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City Looks to Residents for Input on Ordinance to Limit Chain Stores

The city is seeking community input on a draft ordinance that would require a conditional use permit for any new chain businesses in shopping centers with more than 10,000 square feet in the Civic Center area of Malibu.

A community meeting is set for Thursday to help flush out the details of a draft ordinance that would give Malibu residents more of a voice in what chain stores can open up shop in the Civic Center area.

"I am hoping to get legally defensible, realistic and sensible criteria that will help the Civic Center once again become an interesting, iconic and wonderful place to shop," Malibu City Councilwoman Laura Zahn Rosenthal said.

The meeting is set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13 at Malibu City Hall.

In November, the Malibu City Council voted to direct city staff to draft an ordinance to require a conditional use permit for any new chain businesses in shopping centers with more than 10,000 square feet in the Civic Center area.

At the upcoming meeting, attendees will be encouraged to give input on the criteria that will be used in the draft formula retail ordinance, and to help define the meaning of a "community-serving business," according to Joseph Smith, Malibu's associate planner. They will be given a keypad polling device, which will allow attendees to vote on the ideas.

According to Smith, a limited number of keypad polling devices will be given out to attendees.

Some Malibu residents have expressed concern that the keypad devices will be given to people who oppose the ordinance in unequal numbers, leading to skewed results.

Earlier this month, the board for the Malibu Chamber of Commerce sent out a letter urging its members to attend the meeting and voice concerns about the proposed ordinance.

Following the meeting, the draft ordinance will be prepared by city staff and scheduled for public review at an upcoming Planning Commission meeting followed by a presentation to the Malibu City Council, Smith said.

In addition, a definition of "community-serving business" will be also prepared and scheduled for an upcoming City Council meeting in order to continue the discussion on commercial diversification, he said.

The draft ordinance exempts grocery stores, real estate, gas stations, banks and insurance offices. If approved, the ordinance would have to ultimately go before the California Coastal Commission because changes would need to be made to the city's Local Coastal Program.

The ordinance is part of an effort to address residents' concerns, including maintaining Malibu's character in existing and planned development in the Civic Center.

Malibu December 14, 2012 at 12:12 AM
It's awkward that most of the people supporting and running the small businesses here and angry at the American Apparel billboard disguised as a store are the same ones that loved Romney and donated to a campaign and party that actually funnels money and policies to corporations so they can take this kind of stranglehold on our community. What's worse though? Them using Malibu as their corporate billboard for coolness or the pure devastation they have manufactured in every small town across America? Malibu is not special or unique in the destruction of the American working class and small business. Their corporate graffiti and deep pockets have equal devastation to the rest of the countries situation. It just happens to be in a place where the citizens can afford it and are part of it. Don't cry over self inflicted wounds.
Ben Dover December 14, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Tonights a big scam, I heard there are only about 100 polling machines. I'm sure The Chamber with their douche crew are getting there early to force their greedy agenda on our Town. Don Schmitz needs the outsiders to support and fund the Chamber, since a lot of Locals with small business's dropped out since he's been in control of it. Look at the Board of the Chamber, it's a joke. It's being run by outsiders who's pockets depend on the whoring out of Malibu.
Cece Stein December 14, 2012 at 01:12 AM
Kudos to Rick for keeping his business alive given expendable income has not come back in this current economy making it difficult for some service oriented businesses to survive as well. I experienced retail here in Malibu and unless you are a service oriented business ( i.e.: restaurants, grocery stores, gyms, cleaners, even surf shops who provide rentals etc.... ) you will not make it. The celebrity inflated salaries do not make the majority in this town - in fact just the opposite - most of the locals work damn hard for a living. So I can assure you these landlords are not counting on the locals ( much less not taking them into consideration at all ) when they bring in stores like Lanvin, Missoni, Juicy Couture, Tory Burch etc...the consumers they do count? Wealthy European and Asian tourists. It's a win-win for the landlord and the mega brand - even without the tourist business, all it takes is one A list celebrity being seen in their store to bring on the internet sales. If you are a small business, do yourself a favor get on the internet, save yourself the overhead and the headache. Build your business to consumer relationship with social media ( PR 2.0 ) and make a hell of a lot more money than restricting yourself locally. It's not realistic to think after the economic collapse and very slow recovery that this community can support local retail. Gone are the days of traditional brick and mortar retail. These landlords know this and are taking very clear advantage.
Terry December 14, 2012 at 01:31 AM
our city counsel is such an after thought. with 400 thousand of sq footage added at peperdine. court system closes up shop in malibu and for an officer to testify in court they need to drive to santa monica. and all they can do is spend $38,000 on trash cans. still no recycling here that benefits residents, shark tanks off point dume. they just havent stopped anything. retail ordinance. such a joke. to stop the traffic on the highway peperdine will need more than some hashed over city. but obviously our city counsel is totally out of it. again.
Paul Grisanti December 14, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Why are you always harping about the City attorney?

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