Updated City of Malibu Trails Map Slated to Air
• Planning Commission to Review Updated Staff Report
BY BILL KOENEKER
The Malibu Planning Commission is scheduled to review and make a recommendation at its meeting next week whether to include the city's updated Parkland and Trails Systems Map into the Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan and General Plan Open Space and Recreation Element.
Staff Planner Joseph Smith indicated that updating the trails system "has been a work in progress since the Trails Committee was first created in 1999."
Smith, in a staff report, noted since that time, the committee has worked to produce an accurate assessment of historical, existing and future-planned trails throughout the city.
Part of the idea was to evaluate their connectivity with trails outside city limits. The trails outside municipal boundaries are shown on the map for reference purposes only since the city has no jurisdiction over those trails.
On Jan. 19, 2011, the Trails Committee adopted their final version of the proposed trails map which includes a mix of conceptual and trail alignments and trail names as envisioned by the commission, according to the staff planner.
The map also shows connections to regional trails within the Santa Monica Mountains.
"It was the Trails Committee's intent to incorporate as many trails as possible into the proposed map with the understanding that some of the trail segments may never be built," added Smith in his memo to the council.
The proposed map includes 121.3 miles of trails within city limits, which includes a 22.3 mile segment of the California Coastal Trail.
By way of contrast, the existing map includes 35.6 miles of trails and does not include the coastal trail.
The trails are mapped along public and private streets, property lines and bisect some parcels. Including the Coastal Trail, about 2737 public and private parcels are affected by the proposed trail alignments. The existing map contained in the LUP affects approximately 309 parcels.
The staff report also reveals the staff is recommending six changes to the trail panel's adopted map, including adding Encinal Creek Trail between Pacific Coast Highway and the beach near West Sea Level Drive. "This addition was requested by the Mountains Recreation Conservation Authority staff. The lower three parcels along this alignment include a trail offer to dedicate which the MRCA board accepted on Dec. 10, 2010. This trail allows a connection along Encinal Creek between PCH and the beach," the staff report notes.
The Anacapa View Trail was added along the Anacapa View Drive road alignment. This addition was also requested by the MRCA staff, who pointed out the existing LUP showed this trail and there are several offers to dedicate that exist along the alignment.
An alternate Trancas Canyon Trail was added to the south of the Trancas Canyon Road alignment, also at the request of the MRCA staff who cited OTDs as the reason.
The Wandermere Trail was removed. The trail was proposed to begin at the Wandermere/ Heathercliff intersection and terminate at the Wandermere cul-de-sac. "Staff removed the isolated segment because it lacked connectivity to other neighborhood or regional trails in the area," Smith noted.
The Escondido Connector was added between the DeButts Terrace Trail and the southwest property line of Escondido Canyon Park—also requested by the MRCA staff.
Another trail deleted was the El Nido Trail. "The trail was located within Solstice Canyon National Park and began near the north city boundary as an offshoot from the Rising Sun Trail. It continued northeast into unincorporated Los Angeles County. National Park Service staff requested this segment be removed because the trail no longer exists. NPS noted that public access from El Nido has been cut off by private development and after the Corral Fire, they decided to no longer maintain it because it is steep and badly eroded," the staff report states.
At the same time, the commission and the public are being asked to review another amendment for a proposed trail incentives plan that "would allow minor deviations from required residential development standards in exchange for a trail offer to dedicate or direct grant of trail easement."
"Reducing the number of redundant trails that do not appear to establish connectivity with regional trails could help eliminate situations whereby a property owner would seek a trail incentive for a redundant trail or a trail that does not have connectivity," the staff report states.
The proposal consists of how a property owner would qualify, if the trail is feasible and a set of guidelines dealing with feasibility issues.
"To qualify for an incentive, trails must be identified on the proposed map and demonstrate compliance with all applicability provisions and required findings contained in the trail incentives plan," the report further states.
"Findings are included in the plan that establish an overall framework for staff and the approving body to use when determining if an OTD or easement qualifies for a development incentive," the planner concludes.