MEASURE W FAILS; LANDSLIDE WIN FOR MALIBU’S RURAL CHARACTER
Final vote count is 57.3% No, 42.7% yes
1574 No Votes, 1173 Yes votes
City Council’s four-to-one vote in favor of the development shows that councilmembers do not reflect the will of the people.
Developer Steve Soboroff already has filed a lawsuit saying the vote of the people was illegal. He contends that the public has no right to prevent him from developing his property as he wishes.
Voters were able to reject the grocery store complex following passage of Measure R, last November’s ballot measure that put Civic Center commercial developments seeking zoning variances up to a vote of residents.
Soboroff’s campaign for voters to approve his plans was seen by residents as the first domino to fall, setting off a chain reaction of massive civic center development.
“Malibu’s identity is that of a natural mountains-meet-the-sea community,” said Ann Doneen, president of the Malibu Democratic Club. “I think this is a vote to retain character of Malibu, to preserve and protect our mountains and open spaces as much as possible. That is the reason for the overwhelming success of Measure R one year ago, and that is the reason that Measure W lost this year, even though there was very little campaigning against W. It helped that the Los Angeles County Democratic Party supported a NO vote on Measure W. Everyone knew that Malibu’s problem with traffic congestion would be made even worse by such a big development here.
“Even though residents might want to shop at a popular store that features lots of local and organic produce, there was no guarantee that this store actually would be part of the complex. Clearly, residents felt the most important issue here was to protect the scenic and environmental nature of the community, which is the reason they bought homes here to begin with.”‘