If we are going to arrive at a meaningful solution to the Malibu High School stadium lighting issue, we need to have an honest conversation with facts.

Prior to 2010 there were a series of community meetings discussing everything from no lights to lights almost every night of the year. These meetings produced the community compromise of 16 nights of lights. This compromise was agreed to by the Malibu High School sports parents, the Malibu Park community and the school district. It was also championed by Malibu City Councilmember Laura Rosenthal.

When the issue of the stadium lighting was scheduled to be heard by the city of Malibu, the school district unilaterally walked away from the compromise agreement. Instead the district submitted a proposal requesting a permit for permanent 70-foot light poles and 61-plus nights of lights per year.

Malibu’s Planning Commission never got to vote on this permit. Our city attorney declared that the Malibu Planning Commission was ineligible to hear the issue. That decision not only disenfranchised the Planning Commission, but it also eliminated all the community comment and full disclosure that typically occurs at a Planning Commission meeting. The permit was then illegally moved to the City Council, where once again our city attorney intervened and recused two City Council members. In short, seven of the 10 Malibu decision makers who would typically weigh in on the lights were prevented from voting by our city attorney.

The Malibu Park community has met with the school district and the Shark Fund in an attempt to resolve the issue and avoid litigation, with no success. There has yet to be a ruling by a judge, but the surrounding community is prepared to litigate until it’s exhausted every possible means of ensuring a compromise and a legal, binding agreement through the courts.


Steve Uhring

Malibu, Calif.

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