Middle-High School Project Hits Snag
Posted by Damian Kelly on Oct 5, 2012 - 4:43:08 PM
MALIBU—On Monday, October 1, the City of Malibu Planning Commission opted to delay voting on the Malibu Middle and High School Campus Improvement Project until December 3.
The decision was made to delay the vote due to controversy over the parking lot component of the project which calls for no light fixtures. The Planning Commission had requested this amendment to the project at an August 7 meeting in addition to another one requiring Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District to minimize existing lighting on campus to prevent pollution and not harm existing views.
Even though the Planning Commission’s wishes were granted by the city planning department, officials from the SMMUSD asked that the resolution be delayed. Their reasoning was due to the district officials waiting on verification from the California Division of the State Architect on whether state permits would allow an unlit parking lot to be built.
An artist's rendering of the project. Photo courtesy of SMMUSD
Commissioner David Brotman said he was skeptical of SMMUSD’s intentions. He said he did not want the community’s wishes to be overlooked in the school district’s communications with state officials.
In response, Malibu City Planning Director Joyce Parker-Bozylinski told the commission that Malibu’s planning department has also been in communication with the State Architect’s office.
Meanwhile, Assistant City Attorney Gregg Kovacevich advised commissioners to reissue a notice for public hearing on the campus project if they had obtained new, previously undisclosed information that was going to affect their vote on the resolution.
Chair John Mazza lobbied for a vote on all aspects of the project except the parking lot but Kovacevich said that could not be done and the vote must wait until December.
In addition to a parking lot, the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s large-scale project calls for construction of a new academic building, renovation of several existing classrooms and the creation of new student drop-off and pick-up lanes.