MALIBU—Following the Malibu City Council meeting on Monday, May 11, the Malibu City Council is considering a possible solution that will initiate a process to turn a section of Zuma Beach into a supervised “safe parking zone” where the homeless will be permitted to stay overnight in their vehicles.
There have been approximately 300 residents that have written to the Councilmembers, however, most of them were not in favor of the proposal. Mayor Karen Farrer and other councilmembers states that a remote meeting was not sufficient enough to address the issue and come to a proper solution.
“I think at this point based on the feedback we’ve received, everyone’s adamantly against it. I don’t think anyone has an exact solution for homelessness, but our priority has to be keeping the residents of our community safe,” Councilmember Skylar Peak states.
According to the City Council Agenda Report on Item 3.B.7, they will begin the process of determining whether the City will amend its Municipal Code to rezone a portion of Zuma Beach. The city staff proposes several locations for a safe parking zone where people will be able to register their vehicles, stay overnight, and leave in the morning, instead of parking on the shoulders of the highway. Also stated by City Manager Reva Feldman, anyone that will be registering their car will need to register in services to find some type of permanent housing.
Deliberating since January 29, the Malibu City Council first raised this topic as they addressed the spike in homeless people camping out in their cars on the Pacific Coast Highway. The city also implemented an ordinance in 2019 to remove the encampment during red flag fire conditions to limit the hazard of wildfires, which limited the areas for stay for homeless people.
The Old Malibu Courthouse is currently being a temporary homeless shelter, as Topanga has also been chosen as a possible location for the safe parking zones. The planning commission will be holding a public hearing and present recommendations for the best locations to the council for final decision.