MALIBU—On Wednesday, January 20, the city of Malibu indicated in a press release they received a state grant of $65,000 that will be used towards Malibu’s planning department operations and for their Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) ordinance. 

The state grant was provided from the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) under their Local Early Action Planning (LEAP) grants program.

According to the HCD website, the purpose of LEAP program is to provide “one-time grant funding to cities and counties to update their planning documents and implement process improvements…complemented with technical assistance to local governments for the preparation and adoption of planning documents…accelerate housing production.” 

The city of Malibu intends to use the grant money to upgrade their custom permitting software and other programs within their planning department. They will upgrade to a faster digital software that will allow them a faster process for permits, cut time during emergencies, such as wildfires or earthquakes if such occasion arise, and to have a digital copy of all their files without the need of physical copies. 

Another intended use of the grant money is for ADU projects and permit costs. The city said it will reduce the time in approving and managing ADU ordinances in the city and they will carry out an outreach to the community about information on future ADU projects. Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is an additional living unit up to 1200 square-feet that is held within the range of a residential building. ADU’s are commonly held in the backyard of an existing residential property and must carries all the amenities of the primary residential property, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning. 

The city applied in June 2020 to receive the grant. They plan to notify and message the local communities about any further plans of the LEAP state grant.