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Posted on: September 18, 2020

[ARCHIVED] City Manager Updates
September 18, 2020

City Manager Update September 18, 2020


Saturday, September 19, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM - Electronic Waste Collection Event (City Hall Upper Parking Lot)

Monday, September 21, 6:30 PM - Virtual Planning Commission Meeting 

Tuesday, September 22, 9:00 AM - Virtual Cultural Arts Commission Meeting 

Tuesday, September 22, 6:00 PM - Virtual Community Fire Season Briefing

Wednesday, September 23, 6:00 PM – Virtual Evacuation Zone Seminar

Thursday, September 24, 6:00 PM - Home Ignition Zone Seminar

Saturday, September 26, Bulky Item Pickup (By appointment for Waste Management customers only)


City staff continues to monitor and respond to the pandemic by participating in regular briefings and conference calls with partner agencies, and issuing alerts and notifications regarding changes to the situation. Key updates from the County’s COVID-19 Dashboard as of September 16, 2020 include the following:

  • 101 confirmed cases and 3 deaths in the City of Malibu - an increase of 1 case and no increase in deaths from September 9
  • 249,859 confirmed cases and 6,324 deaths in LA County - an increase of 7,412 cases and 234 deaths from September 9
  • 780 current hospitalizations in LA County - a decrease of 156 from September 9

The City’s Emergency Operations Center has been activated since March 12 to manage the City’s response. Current operational objectives include:

  • Monitor news for changes to regulations that impact City residents and businesses
  • Post updates on all social media platforms on an as-needed basis
  • Identify City rules and regulations that need adjustment due to the pandemic
  • Respond to community concerns regarding compliance with State and County Public Health Orders
  • Maintain field operations per health guidelines and ramp up virtual operation capabilities
  • This past week, City staff prepared for a potential fire conditions and provided information to residents regarding potential PSPS watch conditions
  • In addition, the City continues to provide nearly all regular City services and all staff are working. In order to protect visitors and City staff, visitors are allowed in City Hall by appointment only


The City Council continues to implement planning regulations to help local businesses impacted by COVID-19 public health orders. On September 14, the Council adopted an ordinance to temporarily waive certain sign regulations to help businesses advertise.

On September 14, 2020, City Council adopted Ordinance 471U to provide local businesses temporary assistance in promoting their businesses and attracting customers. The ordinance allows business owners and non-residential use operators to install up to two temporary signs. Temporary signs may include portable signs (A-frame or sandwich board type signs), wall signs, window signs and banners for purposes of advertising a business or non-residential use located within the City. The ordinance allows placement of up to one of these temporary sign in the public right-of-way or in a private street or easement. Temporary sign permits may be approved by the Planning Director administratively. To submit your temporary sign permit application (no fee required), email

The City Council previously adopted the Temporary Restaurant Recovery Program allowing local restaurants to temporarily expand their seating areas to adjacent common areas or sidewalks with physical distancing and other public health protocols in place to slow the spread of coronavirus. For more information about this program, visit the project web page.


  • Single Family Dwellings planning approvals issued - 252
  • Single Family Dwellings building permits issued – 139
  • Single Family Dwelling complete- 8


The November 8 deadline to submit a Planning Verification (PV) application to rebuild non-conforming homes and structures without having to bring the structure into compliance or seek variances is fast approaching. PV applications must be submitted to the Planning Department prior to the November 8 deadline. Though the City Council will consider initiating a code amendment to extend this deadline at its September 29 meeting, staff encourages homeowners to submit their PV applications prior to the deadline as the adoption of an ordinance to change the deadline will occur after November 8. Homeowners may request an extension of the two- and four-year periods due to unusual circumstances that renders strict compliance with the two- or four-year time limit creates an undue hardship. To submit your PV application or for more information, please contact fire rebuild staff at


Over the counter permits (building, mechanical, electrical, spa/pool, and plumbing) can now be submitted through the new Online Building Permit Request Portal . To help facilitate Building Safety reviews, Building Safety has transitioned to electronic plan check submittals, permits, and invoices. Visit the City’s Building and Safety web page to find out how to start an electronic plan check submittal and permit request or email for more information.


September is National Preparedness Month, and the Public Safety Office continues to host numerous free events to encourage the public to get prepared for disasters. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all trainings, seminars and briefings will be held online through video conferencing. Residents can RSVP for any event on For the remainder of the month, the City is hosting the following presentations, seminars, and classes:

  • Tuesday, September 22, 6:00 PM – The Community Fire Season Briefing will provide information about the current outlook for the upcoming peak fire season. Los Angeles County Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Drew Smith, a Fire Behavior Analyst, will provide information on local fuel moisture, expected weather patterns, and what that means for Malibu.
  • Wednesday, September 23, 6:00 PM The Evacuation Zone Seminar will be conducted by Los Angeles County Fire Department and city staff and will provide information on Malibu’s new Evacuations Zones which are part of the the City’s new Mass Evacuation Plan and update to the City’s Emergency Operations Plan. 
  • Thursday, September 24, 6:00 PM – A Home Ignition Zone seminar, taught by Fire Safety Liaison Jerry Vandermeulen, will teach residents about the dangers of embers that can rain down on a home and property during a wildfire like hail during a storm. If these embers land in receptive fuels or become lodged in something easily ignited on or near a house, the home may be in jeopardy of burning. This area is commonly referred to as the Home Ignition Zone. By being ember-aware and acting ahead of time, a homeowner can substantially reduce the ember threat.
  • Monday, September 28, and Wednesday, September 30, 6:00 PM – The City will host a Southern California Edison presentation about Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS). The presentations will provide residents with updated information about what to expect in the event of a PSPS and how best to prepare.


The City’s Public Safety staff are in full stride preparing for the upcoming fire season. Although fires can happen any time during the year, the most damaging fires occur in the fall and early winter when hot, dry, powerful Santa Ana winds are blowing, and fuel moistures are low. City staff participated in a virtual exercise with regional response partners on Thursday, August 6 to begin coordinating communication and response actions. The exercise scenario focused on a fire in Topanga that was moving quickly toward Malibu. Some of the strategies that were discussed included directing evacuees west, utilizing Zuma as a temporary safe refuge, and deploying emergency generators to traffic signals if power is lost. Some of the action items from the exercise included working with the agency partners to draft emergency messaging templates that will be consistent across the region, developing a plan for managing a temporary safe refuge area at Zuma Beach, and conducting a public education campaign regarding the newly established evacuation zones. To complement this exercise, City staff will participate in virtual Emergency Operations Center exercises to practice new procedures based on COVID-19 pandemic restraints.

Community preparedness events are being planned in September as part of National Preparedness Month. Events will include a series of virtual webinars and community meetings using video conferencing. In addition, staff recently developed a weed whacker fire safety flyer that is available to community groups to distribute and/or post on community bulletin boards. The flyer is available in English and Spanish. 

On Saturday, September 26 from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Public Safety staff will team up with the CERT Team, Volunteers on Patrol (VOPs) and Arson Watch to conduct direct outreach in the neighborhoods. Volunteers will be walking neighborhoods on the east end of town to make sure everyone has the latest information about evacuation, evacuation zones and terminology, and a copy of the City’s new Emergency Survival Guide. Other neighborhoods will be covered on future weekends.


At its regular meeting on February 24, 2020, the City Council adopted the Mass Evacuation Plan as an update to the City’s Emergency Operations Plan. The Mass Evacuation Plan was one of the findings of a working group assembled after the 2018 Woolsey Fire to improve disaster coordination, communication, and evacuation among all of the public agencies that might respond to a disaster in Malibu. The Evacuation Plan, Evacuation Zone Maps, Evacuation terms and a search function to find out what your home’s Zone is, are all available on the City’s Evacuations web page.  The Evacuation Plan was recently updated to incorporate the State’s new evacuation terminology, including:

  • Evacuation Order: Immediate threat to life. This is a lawful order to leave now. The area is lawfully closed to public access.
  • Evacuation Warning: Potential threat to life and/or property. Those who require additional time to evacuate, and those with pets and livestock should leave now.
  • Shelter in Place: Go indoors. Shut and lock doors and windows. Prepare to self-sustain until further notice and/or contacted by emergency personnel for additional direction.
  • Evacuation Order(s) Lifted: The formal announcement of lifting evacuations in an area currently under evacuation.
  • Hard Closure: Closed to all traffic except fire and law enforcement.
  • Soft Closure: Closed to all traffic except Fire, law enforcement and critical incident resources (i.e. Caltrans, city/county roads etc. or those needed to repair or restore infrastructure).
  • Resident Only Closure: Soft closure with the additional allowance of residents and local government agencies assisting with response and recovery.


As part of the City’s Mass Evacuation Plan, the City partnered with the Los Angeles County Fire and Sheriff’s Departments to establish official Evacuation Zones. The Zones follow Malibu’s historic fire corridors. In the event of a large fire, officials may use the Evacuation Zones to quickly identify the timing, order, and routes of evacuation for specific areas to be more effective and avoid traffic bottlenecks. 

On September 14, the City mailed postcards to residents with information on their assigned Evacuation Zone. Residents are encouraged to become familiar with their Zone and evacuation routes and memorize their Evacuation Zone number. The Zones are available to view on the City’s website. Residents may also search by their address to learn the Zone in which their home is located. On 


To help prepare for peak wildfire season, community members are encouraged to visit the City’s Wildfire and Fire Safety page, for ongoing information and resources. Topics featured on the webpage include:

  • Home Ignition Zone Assessments
  • The Community Wildfire Protection Plan
  • How to Create a Defensible Home
  • How to Build an Action Plan
  • Red Flag Warning and Fire Weather Watch
  • Live Fuel Moisture
  • House Fire Safety
  • Weed Whacker Safety

For more information about any of these topics, contact Fire Safety Liaison Jerry Vandermeulen at 310-456-2489, ext. 387 or, or


Tracking live fuel moisture (LFM) is an important part of maintaining situational awareness and determining critical fire danger and/or Red Flag Conditions. As of September 15, 2020, the LFM was at 65%, which is down from 71% one month ago. 60% live fuel moisture is considered critical. LFM is defined as the percentage of water content to dry matter content in live vegetation. LFM can be as high as 200% and critical levels (60% or less) are usually reached by mid-October in a “normal” year. The Los Angeles County Fire Department Forestry Division conducts sampling approximately every two weeks and posts the results on their website. The full Los Angeles County Live Fuel Moisture summary and the current Santa Monica Mountains Live Fuel Moisture are both available online.


If you are not already signed up to receive alerts and disaster notifications, now is the time to get that done. Make sure all members of your family, business, or organization are signed up for emergency, weather and traffic alerts by text and email from the City. To sign up, visit the E-notify web page and scroll down to Alert Center. When there is an imminent threat to any part of our community or evacuations, the City issues Disaster Notifications (similar to reverse 9-1-1) to the specific area that is being threatened. Last year, the City acquired a database of all cell phone numbers with accounts with a 90265 address, so it is not necessary to sign up for Disaster Notifications. If you wish to add or remove phone numbers that you would receive Disaster Notifications on, you can visit the Disaster Notifications sign up portal, create a profile, and change your contact information. If the threat is widespread, the City can issue a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) which goes to all cell phones within the City with no subscriptions necessary, so it reaches visitors as well as residents. For more information about all of the City’s different types of emergency alerts, go to the City’s web page.


Malibu’s Dolphin Decal vehicle identification program was established to assist emergency personnel in identifying residents and other individuals who need to access their homes and businesses during some types of emergencies. In the event of a Resident Only road closure, the Dolphin Decal may expedite passage into the restricted area. When approaching a roadblock, all motorists will be checked for proof of residency or business in the Malibu area or to ensure they have a Dolphin Decal on their vehicle. This decal is used to assist in identification only and gives no special rights or privileges to the holder. Decals are non-transferable and non-refundable. There is no expiration date on the decals. To register for a Dolphin Decal, or for more information, visit the Dolphin Decal Program Page or call City Hall at 310-456-2489. 


The Malibu Emergency Survival Guide is now available. The Guide is based on the Los Angeles County Survival Guide but customized for Malibu. This comprehensive guide includes information about creating an emergency plan, emergency food and supplies, what to do when disaster strikes, basic first aid, important phone numbers and hazards specific to Malibu. The City encourages neighborhood and community groups to make an appointment to pick up the booklets in bulk to distribute in your neighborhood. To make an appointment to pick up the guide for your neighborhood/community group, contact Sarah Kaplan, Public Safety Specialist, at or 310-456-2489, ext. 368.


The September 30 Deadline to complete the census is fast approaching. Every Malibu household is urged to complete the 2020 Census so that the Malibu community receives the federal funding it needs for roads, schools, hospitals and other public infrastructure, and to ensure Malibu is properly represented in the US House of Representatives. ACurrently, Malibu has one of the lowest self-response rates at just 40.5%, (as of September 14) compared with the US at 65.9%, California at 68.3% and Los Angeles County at 63.6%. The 2020 Census response rate map is available online.

Census takers are now visiting households across the nation including Malibu that have not yet responded. The Census is taking every precaution necessary and working closely with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure COVID-19 safety for you and the Census workers. If you have questions or concerns about Census workers or want to confirm their identification, call 844-330-2020.

Some households that have already responded have expressed confusion over why they too are being visited. These visits are part of the Census Bureau’s efforts to be absolutely sure that everyone is counted. If you get a visit and you’ve already responded, please be answer the census taker’s questions. The most common reason is that we’re clarifying information about your address. By cooperating with the census taker, you’re helping to ensure you are counted in the right place. Don’t worry about being counted twice, the Census Bureau has established methods and processes to remove duplicates.

If you are concerned about having a Census worker come to your door, the best way to avoid that is to complete the 2020 Census online or by phone.

For more information or to take the Census online, visit If you are unable to respond online, you can call 844-330-2020 and take the census over the phone or get answer to any of your census questions. The Census Bureau will end field data collection and self-response options will close on September 30, 2020 to begin data processing. 


The filing period for write-in candidates began on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, and runs through Tuesday, October 20, 2020. Please contact the City Clerk for details at or by calling 310-456-2489, ext. 228. If you were displaced by the Woolsey Fire and need to receive your Vote by Mail ballot at your temporary residence, visit to check your current registration and/or add your temporary mailing address to your registration. Register to vote or make sure your registration is up to date by October 19, 2020, to automatically be sent a Vote by Mail ballot for the November 3, 2020 election.


The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) has issued a Notice of Preparation of an Environmental Impact Report and Scoping Meeting (NOP) for the proposed Malibu Middle and High School Campus Specific Plan and Local Coastal Program Amendment Project. Members of the public are invited to review and comment on the Initial Study, which is available online. The public comment period is from August 20, 2020 to September 21, 2020. On September 9, 2020, the SMMUSD held a Virtual Scoping Meeting. For information regarding the preparation of the Environmental Impact Report, please review the NOP. For a complete description of the project, please visit the SMMUSD project web page.


The next public hearing regarding short-term rental (STR) regulations will be at the City Council meeting on September 14, 2020. Based on Council’s direction at its August 10 public hearing, staff will present three draft ordinances: 1) Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) No. 17-002, which was discussed on August 10, 2) an Enforcement Ordinance, which is a revised version of ZTA No. 17-002 that removes the primary resident and other requirements so as to focus on providing enforcement tools against nuisance properties while the Hosted STR ordinance is processed, and 3) the Santa Monica-style “Hosted” STR Ordinance, which involves a Local Coastal Program (LCP) amendment and ZTA. The “Hosted” ordinance would require the presence of an onsite host during most short-term rentals. The staff report is available on the City’s website. If approved by City Council, the LCP amendment would have to be certified by the California Coastal Commission before the regulations could go into effect. For more information including the background on these proposed regulations, visit the City’s Short-Term Rental web page.

On September 14, the City Council held a public hearing regarding the short-term rental (STR) regulation. The Council voted to schedule the Enforcement Ordinance for second reading and adoption at its September 29 meeting. The effective date of the ordinance would be January 15, 2021. The staff report will be available prior to the meeting on the City’s website.. Also, on September 14, the Council directed that the Santa Monica -style “Hosted” STR Ordinance, which involves a Local Coastal Program (LCP) amendment and Zoning Text Amendment to the Municipal Code, to be updated and brought back at a future meeting. For a description of the changes requested, visit the City’s Short-Term Rental web page..


On September 21, the Planning Commission will hold a virtual hearing to consider proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance and Local Coastal Program (LCP) to allow stand-alone surface parking lots as a conditionally permitted use. Currently, parking lots are allowed in conjunction with another use but not as a stand-alone use. The staff report is available on the City’s website.. Once the Planning Commission makes its recommendations on the amendments, the City Council will hold a hearing. If approved by City Council, the LCP amendment would have to be certified by the California Coastal Commission before the regulations could go into effect.


In order to keep City staff and the community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City is not accepting passport appointments at this time. The U.S. Department of State has a phased plan for reopening services and, as of September 8, a total of 15 passport agencies and centers are in phase one and 11 agencies and centers are in phase two of its three-phase reopening plan. Appointments at passport agencies and centers are limited to customers who must travel internationally in the next 72 hours due to a life-or-death emergency. The Department reopening plan and current international travel advisories are available online.


In October 2019, City Council voted to adopt Clean Power Alliance’s (CPA) 100% Green Power as the default rate for CPA customers in the City to reduce the impacts of climate change and air pollution. Starting in October 2020, Malibu’s CPA customers will receive 100% renewable power generated by solar, wind and other renewable and carbon-free resources. Malibu’s CPA customers can choose a different rate option with lower cost and lower renewable content at any time and should have received postcards notifying them of the default change.


Staff is organizing environmental events with COVID-19 safety precautions for the following dates:


The Environmental Sustainability Department’s Virtual Environmental Center allows residents to enjoy virtual activities from home and learn about the City’s environmental projects. Virtual activities include Smart Gardening webinars (September-October), California Friendly Landscaping and Turf Removal webinars (September - November), and recycling tips.


The City has adopted a ban on the use of salt-based regenerative water softeners for properties connected to the Civic Center Wastewater Treatment Facility to reduce the salts in the groundwater. Installation of new salt and potassium chloride-based self –regenerating water softeners existing self-regenerating water softeners at properties connected to the Civic Center Wastewater Treatment Facility must be removed by October 28, 2020.


The Permanent Skate Park Design Survey is now available online. The survey allows local skaters and interested parties to provide feedback regarding the preliminary design for the Permanent Skate Park Project. The survey is available until October 23, 2020, and you can take the survey by visiting the Skate Park web page.


The City of Malibu Cultural Arts Commission is proud to announce the opening of the virtual art gallery for “The Birds and the Bees, a Celebration of Spring in Malibu.” The gallery features work from more than 60 local artists, highlighting the beautiful and unique characteristics of our City, including native wildlife, flowers, plants and landscapes. Visit the Virtual Art Gallery. For more information, visit the Malibu Arts and Culture website.


The Community Services Department’s Virtual Recreation Center allows residents to enjoy recreation programs from home during the pandemic. The VRC features a wide variety of programs, activities, and classes designed to help residents of any age stay active and entertained. Programs are updated frequently, so make sure to check back regularly. You can visit the Virtual Recreation Center any time.

Malibu Bluffs Park and Skate Park Are Open

Malibu Bluffs Park and the Skate Park are open, with Covid-19 restrictions in place. The City urges patrons visiting these facilities to follow all posted City rules and Covid-19 guidelines, to help keep visitors and staff safe, and to avoid future closures. The Skate Park is open Monday – Friday from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM by reservation only, and hours will be adjusted as sunset occurs earlier through the fall. Skate sessions are available in two-hour blocks through our reservation system. Please visit our Skate Park Web Page at to make a reservation or to find more information regarding the reopening of the Skate Park.


Registration for October After-School Camps for youth grades K-12 is now open. October camps include Surf Camp, Cross Country, Hiking at Charmlee Wilderness Park, and various sports camps. You can view all of the City’s available camps and register by visiting

Community Pool CLOSED Monday, SEPTEMber 28

The Community Pool will be closed on Monday, September 28, for Yom Kippur. The pool will reopen for regularly scheduled programs on Tuesday, September 29.

Community Pool

The Community Swimming Pool is open with limited programming and COVID-19 safety guidelines. Swimmers may view available dates/times or register for the SeaWolves Swim Program, Masters Swim, and Lap Swim online. Please note: Due to limited pool space, Lap Swim is only available by making a reservation through the online reservation system. No walk-ups are allowed. 

Guardrail Replacement Project

The Guardrail Replacement Project consists of replacement of guardrails damaged by the Woolsey Fire at various locations within the City. The only remaining work for this project includes final grading/earthwork around the already repaired guardrails. The project is anticipated to be completed by October 2020. Damaged guardrails located next to retaining walls will be replaced as part of the City’s forthcoming Latigo Retaining Wall Project to minimize associated damage to the adjacent walls.

Cliffside Utility Undergrounding DISTRICT

The City received a letter from the property owners on Cliffside Drive requesting the City’s assistance with forming an assessment district to underground the overhead utilities on Cliffside Drive east of Fernhill Drive. During the July 13 City Council meeting, staff was directed to proceed with the project and work with the property owners to start the process of forming the underground assessment district. Proposals for assessment engineering services were due on Thursday, September 10. The City received two proposals and is currently reviewing the proposals.

Routine Street Maintenance

City maintenance crews continue to monitor and maintain all City streets and canyon roads. This includes but is not limited to signs, striping, litter removal, pothole repairs, storm drain maintenance and various other repair work. Additionally, crews continue to assist Caltrans with litter and debris removal along Pacific Coast Highway. They also monitor temporary parking restrictions as requested during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FEMA Preliminary Flood Maps Appeal

The City is in the process of appealing the revised FEMA Preliminary Flood Maps. These revised maps change the flood zone and flood depth along the City’s coastline. The proposed changes could have an impact to all existing properties and any new development along the beach. Since December 2019, the City’s consultant (Moffat & Nichol) conducted several conference calls with FEMA regarding the City’s proposed methodology to determine the base flood elevations along the coastline. They also performed a new land survey and then re-calculated the depth of flooding along the coastline. The majority of the sections analyzed showed a lower base flood elevation. Last week, the City’s consultant submitted the revised calculations to FEMA for their review. The City is expecting FEMA’s review process to take until November 2020. More information is available on the City’s website. FEMA informed the City that they will suspend processing any Flood Map revisions starting August 14, 2020. All applications for Flood Map revisions received prior to August 14, 2020 will be processed and completed. The City verified with FEMA that they have received its Flood Map revisions. FEMA is currently reviewing the City’s Flood Map revisions and will not suspend this process.


This project will improve the horizontal and vertical sight distance, create additional space for motorists, pedestrians, bicyclist and transit to travel along Civic Center Way between Malibu Canyon Road and Webb Way. The City’s contractor, GMZ Engineering, Inc, has been preparing for the upcoming construction work.  From September 21, 2020 to December (weather permitting) a portion of Civic Center Way between Vista Pacifica and the private driveway of 23901 Civic Center Way will be temporary closed.  The temporary closure will include access for emergency vehicles to utilize the street during emergency situations. Work hours will be Monday through Friday 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM with some work scheduled on Saturdays. The temporary closure will not prevent access to any adjacent side streets or private driveways. Additionally, the contractor will not be working during red flag warnings. Additional information is available on the City’s website.


This project includes the installation of speed humps on Dume Drive and Fernhill Drive from Grayfox Street to Cliffside Drive. This project is currently out for construction bids. Bids are due on September 29, 2020.



The City maintains a robust e-notification system so the community can stay informed about all the City’s activities. Sign up to receive messages by text or email on the City’s e-notifications page.


For questions or comments, contact the City Manager at

See Past City Manager Updates 

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