Malibu Issues Expected to Draw Crowd to This Week's School Board Meeting at City Hall
The Santa Monica-Malibu Malibu School has released an amendment to its March 5 board of education meeting agenda that slices nearly $4,278,000 from a staff recommended Malibu Middle and High School Measure BB budget increase request, leaving $1,610,000 “to provide additional scope on-site wastewater treatment system.” The other “required” improvements to the campus, which include a controversial plan to build a 250-stall parking lot on the bluff behind the football stadium and implement traffic and safety measures have been put on hold.
The amendment states that the Measure BB Advisory Committee reviewed the recommended Board Approval of the proposed budget reallocation on March 2 and “recommended the board approval of the on-site waste water scope addition only.”
Staff and consultants are expected to return to the Site Building Committee for the Malibu project for further review of the traffic, parking and safety issues. “Additional studies will be performed to determine options, alternatives and recommendations for traffic, parking and safety scope and budget additions to the Malibu Project,” the amendment states, although the district recognized in the meeting agenda that “Historically, traffic and parking has been a challenge for both the school and local community at the Malibu campus since the high school was added in the 1990s.”
The meeting, scheduled to take place in the Malibu City Council chambers, starting at 5:30 p.m. this Thursday, March 5, is anticipated to draw a sizable crowd. In addition to the now greatly reduced MHS Measure BB budget increase request, the board is expected to take action on several other hotly contested issues, including district-wide layoff plans and budget crisis-induced cutbacks that received public outcry at the board’s Feb. 19 meeting in Santa Monica, and the Measure BB Malibu High School Field Lighting Plan that has already drawn extensive community criticism this week in Malibu at a district-sponsored workshop on Monday.
District staff has recommended that the board approve plans to “proceed with the completion of design, environmental analysis and California Coastal Commission amendment application for the athletic field lights, despite the fact that the lighting project is an “add alternative,” a project that cannot be constructed until the district can be certain that “adequate funds remain in the program, after core program requirements have been successfully bid and awarded,” according to the district.
The staff has also recommended that the district agree to four self-imposed conditions, which Malibu residents opposed to the project have blasted as empty rhetoric.
These conditions include limiting the athletic field lighting to “educational purposes only;” requiring any future proposals of non-district use from the City of Malibu or third party users to apply separately for CEQA and Coastal Commission approval; “best practices,” including “review for consistency with the Coastal Act,” which the district is currently violating through its use of nonpermitted temporary lighting at the campus that violates its Coastal Development Permit and the City of Malibu’s Local Coastal Program; and a “defined operating plan that has been thoroughly reviewed with the public and school community.”
The March 5 meeting agenda and amendment are available on the district Web site at www.smmusd.org