PROTECT RURAL CHARACTER
MALIBU GENERAL PLAN VISION AND MISSION STATEMENTS. Our General Plan’s excellent Vision and Mission Statements frame the policy with which all development must comply by law – yet the City Council’s majority seems to be drifting away from it. They have lost this important vision.
UPHOLD OUR CITY BUILDING CODE. I am uniquely qualified to see that our codes are properly applied. The City has a solid building code, yet interpretation conveniently affects contravening outcomes. If we don’t pay attention, Malibu will lose what we each moved here for – and what we most love about Malibu. An example is the seven hundred thousand square feet of potential commercial development already submitted to our planning department for processing. Unsupported and self-serving interpretations of our codes undermine these provisions that were created to maintain and sustain Malibu’s quality of life, leaving the door open to increased density, which is the antithesis of open spaces, setbacks, and landscaped areas that help define Malibu’s rural character.
KNOWLEDGE OF CITY CODES. I am a designer. I graduated from UC Berkeley, from the College of Environmental Design in Architecture. I have specialized in getting projects through the approval process. My husband and I built an environmentally friendly home for our family here on Point Dume, which I designed. When I began designing the home, on my first visit to city hall, I was given a book on our codes. I read the entire book. The best part is right on the first page, our Malibu Vision and Mission Statements: ‘Maintain rural character, avoid suburbanization and commercialization – sacrifice urban and suburban conveniences in order to protect the environment – creeks – marine life – plant life – open spaces.’
“AVOID COMMERCIALIZATION”. I wonder why it takes $50-100 thousand dollars for a resident to get their plans in the door at the planning department, yet it is relatively easy for generic chain stores to move in and set up shop. Now in 2014, the art of maximizing property values, maintaining our quality of life, and protecting our environment and rural character are converging to one in the same. Natural beauty, rural character and strong community are what most of us come here for. Let’s stop allowing special interest groups and the status quo to whittle away at what we most love about Malibu.
“RURAL CHARACTER” IS PREDOMINATED BY LANDSCAPE. I am hearing our community wants locally owned restaurants, uniform application of city codes and a night skies ordinance. Let’s clarify the 65% landscape and open space requirements for commercial properties. Instead of leaving interpretation to city staff’s discretion, we need to clarify and strengthen our design guidelines. Also, how difficult is it to achieve “rural style” by adding “rustic and reclaimed materials” to our design guidelines?
INEFFECTIVE FORMULA RETAIL ORDINANCE. After three years in the making our incumbents have failed to affect a strong ordinance to keep Malibu authentic, encourage unique signage, encourage local business, and avoid commercialization. We can protect our rural character and at the same time encourage local businesses and that ‘small town feel’. We can choose to embrace Malibu’s growing conscious consumerism by implementing an “Authentic Malibu Ordinance” that reflects our community’s voice, perhaps encouraging unique signage, eateries merchandise along our 26 miles. With 15 million visitors each year, let’s innovate, attract, and support conscious business – keeping our money local and encouraging a living local economy.
CONSUMERISM. We are the highest consumers on the planet. In America most of what we buy will end up in a landfill in six months! Can we start a meaningful conversation about our patterns of consumption here in Malibu? I encourage you to watch the video titled, “Story Of Stuff”. Let’s have a meaningful conversation about our shopping habits. In our modern economy we are buying basic needs online. Modern shopping is online. Can shopping in Malibu bring a unique experience that supports social, sustainable, and local business? Less plastic? Shoppers – I know some of us can do more shopping here in Malibu. As women, we are the largest consumers. Let’s have a meaningful conversation about our shopping (our footprint). Let’s vote with our dollars!