(NEW) FIRE CONDITIONS UPDATE
Live Fuel Moisture (LFM) and Conditions - LFM is up to 125% as of December 31, above the historic average for this time of year. This is only an estimate as Los Angeles County Fire Department cannot take accurate readings immediately after heavy rain. Although a fire could start, it will not rapidly spread and grow large through spotting as live plants and dead fuels are moist, and new green grass has grown. A good example of this was the brush fire that started at Tuna Canyon on January 21, and did not spread despite very windy conditions.
As part of continuous wildfire preparedness, the City tracks LFM as well as relative humidity, temperature, and dead fuel moisture to determine fire conditions for Malibu. The LFM is. The Los Angeles County Fire Department Forestry Division normally conducts sampling of chamise (Adenostoma Fasciculatum), a primary chaparral plant species, approximately every two weeks and posts the results on their website.
(NEW) City Council Ends Declaration of Local Emergency in Response to Improved Wildfire Conditions
The City Council voted to end the state of local emergency, which was declared in response to the risk of fires associated with homeless encampments in September 2022. The local emergency declaration was made at the beginning of peak fire season after Malibu had experienced more than 20 brush fires attributed to encampments since the beginning of 2021. A major factor in declaring the local emergency was the Live Fuel Moisture (LFM) levels in the Santa Monica Mountains, a key wildfire condition indicator, reaching the critical level of 60% set by the Los Angeles County Fire Department. California Government Code Section 8630 empowered the City Council to proclaim the existence of a local emergency. That allowed the City, in coordination with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) and Sheriff’s Homeless Outreach Services Team (HOST), to have more authority to remove homeless encampments to address the threat to lives and properties posed by the potential of fires starting in encampments. Under California law, emergency declarations must be terminated when the emergency conditions have ended. The rain events at the end of 2022 improved the LFM levels and the fire hazard conditions in the Santa Monica Mountain sufficiently to require lifting the local emergency.
(NEW) SIGN UP FOR FIRE HAZARD TREE REMOVAL PROGRAM
The Fire Safety Liaisons are still adding names to the list to remove trees under the City’s Hazard Tree Removal Program. The trees must be dead to be considered for this program. To sign up for this program, please email FireSafety@MalibuCity.org with your name, address and phone number and the type and number of dead trees on your property. This is a first-come, first-served program and there are currently dozens of properties already on the list.
make your wildfire preparedness a year-round effort
While the recent rainstorms have offered much-needed relief from concerns about wildfire, residents are still advised to continue preparing for wildfires, and to make it a year-round effort. Closely monitor local fire weather conditions and warnings on the National Weather Service Los Angeles/Oxnard website whenever hazardous wildfires conditions are forecast. Create or review your family or business emergency plan, including evacuation routes and reunification locations, and gather emergency supplies. Check the expiration dates on food and medication. When Red Flag fire conditions are forecast, keep your vehicle fuel tank filled. Make sure you are able to open electric gates or garage doors when the power is out. For preparedness guidance, get the Malibu Survival Guide. Most importantly, make sure flammable materials and vegetation are cleared away from your home. Schedule a free Home Wildfire Hardening Assessment by emailing FireSafety@MalibuCity.org, calling 310-456-2489, ext. 388 or visiting the Fire Safety webpage.
SCHEDULE YOUR FREE HOME WILDFIRE HARDENING ASSESSMENT
Now is a great time for Malibu homeowners to schedule a free home wildfire hardening assessment with the City’s Fire Safety Liaisons to learn how to protect your home from the millions of burning embers that can fly up to two miles out ahead of a wind-driven wildfire. Flying embers are a leading cause of homes burning down during wildfires. The 30-60 minute inspections follow the Fire Code and nationally recognized best practices. You can learn simple and often inexpensive steps, such as maintaining good brush clearance, keeping dead vegetation and flammable materials such as wood furniture away from the house, and covering up eave vents with metal mesh. Schedule an appointment by emailing FireSafety@MalibuCity.org or calling 310-456-2489, ext. 388 or visiting the Fire Safety webpage.
(NEW) HOMELESS ENCAMPMENTs CLEARED AT SURFRIDER BEACH and malibu creek
In January 2023, the LA County Department of Beaches and Harbors and California State Parks cleared homeless encampments in the Surfrider Beach and Malibu Creek areas of the City. The teams addressed the issue in a service-oriented approach, offering homeless outreach services to the people in the encampments prior to clearing the area. Six full stake bed truckloads of material and 16 shopping carts were removed the sites.
(NEW) HOMELESS COUNT IN MALIBU SHOWS CONTINUING LOCAL DECLINE IN HOMELESSNESS
On the morning of Wednesday, January 25, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority’s (LAHSA) Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count was conducted in Malibu with the participation of more than 20 volunteers, including members of the City’s Homeless Outreach Team, Homelessness Task Force, Public Safety Commission, and City staff. Volunteer looked for individuals, families, cars, RVs, tents, and makeshift shelters in locations around the City. Each volunteer group recorded their findings in the Homeless Count app, as well as in a physical tally sheet. After completing their census tract, volunteers returned to Malibu City Hall and submitted their findings. LAHSA will release the official numbers this summer. The City thanks all of the volunteers and partner agencies that participated in this important effort. Every year, the Homeless County provides accurate demographic information on people experiencing homelessness that is crucial to efforts to address the homelessness crisis. The 2022 Homeless Count found 81 people experiencing homelessness in Malibu, a significant decrease from 157 in 2021 and 239 in 2020. Learn more on the LAHSA website.
(NEW) MALIBU CERT TEAM TESTS OUT EMERGENCY SATELLITE INTERNET AND PHONE capabilities
On Saturday, January 28, the Malibu Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers tested new satellite internet and phone technology that can be used during emergencies when power and communications are down at Zuma Beach.
COASTAL COMMISSION hearing on SEA VIEW HOTEL PROJECT, FEBRUARY 8
The California Coastal Commission (CCC) will consider the Sea View Hotel Project proposed Local Coastal Program Amendment (LCPA) on February 8, 2023. For details, see the Notice of Public Hearing. The agenda and staff report for the hearing will be posted on the CCC’s website. See viewing and commenting instructions. In September 2021, the City Council adopted the environmental document, code amendments and project entitlements for the Sea View Hotel Project. For more information, visit the project webpage.
coastal commission hearing on LA County Low-Impact Camping Local Coastal Program Amendment, February 8
On February 8, 2023, the California Coastal Commission will consider the Los Angeles County’s Local Coastal Plan (LCP) amendment to propose low-impact camping in the Santa Monica Mountains. The CCC’s Executive Director will report on the County’s acceptance of the CCC’s suggested modifications. See the proposed plan, including the CCC’s suggested modifications in the November 15, 2022 LA County Board of Supervisors staff report. The February 8 CCC agenda and staff report will be posted on the CCC’s website. See viewing and commenting instructions. City staff submitted a letter in opposition to the California Coastal Commission. The City has previously prepared letters of opposition to the project on May 22, 2019, April 15, 2022 and November 15, 2022.
(NEW) SPECIAL EVENTS REPORT
Currently, there are permitted events on May 6, as well as every Sunday for the Malibu Farmers Market and for Farmer's Market off-street parking. The City of Malibu Planning Department posts a weekly report of approved event permits on the website. In order to help the public stay informed of pending event permit applications and to create opportunity for public input, the Event Permit Report includes all event permit applications deemed complete for review for consistency and compliance with the requirements of the Malibu Municipal Code and the Planning Director’s action on each application. To sign up to receive an email or text message when an updated Event Permit Report is posted, visit the e-notifications page (scroll down to the "Special Event Permit Report" category).
(NEW) - COVID-19 STATISTICS
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. On February 2, 2023, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH) confirmed 14 new deaths and 1,354 new cases. Other key updates from the County’s COVID-19 Dashboard as of February 2, 2023 include the following:
- 2,822 confirmed positive cases and 14 deaths in the City of Malibu to date
- 3,679,170 confirmed cases and 35,308 deaths in LA County to date
- 707 current hospitalizations in LA County, a decrease of 211 since January 19
FACEMASKS RECOMMENDED IN CITY HALL DUE TO HIGH COVID-19 TRANSMISSION RATE
The use of facemasks is now recommended by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LADPH) in indoor spaces including Malibu City Hall due to the County's high COVID-19 rates. As deaths and hospitalizations continue to rise in Los Angeles County, surpassing numbers seen at this time last year, Public Health officials are asking residents to play an important role in limiting the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday season by updating their vaccines, masking indoors, testing before gatherings, and staying home when sick. For more information, see the press release.
city hall / general
CITY HALL HOURS
City Hall is open to the public. Regular City Hall hours are Monday through Thursday, 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM and Fridays 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Members of the public may come to City Hall without an appointment during public counter hours. An appointment will be needed for in-person assistance during any other hours. Appointments can be made online. The use of facemasks is now recommended while inside City Hall, in accordance with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidelines.
Public Counter Hours
- Planning: Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM, walk in. Other times by appointment only.
- Permit Services: Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM, walk-in and appointment. Other times by appointment only.
- Building Plan Check: Tuesday and Thursday, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM, walk-in and appointment. Other times by appointment only.
- Environmental Health: Tuesday and Thursday, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM, walk-in and appointment. Other times by appointment only.
- Geology / Coastal Engineering: Tuesday and Thursday, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM, walk-in and appointment. Other times by appointment only.
- Public Works: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM, walk-in. Other times by appointment only.
To make virtual appointments with City staff and Departments, please call or email:
MALIBU SENIOR CENTER AT CITY HALL OPEN FOR IN-PERSON SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES
The Senior Center is open for general and various in-person services and programs Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Seniors can use the general use areas of the Center, including the computer lab, library and various recreation programs. Staff is also available to assist with Dial-A-Ride questions and program registrations. Fresh coffee is available daily from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. For more information, call 310-456-2489, ext. 357 or visit the webpage.
WOOLSEY FIRE REBUILD
(new) - MALIBU REBUILDS - STATISTICS
Staff continues to work with homeowners to rebuild. Here are the current Woolsey Fire rebuild statistics. See continuously updated statistics on the Rebuild Portal.
- Single Family Dwellings building permits issued - 250
- Single Family Dwellings complete - 119
- Multifamily building permits issued - 18 units
- Multifamily building units complete- 12 units
PLANNING CONSULTATIONS AND REBUILD RESOURCES
The Fire Rebuild team is available Monday through Friday at City Hall for complimentary one-on-one consultations about any fire rebuild project. Contact Aakash Shah at firstname.lastname@example.org to set an appointment for a meeting by phone or online. For ideas about how to get started with your project, as well as numerous handouts, forms and resources, visit the Rebuild webpage.
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY & BUILDING SAFETY
(NEW) join the organic waste recycling workshopS and get a free kitchen scraps caddy, February 15
Community members can learn about the importance of, and how to successfully participate in the City’s Organic Waste Recycling Program by joining the virtual workshop on Wednesday, February 15 at 7:00 PM. Additional workshops are scheduled for March 15 and April 19. The Organic Waste Recycling Program is an important way that Malibu can fulfill its commitment as a community to be part of the efforts to address climate change and protect the environment. The link for the event is posted on the website. Attendees will receive a free kitchen scraps collection caddy (limit one per household). The 1.9-gallon, dishwasher-safe caddies are easy to fill, carry, empty, and clean, offering a convenient way to collect food scraps to be recycled. For more information about the program and to register for a workshop, visit the Organic Recycling webpage. For additional guidance on the organics recycling program, review the City's free online Zero Waste Guide.
GRading Site Best management Practices (BMP) inspections during rainy season
During Malibu's rainy season, the Environmental Sustainability Department staff monitors construction sites regularly and sends out e-notifications to the building community, reminding them to adhere to Grading Site Best Management Practices (BMP), keeping sites clean and free of debris with erosion control measures properly in place. The BMPs include ensuring all excavated soil is located on the site in a manner that minimizes the amount of sediment running onto the street, drainage facilities or any adjacent properties. Soil piles must be bermed or covered with plastic or similar materials until the soil is either used or removed from the site. If the BMPs are not in place, City inspection staff will not allow any further construction or further grading until the end of the rainy season, and Code Enforcement will be notified. For more information, see the bulletin.
MANDATORY WATER USE RESTRICTIONS IN EFFECT DUE TO DROUGHT
Despite the recent rains, drought conditions continue statewide. The Los Angeles County Waterworks Districts' (LACWD) mandatory water use restrictions remain in effect for communities including the City of Malibu, which is served by Waterworks District 29. LACWD asks all customers to cut back their water usage by 30%. Outdoor and lawn watering is restricted to two days a week based on address numbering and property type:
- Tuesdays and Fridays = residential even number
- Mondays and Thursdays = residential odd number
- Mondays and Fridays = commercial
- 10 minutes per station maximum
- Only allowed between 6:00 PM and 10:00 AM
Separately, the City of Malibu also prohibits spray irrigation between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM, and prohibits any landscape irrigation within 48 hours of significant rainfall. See all of the City’s water conservation rules. See the complete list of LACWD water use restrictions at: LACWaterworks.org.
WATER CONSERVATION REBATES AND RESOURCES
Residents and businesses are urged to make use of the many rebates and resources available to help save money and water. Malibu residents and businesses can apply for a cash rebate to remove grass lawns of $5 per square foot (up to 5,000 square feet or $25,000 total). Other rebates for Malibu residents include water-saving toilets, laundry machines, sprinkler nozzles, rain barrels and cisterns, weather-based irrigation controllers and soil moisture sensor systems. Rebates and resources for commercial customers include water-saving devices, the Water Savings Incentive Program, the Onsite Retrofit Program, and the Public Agency Turf Replacement and Project Assistance Program. All of the rebates are listed on the Socal Water Smart website.
ARTS, CULTURE & RECREATION
(NEW) RECREATION GUIDE AND CITY NEWSLETTER highlights spring programs
The Spring Recreation Guide and City Newsletter is available online and will be mailed to residents February 6. Residents can find information for upcoming spring programs offered March through May, including Afterschool Programs, Aquatics, Outdoor Recreation at Charmlee Wilderness Park, Parent and Me Programs, Senior Programs and Excursions, Spring Break Surf and Skate Camp, and the 23rd Annual Chumash Day Native American Powwow and Intertribal Gathering. See the guide on the Community Services Department webpage.
(NEW) YOUTH COMMISSION RECRUITMENT FOR 2023-2024 APPOINTMENT YEAR
The Harry Barovsky Memorial Youth Commission application period is open through March 31, 2023, for students in grades 7 to 12 during the 2023-2024 school year. Commissioners provide recommendations to the City Council regarding youth programs and projects and gain experience in leadership, public speaking, environmental stewardship, and community service. For information or to apply, visit the Youth Commission webpage or contact Recreation Coordinator Amanda Rigali at 310-456-2489, ext. 252. https://malibucity.org/178/Harry-Barovsky-Memorial-Youth-Commission
(NEW) STUDENT ART EXHIBIT AT MALIBU CITY GALLERY OPENS FEBRUARY 6
The 2023 Student Art Exhibit featuring original works by students in grades K-12 from Malibu Elementary School, Webster Elementary School, Malibu Middle School, Malibu High School, and Our Lady of Malibu will be on display at the Malibu City Gallery February 6 through March 3. The Malibu City Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM, on the lower level of Malibu City Hall (located at 23825 Stuart Ranch Road). Registration or tickets are not needed. For more information, visit the Student Art Exhibit webpage.
(NEW) PARK TALES, FEBRUARY 9
Kids 5 and under are invited to the City's fun, educational Park Tales, Thursday, February 9, 10:00 AM at Malibu Bluffs Park. The event theme is "Let's Go Fly a Kite," and features stories read by the Malibu Library Children's Librarian, an art activity, and a complimentary snack. For more information or to register for the event, visit the webpage.
(NEW) LIBRARY SPEAKER SERIES WITH HARLAN LEBO, FEBRUARY 28
The 2023 Malibu Library Speaker Series continues with Harlan Lebo, author of "Citizen Kane: A Filmmaker's Journey," a movie-lovers history of the trail, tribulations, and triumphs behind the making of Citizen Kane, Tuesday, February 28, 7:00 PM at the Malibu Library. Lebo has written books about "The Godfather" and "Casablanca" and writes about cultural history, science, the humanities, society, and the impact of digital technology. Space is limited for this free event, so RSVPs are required on the webpage or by calling the Malibu Library at 310-456-6438.
DIAL-A-RIDE TRANSPORTATION FOR RESIDENTS AGE 60 AND OLDER
Dial-A-Ride is a valuable, low-cost transit service to help Malibu residents 60 and older and people living with disabilities. Shared-ride transportation helps residents get to and from doctor appointments, grocery stores, the Senior Center, and other healthcare facilities outside the City limits. All riders must register and meet eligibility requirements. Contact the Malibu Senior Center at 310-456-2489, ext. 363, or visit the Senior Center webpage for details.
MALIBU BLUFFS PARK MULTIPURPOSE FIELD CLOSED FOR REST AND RENOVATION through FEBRUARY 6
The Multipurpose Field at Malibu Bluffs Park will be closed for turf renovation and restoration in preparation for the spring season Monday, December 12 through Monday, February 6. The rest and renovation play an essential part in keeping the field safe and playable throughout the year. The park's other facilities will remain open. For information on recreation programs and facilities, visit the webpage or call 310-317-1364.
NIGHTIME LANE CLOSURES ON PCH FROM BIG ROCK TO TUNA CANYON JANUARY 23 – MARCH 23
The right northbound and southbound lanes of PCH will be closed from Big Rock Drive to Tuna Canyon Road weekdays, 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM, January 23 to approximately March 23 for Southern California Gas Company gas line repair work. The work is required to enable Caltrans to proceed with slope restoration work on the coastal side of PCH south of Big Rock Drive. Crews will replace and relocate two steel gas lines, requiring digging a trench that will be covered by a steel plate during the day. Some daytime work may be required. Residents and businesses near the work site may notice noise, vibrations and dust. Be sure to check Quickmaps, LA County Public Works road closures map or other apps or websites for traffic information before getting on the road.
OUTREACH & FEEDBACK
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 SMcClary@MalibuCity.org.
See Past City Manager Updates