1 year ago


Malibu Surfside News 110817

6 | November 9, 2017 |

6 | November 9, 2017 | Malibu surfside news News malibu Planning Commission Medical marijuana ZTA amended, supported Lauren coughlin, Editor The City of Malibu’s proposed medical marijuana zoning text amendment was a classic case of the Goldilocks conundrum — too much regulation, too little viable enforceability of it. But by the end of the Malibu Planning Commission’s Monday, Nov. 6 meeting, the code was closer to what the body saw as just right, as signified by the commission’s 5-0 vote. “We’re talking medical marijuana, not Bongs ‘R’ Us,” said Planning Commission Chairman Mikke Pierson, who said some portions of the ZTA were rather stringent. He was not alone. The commission heard from a variety of community members — some of whom urged the commission to slow down and many of whom spoke of the benefits of medical marijuana for a variety of conditions. Representatives from Malibu dispensary 99 High Tide Collective, including its founder, Yvonne Green, were also present. Green urged the commission to revoke the proposed electronic payment method requirement for medical marijuana deliveries. Since credit cards and PayPal are not allowable payment methods for federally regulated products such as medical marijuana, the businesses would be limited to accepting methods such as bitcoin. The commission elected to lift that restriction and make cash allowable. Several other amendments were adopted. On the delivery side, Commissioner John Mazza clarified that medical marijuana must be delivered by an occupied motor vehicle (so as to avoid drone delivery). He further stipulated that the transaction must include a signed receipt upon acceptance of a delivery, and he clarified that the delivery person should not have a felony record. Commissioner Jeffrey Jennings motioned to loosen the delivery hours to line up with normal business hours. It was originally proposed that Malibu’s two medical marijuana dispensaries could only make two delivery runs per day between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., and only until 7 p.m. on Sundays. Jennings further removed language that prohibited the driver from making other stops. He also eliminated the restriction that cash in the delivery vehicle should be limited to $100. Jennings stated that the cash limitation was among elements of the ordinance which the City had no reasonable way to enforce — an element he said “brings disrespect to the law.” Commissioner Steve Uhring said that while he supported medical marijuana delivery, he would like to hear from the sheriff’s department on security risks associated with it. “How do you make it safe?” he asked. The ordinance is to be reviewed by the City Council at its lone December meeting on Dec. 11. Discussion of the sale and cultivation of nonmedical marijuana is anticipated to come back to the commission at a later date. Planning Director Bonnie Blue noted that it was important to first consider the simpler medical marijuana portion of the ordinance so as to meet the state’s Jan. 1 legislative deadline. “The concern is, if we’re silent on it, then there’s a gray area,” Blue said. Homeless efforts to be highlighted at next City Council meeting Barbara Burke Freelance Reporter Homelessness has significantly increased in Malibu and Los Angeles County alike, according to recent studies by the county. Next week, on Nov. 13, the Malibu City Council’s meeting will include discussion of homelessness in Malibu and provide an update regarding ongoing homelessness efforts by the City, law enforcement and nonprofit organizations. Malibu Surfside News sat down with Malibu Public Safety Manager Susan Dueñas and talked with representatives of the Malibu Task Force on Homelessness and its partner, The People Concern, on the issue. The People Concern — an organization that provides comprehensive, coordinated services to homeless individuals in communities such as Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades — has provided services to Malibu since September 2016 in an effort funded by the Malibu Task Force on Homelessness. The council meeting will also feature an update by Dueñas regarding the City’s recent grant-funded request for proposals seeking a qualified strategic planning facilitator to assist the City in developing a strategic plan to address homeless issues. “This year, the County of Los Angeles identified over 50,000 homeless in the Los Angeles region,” Dueñas states in her staff report. “ ... In Malibu, the County identified 180 homeless, but informal counts estimate the number to be closer to 300.” At the City Council meeting, LA County Sheriff’s Department Lt. James Royal, of the Malibu/Lost Hills station, will discuss efforts by police to address community concerns and homelessness issues. Representatives of the MTFH and The People Concern will provide information and data regarding their efforts since September 2016, when the MTFH established a partnership with The People Concern. City staff will provide an update on the City’s efforts relative to homelessness. To support the efforts of the People Concern, in Fiscal Year 2017-2018, the City awarded a $76,000 grant. The City also awarded a $1,500 grant to Malibu’s Community Assistance Resource Team. Recently, the City issued a request for proposals to hire a consulting facilitator to develop a homeless plan. Interviews from three selected candidates will be conducted Nov. 6-11, according to Dueñas, and the facilitators’ efforts will likely begin in early December. The RFP stated “Most of our homeless congregate around or near areas that are heavily used by families, including the County Library, Zuma Beach, Bluff’s Park and grocery stores. Encampments that are on or near these areas lack proper sanitation and pose public health issues for both the homeless individuals and the community at large. In addition, the number of calls for service that the sheriff’s department responds to regarding issues related to homeless individuals has increased dramatically and currently averages approximately 100 per month.” Dueñas explained how challenging it is to address homelessness in Malibu. “We need to address the impact that homelessness has on our community while still being compassionate; we need to find ways to strike a balance,” she said. “At the meeting, the community’s citizens will be given an opportunity to address their concerns. Moving forward, one of the things that all stakeholders need to address is to develop metrics that we all agree upon regarding how to measure homelessness, such as possibly agreeing upon calls for service as one of the standards for assessing the situation. Up to now, the sources for statistics have been somewhat anecdotal.” Currently, the MTFH contracts with The People’s Concern for two dedicated outreach workers in Malibu. CART provides Thursday night dinners, clothing, sleeping bags, tents, tarps, socks, blankets, hoodies and other items. The nonprofit Standing on Stone is dedicated to helping people transition to a better life through emergency services, transition assistance and mentoring. The goal of hiring a strategic planning facilitator is “to develop a strategic plan that implements a strategy that mitigates the negative impacts on the community, coordinates existing resources to help homeless individuals in a more effective way, looks for new opportunities to address the issues, and supports the efforts of the Los Angeles region,” according to the RFP. The City aims to finalize the plan by March 2018. “Overall, we are aiming to define what the impacts of homelessness are on the community of Malibu and how we can help mitigate Please see Homeless, 17 News Malibu surfside news | November 9, 2017 | 7 SMMUSD Board of Education Division gains strength as split talks continue Petition, strong Malibu presence add fire to district’s divorce decision Lauren Coughlin, Editor Whether through compromise or legislative action, one thing is clear: Malibu remains dedicated to its fight for local control of its schools. The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board of Education met Oct. 30 for a well-attended special meeting in Santa Monica to weigh various options and pose more new ideas for creating two separate school districts. No action was taken. All five members of Malibu’s City Council, representatives from Advocates for Malibu Public Schools and members of the Malibu Unified Negotiation Committee were among the public speakers who voiced support for the split. Malibu’s Karen Farrer, sporting an AMPS shirt, addressed various issues among Malibu schools, including rat infestation, polychlorinated biphenyls contamination and higher bond contributions when compared to Santa Monica. Ingrid Peterson, a special education assistant at Malibu High, said she felt Malibu was often ignored on health and safety issues. Plus, she said, each community has distinct environmental values. Santa Monica community members, including a teacher and school committee members, were vocal as well, encouraging A united front Malibu City Council again voices support for split at meeting “Oftentimes, for us, it feels like the way of doing business is similar to a situation whereby your neighbor has the ability to control your own TV.” Mayor Skylar Peak “Make the right decision. The time has come. One way or another, Malibu will have its own school district.” Mayor Pro Tem Rick Mullen “We really want your help and support in making this separation happen, but if we don’t get it, I’m telling you, we’re going to do it. ... We have the will, we have the determination and we have the resources to make it happen.” Councilmember Lou La Monte “Nothing is going to stop us. ... I encourage you very, very strongly to take this seriously, and to find a solution, and to do it quickly.” Councilmember Laura Rosenthal “Five of us are wholeheartedly supporting this together, and that’s rare in Malibu.” Councilmember Jefferson Wagner the board to consider the disadvantages Santa Monica students would face. “They’re all children,” said Ericka Lesley, cochairwoman of SM- MUSD’s advisory committee for intercultural equity and excellence. “They all need to be funded and cared for, and their education is what should come first. Less funding for any children is inequitable for all.” Board President Laurie Lieberman similarly spoke about disparities the split could create. “What does it translate to in terms of what students will see or not see, in terms of what staff will be able to see or not see?” she asked. The financial picture Representatives from School Services of California offered perspective on possible funding plans if the split were to occur. SSC outlined its proposal for an alternative allocation formula as well as the option previously outlined by the MUNC. In both instances, Malibu would share a portion of its funding with Santa Monica schools in part to alleviate the financial disparity the split would create, as compared to a combined district. SSC’s proposal meant a longer period of payments to offer a “smoother landing” for Santa Monica. “SMUSD’s funding would increase in line with expected cost-of-living adjustments for three years from 2024-25 through Please see Smmusd, 14 Renew your free subscription to the Malibu Surfside News Returned request forms ensure free delivery of awardwinning newspaper Staff Report You may remember the last time we took on this project. We asked you to send us an official request to keep receiving your free, award-winning community newspaper, the Malibu Surfside News. The requests sent in last time will be expiring soon, and we need a new round from all residents to prove to the U.S. Postal Service that you want your hometown newspaper. The Surfside News, delivered free to your home or business every week, is mailed by the U.S. Postal Service. In order to keep a necessary class of mail, the Surfside News is required by the postal service to collect requests from its recipients. This special CITY OF MALIBU Certified O.W.T.S. and N.A.W.T. Septic inspectors for all single family, multi-family and commercial properties. Quick and easy The quickest way to keep the Surfside News free is to renew your free subscription here: MalibuSurfsideNews. com/delivery class of mail enables us to continue to deliver an award-winning newspaper for free with priority service. The simplest way to return your request is to go to MalibuSurfsideNews. com/delivery and fill it out in seconds. Also, on Page 16, you will find an ad containing the form you need to fill out and send back to us. Please take a few seconds to fill it out and return the request to us at the Surfside News. Doing so will ensure that you continue to receive the Surfside News free of charge for years to come. Please do your part to keep the Malibu Surfside McDermott News free of charge and return the card to: Surfside News Circulation, P.O. Box 6854, Malibu, CA, 90264, or fax it to (708) 326-9179. Your information will be kept completely confidential. The Surfside News was purchased by Freedom Media in 2013. Since, it has won numerous national editorial awards from the National Newspaper Association, including two first-place honors in the most recent competition. Three years ago, thousands of Malibu residents renewed their free subscription by filling out the request forms. The Surfside News will be able to better control its postal costs with priority service because of your part in obtaining this important designation by the U.S. Postal Service. Thank you in advance from everyone at the Surfside News. • Residential • Commercial • 310-456-1173 McDermott Pumping has provided excellent service to Malibu for over 23 years! 310-456-2286