City of Malibu Statement On Malibu Triathlon Permitting
During the September 18, 2023 Planning Commission meeting, the City of Malibu Planning Commission considered the appeal filed by the Race Director for the Malibu Triathlon/Super League Triathlon of the City Planning Director’s denial of the Temporary Use Permit (TUP) for the race.
After consideration of the item, the Commission voted 2-2, a deadlock, on the appeal of the Planning Director’s denial of the TUP. As a result of the vote, the Planning Director’s denial of the TUP stands. The event organizers are expected to file an appeal today (September 19), which would be able to be heard by the City Council during their September 25 Regular Meeting. If the appeal is filed, the staff report, and viewing and commenting instructions for that item will be posted in advance of the September 25 Council meeting at: www.malibucity.org/agendacenter. (The September 25 agenda is already posted and would be amended if an appeal is filed).
The originally proposed race route went through the Zuma Creek underpass (from Busch Drive off of Pacific Coast Highway). The underpass has been closed since March due to buildup of debris and flooding from the heavy rains over the winter. With the additional rain from the tropical storm in August, Zuma Creek is still flowing into the ocean, which is highly unusual this time of year. The U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife has identified an endangered fish species in the flooded area and will not allow the use of a temporary bridge crossing, which has been used in prior years when moderate flooding occurred.
Unfortunately, an adequate racecourse design was not provided to the City in time for both the public noticing and decision that are required under the City’s Municipal Code. This left the City Planning Director no alternative but to deny the TUP.
The Triathlon organizers have proposed a revised racecourse plan with a smaller footprint which would not go through the Zuma Creek underpass, which would be considered by the City Council on September 25 if the appeal is filed. During the September 18 Planning Commission meeting, the City Public Works Director stated that the revised route proposed by the organizer would provide a safe route.
The City recognizes the benefits of the Malibu Triathlon’s charitable fundraising efforts. However, the City must adhere to its own codes and policies, which are in place to ensure the safety of the community and the event’s participants and spectators.
For more details, see the staff report: https://www.malibucity.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/6269?fileID=53822.