Mayor Pro-Tem Pierson Pushes Out Pro-Preservation Planning Commissioner – Will A Pro-Development Candidate Take His Place?

*This article was updated at 2:04 a.m. 2/24/20

Mayor Pro-Team Mikke Pierson pulled a fast one after Monday night’s Planning Commission meeting removing pro-preservation Planning Commissioner Kraig Hill from his position.

Hill, placed on the Commission by Pierson in early 2019, was asked to serve and support the majority commission who has been successful holding City staff accountable for their obvious, continuous rule-bending and favoritism extended to developers special interests. However, it seems Pierson has changed his focus for his choice for commissioner

In a statement released Wednesday Hill said: “I was let go as Planning Commissioner by Mikke Pierson after our Monday night meeting, for doing my job too well. I had thought the job was to read the planning codes and make sure they’re applied correctly, not to bend the rules just because someone bent them before, to make certain people happy.”

Who are the “certain people” Hill is referring is to? In this case, Architect Doug Burdge. Mayor Pro-Tem Pierson supported Burdge’s project, even with the knowledge as a former planning commissioner, passing the project violated the “2/3 Rule” in the planning code.

A Doug Burdge project overlooking Zuma Bluffs

“Had the Commission voted “yes” the way Mikke wanted, it would have allowed a structure substantially larger than what’s allowed under the code approved by both the City Council and the Coastal Commission.” Hill said in his open letter to the community. “Ironically, this project was exactly the sort that he instructed me to reject when he appointed me to the Planning Commission.”

Pierson’s close ties to former Council member Laura Rosenthal and her developer/special interests relationships screams a strategy of political posturing and strategic planning to replace Hill with a pro-development candidate potentially running in the November election for Malibu City Council.

When I asked Pierson if that was his intent, he denied the strategy, however, actions speak louder than words. To pull a very qualified and passionate community member like Hill from the commission, because of his unwillingness to disregard planning code for a developer, sends a very clear message: Money talks, council listens. 



Cece Woods

The Current Report Editor in Chief Cece Woods started The Local Malibu, an activism based platform in 2014. The publication was instrumental in the success of pro-preservation ballot measures and seating five top vote-getters in the Malibu City Council elections.

During the summer of 2018, Woods exposed the two-year law enforcement cover-up in the Malibu Creek State Park Shootings, and a few short months later provided the most comprehensive local news coverage during the Woolsey Fire attracting over one million hits across her social media platforms.

Since 2020, Woods was the only journalist reporting on the on-going public corruption involving former L.A. Metro CEO Phil Washington. Woods worked with Political Corruption expert Adam Loew, DC Watchdog organizations and leaders in the Capitol exposing Washington which ultimately led to the withdrawal of his nomination to head the FAA.

Woods also founded Malibu based 90265 Magazine and Cali Mag devoted to the authentic southern California lifestyle.

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