The Malibu City Council took steps during a meeting on July 21 to amend the City’s Nuisance Code to strengthen the City’s ability to address hazards posed by homeless encampments in Malibu, and appointed members of the City’s new Homelessness Taskforce. Video of the special virtual Council meeting on July 21 is available to view at https://www.youtube.com/user/CityofMalibu/videos.
“Homelessness is a nationwide humanitarian crisis with severe local impacts to our community’s public health and safety, environment and quality of life that cannot be ignored,” said Mayor Paul Grisanti. “The new taskforce and the proposal to strengthen our Nuisance Code will give us more tools to address this crisis.”
During the July 21 meeting, the City Council approved on first reading proposed amendments to the City’s Nuisance Code aimed at strengthening the City’s ability to hold private property owners responsible for unabated nuisances on their property, particularly homeless encampments that have been connected to a brush fire or that pose a high risk of starting a fire.
The amendments will return to the Council for a second reading and adoption on August 9. The meeting agenda, staff report and viewing and commenting instructions will be posted in advance at www.MalibuCity.org/AgendaCenter.
The proposed amendments to the City’s Nuisance Code include language specific to fire and public health hazards, giving specific examples to make it more clear to property owners what a nuisance is.
The amendments also would give authority to the City Manager to take action to address a nuisance, allowing a much faster response to an emergency condition posing an immediate threat to the physical safety of the community. Most other cities delegate this authority to their city manager or a department head. Currently, the City Council must approve a “Summary Abatement.”
During the July 21 meeting, the City Council each appointed two members to the newly created Homelessness Task Force, which will be charged with: reviewing existing efforts, evaluating the need for an alternative sleeping location (ASL), developing strategies to mitigate the fire safety concerns of encampments located in open space and on undeveloped private property, addressing other issues related to homelessness, developing a robust public engagement and outreach plan to obtain community input on proposed strategies to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community from the dangers of homelessness and provide assistance to Malibu residents experiencing homelessness, and providing regular updates and recommendations to the City Council.
Although the City already had a Homelessness Working Group, the City Council aims to focus more effort, resources, and attention on addressing homelessness by creating a Brown Act-governed Homelessness Task Force. The Brown Act requires open meetings and public record keeping by government bodies in California to ensure transparency and accountability.
Homelessness Task Force Appointments
Mayor Paul Grisanti: Ian Roven, Terry Davis
Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Silverstein: Deborah Benton, Bill Sampson
Councilmember Mikke Pierson: Bill Winokur, Wayne Cohen
Councilmember Steve Uhring: Kelly Pessis, Scott Dittrich
Councilmember Karen Farrer: Paul Davis, Chris Frost
Submitted by Matt Myerhoff, Media Information Officer