Measure R May Be Down… But Not Out

Malibu City Attorney Christi Hogin reported from a July 10 City Council meeting that in a closed session meeting prior to the regularly scheduled meeting, there had been one reported action involving the case of The Park at Cross Creek and the Malibu Bay Company versus the City of Malibu involving the citizen initiative Measure R . The Council voted unanimously to seek a petition in the Supreme Court to review the decision by the Court of Appeals. The decision cast quite a shadow over the regulation of chain stores and restricts the ability of voters to control planning in a new and different way, so we will ask the Supreme Court to look at those two things.”

With only a meager city budget allocated up to $75,000 for efforts to appeal Measure R, the city has spent just over $55,000 on the appeal. Christi Hogin and her law firm will not object to draining the city of the last of those remaining taxpayer funded allocations, but another judicial loss will not be a feather in her law cap.

While Malibu citizens voted in a landslide to enact Measure R in 2014 , Ex Police Commissioner and developer Steve Soboroff filed suit in a Court of Appeals to challenge the measure’s constitutional merits only to be agreed on by one of his LA City Hall golfing acquaintances, Superior Court of California Judge James Chalfant,in December 2015.

Although out of town developer Steve Soboroff now has the right to break ground and build his unwanted shopping mall in the heart of the Civic Center ,(that he hopes will draw out of towners to a sea side shopping destination),he could be taking a risk if the Supreme Court agrees with the will of the people’s rights to control and restrict unwanted or unneeded commercial gentrification. Soboroff could be ordered to cease and desist or go back to planning for changes of his multi million dollar investment. Question is, will he gamble and break ground before the Supreme Court has the final word?

Steve Soboroff’s shopping mall project plans and deceptive campaign tactics to defeat Measure R have not been well received by many of us in this community who resent his desire to enrich himself while knowing that his unwanted shopping mall will further increase our traffic gridlock nightmares and erode our quality of life so that non residents can have a ‘Rodeo Drive’ Shopping Mall Destination by the Sea .

Although some legal experts don’t give high hopes for the measure to succeed, we have seen in recent national news that Supreme Courts continue to have a history of overturning lower court decisions.

Soboroff could be ordered to cease and desist or go back to planning for changes of his multi million dollar investment. Question is, will he gamble and break ground before the Supreme Court has the final word?

During public comments, two long time adversaries spoke. Realtor Paul Grisanti chastised the council for wasting valuable city funds to defend Measure R, while long time local and lawyer Ted Vail congratulated the council’s unanimous decision to defend the measure.

He said this case is not only important to Malibu, but it is also important to dozens of other cities like Del Mar, Ojai, Coronado, Solvang, Carmel ,Calistoga, Pacific Grove, Sausalito and San Juan Bautista, that have adopted similar ordinances in order to preserve its small town character from overdeveloped generic commercialism. If this case were to lose in the Supreme Court, other cities could lose their ability maintain the communities desire to shape local planning or place limits and restrictions that would other wise erode small town charm into generic urban blight.Ted said that these other cities could be in trouble and recommended other cities like Del Mar to file an Amicus Brief, which can expand the significance of the appellate court decision. The Supreme Court tends to look at a bigger picture and not only reviews policy but examines precedents that have been set by other cities.

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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