County to rule tomorrow on converting Santa Monica Mountain land into wineries
Tomorrow, Tues., Nov.17, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors will decide whether 21,000 spectacular, pristine acres of rugged canyons and sweeping ridgelines will be protected from the threat of new commercial vineyards.
Your action now is crucial; your strong voice is needed to say NO to commercial vineyards in the Santa Monica Mountains North Area Plan (NAP). This is not about garden vineyards.
After residents have spent decades fighting to protect the Santa Monica Mountains, and after millions of public dollars have been spent in passing County laws to preserving open space and protecting natural landscapes, lobbyists and special interests from the Central Valley once again are determined to exploit the Santa Monica Mountains.
At stake are huge swaths of native habitat that would be stripped and replaced with non-native, vineyard and crops.
Please join in saying NO to creating a patchwork of vineyard commercial plantations and operations that horribly consume and fragment the terrain. In addition to killing native plants and animals, vineyard blight disfigures the landscape and significantly decreases property values and quality of life for adjacent and surrounding communities. In addition, some nonorganic farmers use rodenticides which have been shown fatal to wildlife and herbicides known to be carcinogens to humans.
Here is what you can do right now to help:
Cut and paste the email below and send immediately to firstname.lastname@example.org. We need as many letters as possible. Distribute to your friends and neighbors. Every letter counts! Deadline is at 6 p.m. today, Mon, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m.
Attend and speak up at the Board of Supervisors hearing tomorrow, Tues, Nov. 17 at 9:30 a.m. – 500 West Temple Street, Los Angles.
Thank you for caring about our beautiful mountains.
Here is the suggested email to cut and paste
Send email to: email@example.com Subject Line of email: SUPPORT ITEM #47. BAN COMMERCIAL VINEYARDS
Honorable Board of Supervisors:
PLEASE SUPPORT ITEM #47.
BAN NEW COMMERCIAL VINEYARDS IN THE SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS NORTH AREA COMMUNITY STANDARDS DISTRICT PROJECT NO. R2015-02310, ADVANCE PLANNING CASE NO. RQADV201500007, ENVIRONMENTAL CASE NO. REN201500182
I/we strongly support Agenda Item #47 and a Vineyard Ordinance that prohibits new commercial vineyards in the spectacularly wild 21,000 acres comprising the Santa Monica Mountains North Area Plan. Vineyards are a significant and growing threat to our environment, magnificent scenic resources, our fragile wildlife and ecosystem, and to our native habitat, water quality and resources.
Please don’t allow ‘special interests’ to triumph over the best interests of the public and our extraordinarily natural and finite resources.
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.”‘
EARLY RETURNS SHOW MEASURE W LOSING BY NARROW MARGIN!
Absentee ballots show No on W votes are leading — marginally — by 51.64% to 48.34% according to, Malibu Radio Kbu-FM. All five precincts are expected to be counted between 10:00 and 10:30 p.m., Results are unofficial until the city clerk certifies the final tallies. So far there have been:
707 NO votes 51.64%
662 YES votes 48.36%
1,369 absentee ballots cast out of 8,834 eligible
We’ll update you as soon as results are announced.
Members Demonstrate to Boost Awareness of Today’s Vote on Development
Hi, Everyone –Horn tooting, hooting, and cries against too much development, too much traffic, were signs last Friday afternoon that many PCH drivers at the corner of Cross Creek agreed with the Malibu Democratic Club members who were demonstrating there for a NO Vote on Malibu Measure W. Voters go to the polls today to decide on a whether to allow a development of stores — that the developer maintains will include Whole Foods — should be allowed to locate in Civic Center.
That developer, Steve Soboroff, says his shopping mall will be just a small local marketplace with a park. But documents on file with the Malibu Planning Department show it as six acres of shops with a large anchor store, fast-food restaurants and a number of retail shops. Located in Malibu’s civic center — which historically has been a flood plain with a high water table, these stores will add 7,000 cars per day to already crowded roads and highways, increasing traffic congestion on Malibu’s secondary streets and causing more delays on PCH. Malibu’s City Attorney has said the development could include any grocery market, even a Food for Less.
This project has been built on a foundation of distortions and misrepresentations. The developer’s traffic study claimed that traffic had not increased on PCH in the last 25 years. But Planning Commissioner Mikke Pierson discredited that report saying he had checked every date on which traffic measurements where made and discovered “virtually every count in the last 10 years was made on foggy or even drizzly days.” Also, while the Environmental Impact Report called for a specific number of square feet to be green space, Soboroff got around that by creating 12-foot high walls covered in foliage which he termed “a green park.” He also bought local newspaper ads saying the project was endorsed by Webster School’s PTA. This so concerned the Webster school principal that she felt compelled to publish a letter in Malibu newspapers disavowing any endorsement and apologizing to Malibu residents.
Soboroff’s ad was big.
Letters to the Editor are limited to 350 words with no photos and they get buried deep inside the paper.
I sure hope people saw what she wrote. Malibu’s spectacular beauty and closeness to the hills and wild animals is one main reason people buy homes in Malibu. Once that is gone, we cannot get it back. Measure W make our roads more dangerous, jeopardizing the health and safety of Malibu residents; it ignores the rural design standards that are outlined in our building codes, and it will kill yet another increment of Malibu’s wonderful wild and rural atmosphere. . . if not a few more of our residents due to more collisions on our crowded and dangerous PCH. . . . Malibu Democratic Club and the Los Angeles County Democratic Party urge you to Vote NO on Measure W.
Meanwhile, on other fronts, special plaudits go to our board member Carol Moss for helping organize Malibu’s Community Assistance Resource Team (CART), which put on such a fabulous event last week at Malibu’s old Superior Court building, a one-stop help day for people without homes. People had lunch, had their feet washed, got flu shots, and were given information on how to get counseling and receive a variety of governmental services. With efforts based at the Malibu Methodist Church, CART members are seeking a variety of ways in which homeless people can be helped — even with such seemingly simple accommodations as being directed to designated lots where they can can park safely at night. Thank you, Carol! Way to go! We’re so proud of you!
Also, Lance Simmens, who is new to The Bu, has made a terrific splash landing, jumping into the community with both feet. Once he learned that last spring’s storms had created a safety problem at Malibu’s famous pier, weakening some loose pilings that could be dislodged by expected El Niño storms, and causing them to ram into other pilings, he immediately spoke out. Simmens asked city leaders questions about getting elected officials to ask State Parks to IMMEDIATELY utilize some of the millions of dollars appropriated for Malibu this year to fix the pilings.
In addition, when Simmens attended the September Malibu Dem Club board meeting and heard a presentation by Andria McFerson, a homeless woman crusading for one-stop centers to assist people like her, he immediately contacted Rep. Ted Lieu’s office. Now, he and Lieu’s staff are working to set up a permanent office involving federal, state, and county agencies so that people without housing will be able to find help more easily.
“I intend to continue working closely with folks dedicated to helping providing at least the opportunity for transitional folks to avail themselves of needed governmental services,” he says. This monthh Lance also helped man a table set up at Ralph’s to provide residents with information about Measure W. Look for Lance to be one of Malibu’s new movers and shakers . . . one of our new bright stars on the horizon. Thank you for caring about your new home, Lance!
MALIBU DEMOCRATS ARE SOCIABLES!
. Joined by Conejo Valley’s Sociables Founder Lori DeMersseman and Conejo Valley’s President Elect Carole Keavny, the MDC officially launched it’s Sociables program, a bi-monthly gathering of like-minded Democrats who get together to talk shop and have fun. We met at a looooong high table at Casa Escobar and stuffed ourselves with plenty of hors d’oeuvres and — oh — maybe just a few Margaritas, and had a grand ole time talking about the Presidential candidates in BOTH parties. Stopping in to join the group for some friendly chatter were Ted Vaill, Marcia Hanscom, and Marilyn Dove, not to mention Lance Simmens, of course. We had so much fun, we think we’ll do it again! Please tell your friends next time and stop in and join us! Be in the know, be an opinion leader, and join the action! We need YOU!
TODAY’S VOTING INFORMATION
Please cast your vote for the Democratic Party’s officially endorsed candidates and ballot measures. The L.A. County Democratic Party endorsements for today’s elections are below. You can also click here to download and print a copy of our endorsements to take with you to the polls.
Vote-By-Mail Voters: If you still have your VBM ballot, you are still allowed to mail it, but it must be postmarked by TODAY and received by Fri., Nov. 6, to be counted. To ensure your vote is counted, we strongly recommend you bring your ballot to your polling place on Election Day. You ca find it by clicking here or visiting www.lavote.net/locator. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.. If you have any trouble at the polls, contact the LACDP Election Protection Hotline immediately at 213-382-0063 so we can help protect your right to vote.Please vote. The future of Malibu depends on it!
Los Angeles County Democratic Party
Official Endorsements for November 3, 2015
Calabasas City Council
Measure O – YES
Measure W – NO
Beverly Hills Unified School District
Las Virgenes Unified School District
Measure E – YES