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LWV League of Women Voters of California
Smart Voter
Los Angeles County, CA November 7, 2000 Election
Measure P
Voter Approval of Property Developments
City of Malibu


3,178 / 50.05% Yes votes ...... 3,172 / 49.95% No votes

See Also: Index of all Measures

Information shown below: Impartial Analysis |

Shall the “Malibu Right to Vote on Development Initiative” be adopted requiring voter approval of all commercial, industrial and combined commercial and residential development in excess of 25,000 square feet which either (i) requires a variance or conditional use permit, or (ii) increases density over current zoning limitations, or (iii) permits the construction or widening of any public roadway?

Impartial Analysis from the City Attorney
Measure P, entitled the "Malibu Right to Vote on Development Initiative," is a ballot proposition presented to the voters by means of a voter initiative petition. Measure P would amend the Malibu Municipal Code and General Plan by requiring certain land development projects to undergo two additional procedures in order to be approved. First, at least three public hearings must be held. Second, a City approval would not be valid unless it was subsequently ratified by Malibu's voters.

Measure P applies to any development project which satisfies the following four criteria: (1) commercial, industrial, or mixed commercial/ residential; (2) over 25,000 square feet of new development; (3) new construction or expansion of an existing building; and (4) the project requires a variance or a conditional use permit, or includes density in excess of currently allowable zoning limitations, or provides for building or widening of a public street.

By its terms, Measure P does not distinguish between projects involving a legislative act which changes land use policy (for example, a general plan amendment) as compared to projects which do not seek any policy change and merely require land use permits (for example, Site Plan or Plot Plan approvals, variances). This aspect of Measure P raises a substantial constitutional question, since the courts have held that a city may not legally delegate non– legislative issues to the voters for decision.

Measure P specifies that voter consideration of a project occur at a regular municipal election. Malibu's regular elections occur every two years. This requirement may create a legal inconsistency with state laws which place time limits on the City's process of issuing land use permits. In certain instances, this legal inconsistency could result in a project being "deemed approved" by operation of law.

There is some question concerning Measure P's effective date and scope. The proposition states that it goes into effect on November 17, 2000. This provision may conflict with State law, which states that a ballot measure is effective 10 days after the vote is declared by the City, historically at the second Council meeting in November. Further, Measure P states that it applies to any project that has not received all governmental "approvals" as of that date. It is unclear whether a project which has received, prior to the measure's effective date, all discretionary approvals but not all non– discretionary approvals (e. g., building permits), will be subject to its provisions.

It is not possible to predict whether litigation will be filed against the City with respect to these legal issues and, if so, the outcome of that litigation.

Measure P includes a provision addressing the possibility that it is approved and, at the same election, the voters approve another proposition dealing with residential, commercial or industrial developement. In fact, there is a second proposition on the November 7, 2000 ballot dealing with commercial and commercial/ residential development agreements. According to Measure P, if both ballot propositions are approved, and Measure P receives more votes, then it will prevail over the "Development Agreement" proposition, which will be void and have no effect.

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Created: January 9, 2001 02:34
Smart Voter 2000 <>
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