborly charm today.

Andy Choka

Everyone who voted for Measure R and uses facebook should sign up for the Preserve Malibu facebook page and keep informed about Malibu and the next threat to our paradise.
The developers have not gone away. They deserve to build on their properties and now that you as voters get a say you should keep informed on what is going on.

Bob Purvey

I am pleased we have taken a step in the right direction. Limiting development that will change the quality of life in its community, by vote of the people, is the right of the people in that community and is now the law of the land in Malibu. I trust that the residents of Malibu will be careful and responsible stewards of the Malibu environment. Specially in the heart of Malibu, which is seeing a renaissance of its true nature rising to the surface. I can now marvel in the thought that we may indeed recover and restore the historical wetland there in my life time.

John Godden

HUGE congrats to the good folks of Malibu!

I'm not a resident but am a very frequent visitor and love Malibu for what it was and could be.

I really hope Measure R helps keep the greedy good-for-nothing developers at bay.


Hans Laetz

Jon - SM Airport is not the issue. The issue is the people - with Malibu's Measure R and the SM Airport issues -- ignoring all the huffing, puffing and neolibertarian crap coming from- ahem - certain quarters.

We voters of Malibu may have voted for an unconstitutional taking. I don't know. If we did, it's worth every penny for the years of lawyering, which equals years of status quo on PCH.

But we voters of Malibu are looking at a Civic Center sewer, a PCH widening into a state park that you call a swamp, and a further Calabasaification of our commerce district.

And we said NO. Same dynamic with the airport and SM saw thru the big money lies too.

mari stanley

malibucvb - there are 8,514 registered Malibu voters and of those who could have voted we saw a 39% turnout which is a very, very good percentage for our community. April elections were closer to a 31 or 32% turnout.
It was a very good turnout....but there's always room for improvement and I hope this signals a rising trend of exercising our right to vote!

Jon Right

Hans, SM has attempted to close the airport six times and the FAA has said "no" six times. Why will number seven be any different? The feds could care less about local populist politics, to them SMO is part of a national airport system. They have seen this before and they say a "deal is a deal." Measure LC may actually discourage the big developer's land grab, that may be the unintended consequence.

Hans Laetz

And ... Ralph Mechur is OFF the SMMUSD board. That will make Malibu's AMPS members happy, after he all but called them racists for wanting local control.


Wow, am I the only one dumbfounded looking at the TOTAL number of persons who voted? Really?? Only about 3200 out of a population of 12,000 - 13,000??? Ummm, quick math here, but that's only 25%. Is that better or worse than what was expected? To me it seems underwhelming! Where was everybody? Out of town.......on Mars???

pamela campbell

Whenever we witness developers engaging in character assassination and lying, it is obvious that there is big money at stake.
Why would anyone who truly cares about Malibu's future want uncontrolled development? Why would anyone, especially those who sit on the council and are ethically bound to protect the public good support such a thing unless they too are owned by big development interests?
Thank you to Rob Reiner for fighting the fight and protecting our town. Well done!

Hans Laetz

It's important to note that the Santa Monica Airport initiative D -- engineered by the aircraft owners and designed to prevent the city from regulating its own airport -- also lost by the same approximate margins: yes, 41.7 percent, no 58.3 percent.

And Santa Monica voters approved the City Council's competing airport initiative LC -- which affirms the city's right to shorten the runway to add safety buffers (and prevent corporate jet operations) passed by an even greater margin: yes, 59.7 percent, no 40.3 percent.

"The lawyers won" says Jon Right. No, Jon, the people won. Deal with it.

Andy Choka

Thank you Rob and Michele. Thank you Victoria Principal and all the other generous donors. It could not have been without you. The opposition was so well funded that their lies had to be countered. Thank you Preserve Malibu and all the hundreds of volunteers. Thank you the 2400 citizens who signed the petition. Thank the almost 2000 voters who voted yes. Rob and Michelle, your efforts have changed Malibu forever.

Perhaps our city council (except Skylar) and the other "mayors " will learn from this election that the citizens are not stupid and it is counter productive to lie to them. We expect that from the likes of Steve Soboroff but not our elected officials. If we work together for the good of the average citizen of Malibu we will have a better place.

bill wilson

THANK YOU Rob and Michele Reiner ! and Preserve Malibu. And all volunteers.

I hope to see stricter measures to follow this one in the future.

I hope never to see Malibu become 'Playa Vista'.

Wendi Dunn

The majority has spoken.


So grateful to Rob Reiner. There's no way we could have won this victory for Malibu without his funding and passion for our town. Steve Soboroff had so much money, without funds to counteract his position (based on scare tactics), we didn't have a chance without Rob Reiner. I know it can be confusing to some folks. They see "NO" and think it's a vote for No Development, when it fact, it was the opposite. The Yes on R folks did a great job of educating the voters. Thank you so much!!!!

Robert Dot

I hope this will discourage unnecessary large scale developments. Our infrastructure simply can't handle it. Realestate investors and agents be informed. Development dollars are better spent in the city of Los Angles.

Lois Lyons

Soboroff would sue the city no matter who's in charge of development. Nothing will change. Developers always sue cities if they can't get heir way, it's what they do. At least now the larger population will have a voice.

Wally World

Thank you, Rob Reiner!!!!

Jon Right

The only winners today were the lawyers.


So, will Steve Soboroff sue the city as he has said he would and deprive the citizens of their tax dollars and tie up the city in unnecessary litigation. I for one will not patronize a development from someone who would do such a thing.


Great day in Malibu!

Lois Lyons

I was surprised that nearly half the Malibu voters voted to disenfranchise themselves. I thought Malibuites were more intelligent than that. I guess I was wrong.. Political idiocy knows no bounds. It is nice to know that slightly more than half have their heads screwed on straight, but it's a sad statistic.


City of Malibu - NOW you can steal our "Yes On R" signs (and also fight off any attacks on the constitutionality of the law, if they materialize).

Hans Laetz

Scare mongering about preposterous back room deals.

Personal attacks against Malibu homeowners who out up their own money and prestige for our city.

Nasty, misleading ads that claim we'll lose police and fire protection if R passed.

These were the hallmarks of the official No on R campaign, funded by one person. One developer.

Malibu saw right through it.

Marshall Thompson

Right on!

Wally World

Now go after the people in the city who were behind the sign removals and the emails. Do NOT let them get away with corruption.

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