MALIBU—On Monday, September 23, at 6:30 p.m., the Malibu City Council will finalize a decision regarding the much contested proposal to regulate the number of chain stores in the Civic Center. The public hearing concerning the proposal was initially set for September 9, but had been postponed.
Girl with poster from the Preserve Malibu Coalition Facebook page.
The formula retail ordinance, which was proposed to the Malibu Planning Commission on July 29, was opposed by the Planning Commission with a 4-1 vote, which had claimed that the vote needed further study.
If the ordinance is adopted by City Council, chain stores with 10 or more operating franchises must obtain a conditional use permit or CUP in order to operate within a commercial space in the
Center. Depending on the outcome of the public hearing, the issue could likely end up in court or a ballot measure in the coming year. Various interest groups from both sides of the issue are expected to push for their voices to be heard. Shopping center owners in the Civic center have already suggested taking legal action against the city, considering it as a violation of commercial and individual rights.
Activist groups like Preserve Malibu Coalition indicated on its Facebook page that its purpose is to ”protect and cherish Malibu,” but claimed they would put the vote on a local level, if City Council denies the proposal.
The ordinance was initially proposed with the intention of preserving the unique flair and culture of
Malibu and to preserve its character without it being overtaken by mega shopping centers that are seen throughout the
United States. Stores that are exempt from the ordinance include banks, real estate offices, gas stations and grocery stores.
According to the Preserve Malibu Facebook post on September 17, there are already five “shopping malls at
City Hall that have been approved or ready for approval in the
Center.” The list includes La Paz Retail Mall and Offices (132,000 square feet), Bay Co. Retail Mall and Offices (80,000 square feet), Whole Foods Mall and Retail Shopping (38,400 square feet), Malibu Hotel with two retail Malls (440,000 Square Feet), Charter Building/Urban Outfitters and Retail Stores (13,000 square feet).
They further posted: “How much retail shopping can 13,000 residents, approximately 5000 full-time adults, possibly do?” To review the full ordinance visit the website malibucity.org.