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The Areas of Special Biological Significance (ASBS) are coastal areas designated by the State of California where fragile biological and marine communities must be protected. Malibu is adjacent to ASBS No. 24 (designated in 1974), which stretches from Latigo Point to Laguna Point. The regulations set forth by the State to protect these coastal habitats are intended to maintain natural water quality standards by preventing pollution from entering the ASBS.
No. However, residents may not allow fluids to runoff of their property because the runoff can enter the storm drain system or deposit pollution on the street that will be carried to the ocean with the next rain. These runoff restrictions derive from the requirements in the Federal Clean Water Act, the California Water Code Section 13000 et. seq., the California Ocean Plan, and the Los Angeles Region Water Quality Control Plan (also referred to as the Basin Plan).
These regulations are implemented locally through Malibu's Municipal Code (MMC), including the following sections:
The requirements for new landscaping can be found in MMC Section 9.22.090, Landscape water conservation design standards.
Living next to the majestic Pacific Ocean comes with a price and, in Malibu, everyone is obligated to do their part to protect the ocean and its fragile marine communities. The key to eliminating runoff is preventing water from leaving your property and flowing into the street. If water is leaving your property, the first step is to locate the water's source. The most common sources of runoff are over-irrigation, car washing, and hosing down sidewalks or driveways, but runoff can also come from broken pipes, greywater connections or pool backwash, among other things. Once the source of the runoff is determined, you can assess the best remedy for the problem.
The State Water Resources Control Board adopted a plan (officially "Special Protections") on March 20, 2012, which provides more detail on how the waste discharge prohibition is to be applied in local communities. These protections specify what concrete actions must be taken to protect California's ASBS.
The protections require the elimination of nearly all non-stormwater discharges to the ASBS. The City applied for and received two grants from the State to install structural Best Management Practices (BMP), structural facilities that can catch and treat polluted runoff before reaching the ASBS. In 2015, the City completed installation of structural BMPs at storm drains on Wildlife Rd and Whitesands Pl in Point Dume, and along Broad Beach Rd. The structural BMPs will improve the water quality of stormwater runoff that drains to those catch basins, which will complement residents' efforts to stop non-stormwater runoff and comply with the Special Protections. The grant also funded the City's Coastal Preservation Specialist position, a two-year staff position dedicated to conducting ASBS education and outreach with the Malibu community. A permanent Environmental Programs Specialist position was added to City staff upon the conclusion of the two-year, grant-funded term.
The California Ocean Plan, adopted by the State Water Resources Control Board, prohibits waste discharges into the ASBS. One way waste is discharged to the ASBS is through pipes that drain directly to the ASBS; another way is through dry-weather runoff (runoff not from precipitation) that flows over the land and eventually drains to the ocean. Runoff, no matter where it starts, may pick up pollutants as it flows over impervious surfaces. That polluted water eventually drains to the ocean through storm drains or natural streams and creeks. This runoff may harm the fragile biological and marine communities, which is why the State prohibits "waste" discharges into the ASBS and why best management practices (BMPs) must be used to prevent such discharges.
The City of Malibu does NOT allow BBQs, open fires, or smoking at any of its parks or facilities. State Beaches
Malibu does have a designated dog park area located in Trancas Canyon Park.
A property owner who violates the Prohibition and continues to discharge wastewater to an OWTS could be subject to individual orders from the RWQCB. These orders could range from a mandate to convert septic tanks to sewage holding tanks (with associated truck hauling of the stored flow) to fines of up to $10,000 per day for large volume, high impacting discharges.
The RWQCB and SWRCB provided a compliance mechanism via a 2011 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that the City is currently following. If property owners had rejected this approved option (such as through a negative vote on assessment district formation), the consequences would have been imposed by the RWQCB on the individual property owners within the Prohibition Zone, not the City of Malibu.
More details about the Basin Plan Amendment and the State’s proceedings to establish the prohibition can be found on the City’s website at: www.malibucity.org/index.aspx?NID=263 and on the SWRCB website at: http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/rwqcb4/water_issues/programs/basin_plan/index.shtml
Property owners may direct their concerns about the credible scientific basis used in the findings for the Prohibition to the Regional Water Quality Control Board and the State Water Resources Control Board. The Prohibition is a state law, not a local law.
The City studies disagree with some of the Regional Board’s findings and partially agree with others. It was through the City’s effort that a phasing plan was incorporated into the MOU that will evaluate the results of additional water quality monitoring before initiating Phase 3.
• The site has sufficient land area to locate treatment facilities for all Phases of the Prohibitionorder. The treatment plant ‘footprint’ for all three phases is approximately 2.5 acres.• The site overlays the Winter Canyon groundwater basin, which is distinct from the Malibu Valley Groundwater Basin underlying the rest of the Civic Center. This adds needed disposal capacity for the project by allowing some of the fully treated water to be disposed of on the treatment plant site itself, rather than just through recycled water use and deep well injection in the Malibu Valley Groundwater Basin.• The proposed use is similar to what is existing on the site, but will be state of the art technology, odor-scrubbed, and visually screened.• The site is located outside the 100-year flood zone, avoiding the cost of flood-proofing the treatment facilities.• The site has a willing seller.
Other sites were considered including the Wave property, the La Paz Development site, and Legacy Park. However, these sites did not provide the combination of advantages listed above.
The new facility will replace four aging wastewater systems (the Webster Elementary OWTS, Our Lady of Malibu OWTS, Malibu Colony Shopping Center treatment plant, and County-operated plant at Vista Pacifica St) that serve the two schools and the multifamily residences across from the site. Faculty, students, and residents have complained of odors and daylighting of sewage from failing systems for years. The RWQCB notified the schools that they must meet new water quality standards because of either failing or inadequate treatment in the aging onsite systems.
The new facility will have state of the art wastewater treatment equipment that will be fully covered, or enclosed within buildings. All treatment facilities will include full odor control. None of the four existing treatment systems in the vicinity have these features. The treatment facility will have an increased factor of safety because standby equipment and standby power will be built into the treatment systems to allow uninterrupted treatment in the event of equipment or power failure. This degree of safety is not provided by the existing treatment facilities in the area.
The treatment facility will be further away from the school and local residences than the County treatment plant, which is not odor scrubbed, is not fully enclosed or covered, and provides little visual screening of its process tanks.
The closest example of a treatment plant being sited in this type of location is the County treatment plant, which treats flow from the nearby condominiums. As stated previously, this plant is closer to the condominiums than the proposed new treatment plant. Los Angeles’ Hyperion wastewater treatment plant, which treats 800 times the projected flow of the Malibu plant, is within 400 feet of residential structures.
While the treatment plant property will be visible from properties across the street, views over the plant site will greatly improve. The unkempt current appearance of the site will be replaced with new onsite buildings that will be architecturally treated with a neutral rural style that is compatible with the site and surrounding area. Equipment has been sited underground whenever possible, and the existing four large white vertical tanks will be removed.
Extensive landscape screening will be used to hide above-ground equipment and the new treatment buildings from views across the street, and will be properly maintained for a neat appearance. The City acknowledges that it will take some time for newly planted foliage to substantially screen the project, but is committed to making the design as compatible as possible with the surrounding area.
- Malibu Colony Plaza – 55 total violations- Malibu Water Pollution Control Plant – 644 violations
It should be noted that the totals include a variety of violation types, such as late or missing submittals, reported parameters, discharge violations, etc.
Furthermore, the potential loss of two public parking spaces, if needed, would be more than offset by the addition of more than 100 parking spaces when nearby Legacy Park was constructed.
Maximizing reuse of recycled water is one of the project objectives. Although availability of 10 million gallons of storage would allow for maximum reuse of the recycled water produced by the treatment facility, maximized reuse is not feasible and not needed to make the project ‘work.’ Extensive field testing and modeling of the groundwater basin indicate that there is sufficient injection capacity to dispose of the total volume of effluent from all phases of the project, assuming zero recycled water use.
The siting difficulties and expense of providing 10 million gallons of storage would jeopardize the feasibility of the project, and is not an essential part of the project. Therefore, it is not a recommended project component.
When the project moves into Phase 2 (or when it moves into Phase 3), additional recycled water storage may be considered, but would only be implemented if acceptable sites are found in proximity to areas that would use the recycled water. This may require additional environmental (i.e., CEQA) documentation, depending on the site sizes, locations, etc.
Phase 1 was designed, and is being implemented, so that the infrastructure necessary to operate Phase 1 is fully constructed. The Phase 1 owners will shoulder the costs of the entire plant for several years until a future phase is constructed.
Property owners in Phase 2 and Phase 3 will be assessed for costs related only to collection, treatment, and management of wastewater that their individual parcel(s) produce(s).
Phase 1 includes some treatment equipment and processing tanks that will eventually benefit Phases 2 and 3. If, and when, subsequent phases are implemented, a reimbursement formula will be calculated by a qualified assessment engineer to allow a cost sharing that results in all property owners, from all phases, paying for only their prorated share of total facilities.
However, the opportunity to reduce dependence on dwindling imported potable water supplies affords Malibu a resource that will be maximized to the extent feasible. If Serra Canyon does not want recycled water, expanded use opportunities west of the Civic Center would be accelerated.
• Along the length of Civic Center Way, between Cross Creek Rd and Malibu Canyon Rd• Along public portions of Cross Creek Rd, between Pacific Coast Hwy and approximately 3661 Cross Creek Rd. In Phase 1, no pipelines will extend beyond the private gates of Serra Canyon.• Along Malibu Rd, west from Webb Way to the end of the Malibu Creek Plaza (Ralphs shopping center) property• Along Stuart Ranch Rd, from City Hall south to where it becomes Webb Way, where it continues to the point where Webb Way reaches Malibu Rd• Along Malibu Canyon Rd, extending from Bluffs Park north to Civic Center Way• Along Winter Canyon Rd to Our Lady of Malibu Church and School
The City has not been provided a copy of the Serra property owners’ commissioned study report and cannot comment on whether the study was conducted using standards that will be accepted by the Regional Board with respect to quality assurance protocol used for studies of this type.
It should be noted that FEMA’s maps do not show the re-contouring of elevations at Legacy Park, and, therefore, show much of the park within the 100-year flood zone. However, many areas of the park are currently above the 100-year flood elevations, and the pump station facilities are located in these areas.
The project includes backup power generators for the pump stations and treatment plant to allow continued operation in the event that an earthquake disrupts electric power supply to the facilities.
With regard to spills and flow backups at the plant site, onsite spills drain to a system that conveys flow back into the plant for treatment.
Water Pollution Hotline: 310-359-8003
Examples of prohibited activities include:• Sewage discharges onto the ground, into storm drains, or surface waters (creeks and oceans) • Overflowing onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTS, also known as septic systems) • Septic or greywater (soapy water from washing machines or car washing) flowing towards storm drains or surface waters • Pollution entering storm drains or surface waters • Contamination to creeks, lagoons, or the ocean • Dry-weather discharge from pipes • Dumping into drains and/or surface waters • Construction site soil or debris entering the streets, storm drains, or surface waters • Polluted runoff from construction storage or leaking dumpsters
You can also notify the City of suspected violations by filing an Online Pollution Report.
If you are unable to resolve the problem with your neighbor, you may submit an Animal Noise Complaint form with Los Angeles County Animal Care and Control at AnimalCare.LAcounty.gov.
You may wash your car if the hose is fitted with a shut-off nozzle and if all water runoff is absorbed by landscaping on the property where the vehicle is washed. Car washing cannot cause runoff into or upon any street, drainage ditch, storm drain, flood control channel, or drainage leading to creeks or ocean.
Mobile car wash companies must use a mat or containment system that prevents water runoff and captures water for reclamation and reuse in car washing, or for disposal at a permitted facility that recycles water.
Water waste may be reported at www.malibucity.org/waterwaster or by calling One-Call-to-City-Hall after hours at 310-456-2589, ext. 311. Your identity will be kept confidential when a report is submitted by phone or online.
Residents and businesses may conduct an easy self-audit but may also request a free water audit from water retailer Los Angeles County Waterworks District 29 by sending a request for a water audit to email@example.com. There are also easy and practical water saving measures, including using water efficient hardware which is often eligible for rebates. See www.malibucity.org/rebates for more information on rebates.
There are many lists and resources available online for California native plants and drought tolerant plants. Find resources at www.malibucity.org/OFG.
There are a number of rebates available including for high efficiency washing machines, weather-based irrigation controllers, rotary sprinkler nozzles, rain barrels, cisterns, and more. For information on rebate and incentive programs visit www.socalwatersmart.com.
Any person who is at least 18 years of age on Election Day, a citizen of the United States, or a naturalized citizen, and a resident of the City of Malibu can register to vote with the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk by filling out a Voter Registration Form. If you move, change your name, or wish to change your political party affiliation, you must re-register to vote. You must be registered to vote at least 15 days before an election to be eligible to vote in that election. (NOTE: AB 1436 may allow registration up to and including the date of election if certain requirements are met.) Registration Forms are available at Malibu City Hall, all US Post Offices, or online at
If an elected official moves his or her place of residence outside of the City limits or ceases to be an elector of the City during his or her term of office, the office of that elected official shall immediately become vacant. (California Government Code ["G.C."] §36502.)
No. The governing body has the discretion to establish a filing fee, but the City of Malibu has not done so. The City provides equal opportunity for all candidates to fully participate by not charging a filing fee.
Any registered voter in the jurisdiction, the City of Malibu, may sign a nomination paper. This includes the candidate and/or the circulator. Each seat on the governing board is a separate office. A voter may sign the nomination papers of as many persons as there are persons to be elected to office. A nomination paper must contain at least 20, but not more than 30 signatures. A minimum of 20 must be verified for your nomination to be valid.
Yes. The fee covers the cost of printing your statement in the Sample Ballot. The total deposit required for your statement is $418. Should the actual cost be less than the deposit, the difference will be refunded. Should the actual cost be more than the deposit, a bill for the difference will be mailed to you.
Election office hours in the City Clerk’s Office are 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Thursday, and Friday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The office is closed for lunch between 1:00 PM and 2:30 PM daily. In an effort to ensure that all candidates obtain and submit required documentation, it is highly encouraged for candidates to make an appointment with the City Clerk’s Office.
City of Malibu elections are consolidated with the County of Los Angeles. The City Clerk, as the City's Elections Official, assists candidates in meeting their legal responsibilities before, during, and after an election. From election pre-planning to the certification of official election results from Los Angeles County, and filing of final campaign disclosure documents, the City Clerk manages the process that forms the foundation of our democratic system of government.
To determine your polling place or to obtain voter information, visit the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk website at:
You may withdraw as a candidate at any time prior to the close of the nomination period. After that date, you may not withdraw, and your name will appear on the ballot.
No. Check your candidate’s statement carefully before submitting it, as it will be printed exactly as submitted.
The City of Malibu utilizes OnBase, a specialized software product that allows for the scanning and storage of City documents, as well as easy access to those documents by City staff and the public.
You can report flows into the storm drain system (or onto any public street) online or call 310-456-CITY (456-2489) ext. 311.
Find a City Registered Inspector or other registered practitioners such as Designers, Maintenance providers and Installers.
A septic system is an on-site method of sewage treatment and disposal utilizing a treatment tank and subsurface disposal. Also known as Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (OWTS).
There are two main types of onsite wastewater treatment systems - conventional and advanced. Conventional systems include a primary tank and distribution of effluent from the tank to the dispersal area. Advanced systems incorporate treatment tanks with devices and disinfection which treats wastewater to a higher degree than conventional systems.
An upgrade of the OWTS may be required for any alteration, modification, remodel, or repair of any structure on the property that involves the addition of bedroom equivalents or plumbing fixture units which increases the wastewater load to the existing OWTS. In addition, an upgrade may be required for any modification to an existing onsite wastewater treatment system (septic system or an inspection of the OWTS shows that the system is failing, an upgrade may be required to protect the environment, and public health.
All onsite wastewater treatment systems (septic systems) in the City of Malibu need to have proper permitting to ensure they comply with building standards and environmental protection. The purpose of an Operating Permit is to monitor, identify and remedy systems determined to be in failure through an Operating Permit program.The City shall issue an operating permits when:1. Prior to a purchase or change in ownership2. Repair, modification, replacement, and/or upgrade3. Construction of new onsite wastewater treatment system4. Failing system
Email Wastewater Management Program Analyst or call 310-456-2489, ext. 282
Environmental Health forms and fees are available online.
For any new OWTS in Malibu, a coastal development permit (CDP) from the Planning Department is required. A list of City Registered OWTS Designers is available online.
In 2010, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board adopted Resolution No. R-4-2009-007, a Basin Plan Amendment to the State Water Code to
“Prohibit On-Site Wastewater Disposal Systems in the Malibu Civic Center Area.” The City's Policy for Environmental Health Review of Development Projects within the Civic Center Prohibition Area includes the boundaries of the prohibition area (Exhibit A).
View 2017-2018 permitted hauler list valid through June 30.
Household Hazardous Waste includes paints, stains, varnishes, solvents, pesticides, antifreeze, transmission fluids, oil filters, cleaning supplies, drain openers, nail polish remover, batteries, pool chemicals, smoke detectors, medications, and other materials or products containing volatile chemicals that can catch fire, react or explode, or that are corrosive or toxic.
Electronic waste includes computers, monitors, televisions, cell phones, printers, fax machines and keyboards. Certain components of some electronic products contain materials that render them hazardous, depending on their condition and density.
Malibu hosts HHW/E-Waste roundups on a bimonthly basis at City Hall. Free collection events hosted by Calabasas and Agoura Hills are also open to residents.
The schedule of LA County's larger HHW collection events is available at www.CleanLa.com.
Residents can bring the following items. Remember that transportation laws only allow 15 gallons or 125 pounds of hazardous waste per trip.
Anti-freezeAutomotive and household batteriesCompact fluorescent light bulbs (unbroken)ElectronicsLatex paintMotor oil and filters
Universal wastes are common household wastes considered hazardous that should be recycled and properly disposed of, usually items such as batteries, thermostats, and obsolete pesticides. Each Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulb and fluorescent tube contains a small amount of mercury. Dry-cell batteries (alkaline, button cells, rechargeable) contain many potentially hazardous compounds, such as mercury, cadmium, nickel, lead, zinc, silver, manganese, and alkalines. Mercury thermostatsare also subject to special disposal requirements.
The law is in effect now. The ordinance's effective date is April 27, 2017.
The ordinance applies to any retail establishment, grocery store, restaurant, pharmacy, vendor or non-profit vendor doing business within city limits.
Malibu stores must comply with the requirements of the City of Malibu Plastic Bag Ordinance, as the state law does not preempt or take precedence over city or county ordinances adopted prior to September 1, 2014.
The purpose of the ban is to reduce plastic debris in our creeks and ocean, protect aquatic life, and lessen the economic impact of litter abatement. Plastic bags, bio-based (such as corn or polylactic acid), biodegradable, and compostable plastic bags cause litter and dispersal concerns, and can harm wildlife.The Recycled Paper Bags Cost Pass-Through fee is intended to provide a disincentive to customers to use single-use paper bags and to promote the shift to reusable bags.
Yes. All reusable grocery bags must be certified as meeting requirements set out in the statute. The requirements vary based upon the kind of material used to make the bags. A reusable grocery bag must:
Cities, counties, and the State of California enforce the bag ban. The City is committed to conducting education and outreach to businesses to ensure a smooth transition to safer alternatives. Penalties for non-compliance will be issued as a last resort and may result in fines.
The law is in effect now. The ordinance's effective date is January 1, 2017.
The ordinance applies to anyone who sells or distributes food ware, packing materials, and other specified products.
The ordinance bans the sale or distribution of the following products made, in whole or in part, from polystyrene foam:
* Unless they are wholly encased within a more durable material
Polystyrene foam is extruded, blown or expanded polystyrene (EPS). It is a thermoplastic petrochemical material made with styrene. It is usually white and often used for packaging, such as loose fill packaging “peanuts” or blocks, and food ware.
Packing materials and disposable food ware sold or distributed in Malibu must be compostable or recyclable. Examples include those made with paper, cardboard, molded or rigid pulp or plastic, or certified compostable starch “peanuts”, loose fill or foam. Examples of products not compostable or recyclable include those made with polyurethane or polyethylene foam, or metallized film or paper.
Restricting the use of polystyrene foam and requiring it to be replaced with less hazardous, compostable, or readily recyclable products will further protect the public health and safety of Malibu’s residents, as well as its natural environment, waterways, and wildlife.
Polystyrene foam is one of the most commonly found plastic items on beaches and inland creeks, often breaks down into smaller pieces, making it more challenging to recover, and is easily ingested by wildlife. Polystyrene foam does not biodegrade in the environment and may persist for hundreds of years. It is a pollutant that breaks down into smaller pieces that are often mistaken for fish eggs by seabirds and other marine life. Unlike harder plastics, polystyrene contains a chemical used in the production process called “styrene” that is metabolized after ingestion and contaminates the food chain, including humans who consume contaminated marine wildlife.
Malibu food service providers are already prohibited, under Malibu Municipal Code Chapter 9.24, from using polystyrene foam food containers, and this ordinance extends such prohibition to the sale and distribution of food ware and additional products in the city, where there are acceptable alternatives.
Since 2005, Malibu has had a ban on polystyrene foam food ware for food prepared and served in the city, which has successfully reduced polystyrene litter. However, remaining polystyrene foam is still having a negative impact on the environment in that it is easily transported by wind and water, does not biodegrade, and is ingested by wildlife. This ordinance expands on the success of the food service ware ban in reducing polystyrene foam use and litter.
The City Manager is responsible for enforcement of the ordinance. The City is committed to conducting education and outreach to businesses to ensure a smooth transition to safer alternatives. Penalties for non-compliance will be issued as a last resort and may result in fines.
The City Manager may waive provisions of the ordinance in the following circumstances:
Requests for waivers must be submitted on a written application on a form approved by the City Manager. In no case shall a waiver be retroactive or continue past January 1, 2020.
Polystyrene foam packaging and food service ware cannot be recycled through Malibu’s recycling (blue bin) collection program as it can break into small pieces that are too difficult to handle. Polystyrene foam is otherwise difficult, uneconomical or impossible to recycle, especially if food soiled, and is not compostable. The City supports Sustainable Surf's Waste to Waves Program by hosting several events annually. White block foam is collected and recycled into surfboard blanks. To receive event reminders by email or text, sign up for the Environmental Programs Calendar with the City’s Notify Me system.
- If you have personal photos you want to use to show a foliage owner the view you had in the past and would like to “restore,” then you follow the View Restoration process.- If you obtained a Primary View Determination from the City to document your view, and this view has been impaired by the growth of trees and foliage, you would “preserve” your documented view through the View Preservation process.
The View Preservation process also allows a party to obtain a View Preservation Permit, which can be enforced pursuant to the penalty provisions of MMC 17.45.080 or pursuant to a private right of action to require compliance with the permit. If, through such an action to enforce the permit, the terms of the permit cannot be reopened, the court will only decide whether there is a violation of the permit.
View Restoration can only be enforced through a private right of action if the parties are unable to reach agreement. In such an action, an advisory opinion from the City can be considered by the court, and should be given deference, but it is not binding on the view issues. View Preservation & View Restoration webpage
Once an agreement has been reached, you (as the view owner/claimant) can apply for a View Preservation Permit from the Planning Director to memorialize the agreement for future use. (See Step 5 under View Preservation) View Preservation webpage