Pesticide Ban

project status

Updated 8/30/23-  On July 10, 2023, the City Council adopted an interpretation of the use of pesticides pursuant to Local Coastal Program (LCP) Land Use Policy (LUP) 3.18 as development in the Local Implementation Plan. The City Council held a public hearing on October 10, 2022 and directed staff to bring back a policy adopting an interpretation of development, as used in LIP Section 13.3, to include "the use of pesticides, including insecticides, herbicides, rodenticides or any other similar toxic chemical substances, where the application of such substances would have the potential to significantly degrade Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Areas or coastal water quality or harm wildlife" and that such development is not classified as maintenance under LIP Section 13.4.2. The staff report is available online. Amendments to LCP LUP Policy 3.18, pertaining to a citywide prohibition of pesticides, went into effect on September 8, 2021. Amending the policy created a policy mechanism to allow the City to create a regulatory framework to address the use of pesticides, rodenticides, and insecticides throughout the City. In December 2021, the City Council directed staff to develop an ordinance to implement and enforce this policy and to work with Poison Free Malibu to develop the ordinance. On April 14, 2022, the City's Zoning Ordinance Revisions and Code Enforcement Council Subcommittee considered whether to adopt a policy or an ordinance to implement the City’s pesticide ban. The Subcommittee directed staff to move forward with the policy, which could be adopted by resolution. 

Next Steps

Staff will present a workplan to implement components of a draft ordinance or policy and anticipated costs associated with adopting the ordinance or policy. 


The City has been striving for years to eliminate environmentally harmful poisons from City limits, and has taken numerous measures to restrict their use, in partnership with Poison Free Malibu, a local non-profit dedicated to eliminating such poisons from the environment in Malibu. 

On December 9, 2019, the City Council adopted a Local Coastal Program amendment that bans the use of pesticides, including insecticides, rodenticides, or any toxic chemical substance which has the potential to significantly degrade biological resources in the City. Subsequently, the amendment was submitted to the California Coastal Commission (CCC) for certification. On June 19, 2020, the CCC deemed the amendment complete but proposed modifications to the City’s language. On September 10, 2020, CCC staff were granted a one-year extension to hold the hearing by the CCC, as provided by the Coastal Act. Since then, City staff has worked with Poison Free Malibu and CCC staff to work on the CCC’s proposed modifications to the City’s Local Coastal Program amendment. 

On May 13, 2021, the CCC allowed the City of Malibu to advance its efforts to restrict environmentally harmful rodenticides, herbicides and pesticides to protect wildlife, habitats, pets and people in City limits. Prior to the CCC approval, the City’s ability to enact more powerful restrictions these chemicals was hampered by existing state law that preempts the ability of municipalities in California to create laws prohibiting the use of state-regulated chemicals. While waiting for the amendment to be certified, a condition of approval regarding the prohibition will be added to coastal development permits. 

On June 28, 2021, the City Council adopted the California Coastal Commission's (CCC)  modifications to the City's proposed pesticide ban. The CCC’s Executive Director reported the City’s action to the CCC at its meeting on September 8, 2021, and the amendment is now in effect.

The City of Malibu Local Coastal Program is comprised of two sections – the LUP and LIP. Like the General Plan, the LUP is a policy document, whereas the LIP is similar to the City’s Zoning Ordinance, where it outlines how to implement the City’s policies. The adoption of amendments to LUP Policy 3.18 is the policy mechanism that allows the City to create a regulatory framework to address the use of pesticides, rodenticides, and insecticides throughout the City. 


*A full chronology of previous meetings and hearings where this issue was discussed is included in the City Council resolution. Meeting materials can be found at