Controversial View Ordinance Contents Go Back for Another Council Workout
• Proposal Continues to Spark Strong Sentiment on All Sides
BY BILL KOENEKER
In what has become a highly divisive issue among the public and even council members is set to go again before the Malibu City Council at its meeting on Dec. 12.
The council is scheduled to hold another public hearing on the controversial view restoration ordinance at its meeting next month on Monday night.
The council itself two months ago got bogged down in the details of the proposed law and found themselves debating about what elements should be in the ordinance.
There were a number of items on which the council found consensus, but as the then-mayor John Sibert, said, as the hour kept getting later and later, "We haven't got to the difficult ones, yet."
At that meeting, there were almost two dozen speakers, who expressed conflicting views on the agenda item with council members indicating they distilled various opinions from all of the speakers.
The citywide view restoration ordinance is described by municipal planners as a proposal "establishing a private right of action for property owners to restore pre-existing views that have been significantly obstructed by landscaping on neighboring properties."
The majority of the Malibu Planning Commission in June was able to tether together a proposed citywide view restoration ordinance using various parts from other cities, staff and commission recommendations.
A majority of the planning panel turned down a proposed ordinance that would have been more closely modeled after a Rancho Palos Verdes version.
The impetus for the proposed ordinance came from the voters on April 8, 2008 when an advisory measure asked the citizens, "Should the Malibu City Council adopt an ordinance that would require the removal or trimming of landscaping in order to restore and maintain primary views from private homes?" The measure was approved by 60 percent of the voters.
The previous city council decided on June, 2008 to create the View Protection Task Force to gather public input on what should be included in the citywide ordinance.
During the subsequent public hearings and workshops there have been some speakers who urged the commission and the city council to adopt the proposed ordinance, which was crafted by the municipal task force charged by the city council to vet the issue.
Speakers, who were on the task force, suggested that the panel's recommended ordinance would better serve the city.
The now defunct body met for almost a year and ultimately approved a proposed draft ordinance while two members of the task force prepared a minority report.
Former task force chair Sam Hall Kaplan, and former task force members Barry Tyreman, Leon Cooper, Marilyn Santman, and Lucille Keller all joined forces to urge the commission and the city council to recommend adoption of their proposed ordinance.
Some former task force members said they will make one last effort to convince the council the panel's proposed ordinance is the best fit for Malibu.