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Posted on: September 11, 2023

Development Services Review Report Presented to Malibu City Council

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Development Services Review Report Presented to Malibu City Council

A report detailing 46 recommendations for improving the City of Malibu’s development services was presented at the August 28, 2023 Council meeting.

The City hired a consultant last year to conduct a Comprehensive Development Services Review in an effort to improve the City's development services and operations. 

Coming out of the Woolsey Fire and the pandemic, it has been clear that the City’s development services processes are far from smooth, leading to significant frustration and complaints from all involved. Due to these concerns, the City is looking to make changes in a cohesive and holistic approach. The City had put out a Request for Proposals (RFP) and hired Baker Tilly US, LLP as the consultant to perform the study. 

The consultant conducted a comprehensive organization assessment, which focused on how the three City Departments principally involved in permitting processes deliver development services. This included a review of organization structures, staffing, policies and regulations, customer service, and the management system used to oversee functions related to the development process. 

The review also considered the role and effectiveness of the Planning Commission as well as an assessment of customer service. The consultant’s report stated that, while there are challenges in Malibu that require key changes in the organization, as well as an additional investment in staff and resources, the core process (workflow) in Malibu is typical of cities with high-performing development review processes. 

 According to the report, the problems with the development process in Malibu are instead rooted in three areas: 

  • Policies and Regulations: A lack of clear and consistent policies and regulations that make project review more difficult and time consuming and result in varying outcomes; 
  • Staffing Resources: Insufficient staffing resources that constrain the City’s capacity to handle the workload; and
  • Management System: Missing components and other challenges with the management system (i.e., the interrelated tools, techniques, approaches, and methods used to manage operations), which constrain the organization’s ability to monitor and manage the development process effectively. 

The report discusses these issues in detail and provides 46 recommendations designed to address them. 

The complete report from the consultant is available to review in the staff report

Video of the presentation to the City Council is available to view online (clip starts at 3:50:55).

Baker Tilly US, LLP will provide the City Manager with an implementation action plan in coming weeks, with further details to be announced when they become available. 

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