Malibu Architecture + Design

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    Why it's so difficult to build in Malibu

    Lester Tobias
    Sep 25, '13 9:44 PM EST

    Here is a link to the Malibu Local Coastal  Program Land Use Plan, adopted by the California Coastal Commission for the City of Malibu in 2002. It is a 128-page document that basically sets the ground rules for development in Malibu. The Malibu Local Implementation Plan (LIP) is the actual code that all architects, developers and builders in Malibu must follow in order to adhere to the development guidelines set forth in the LCP. The LIP is almost three times as long as the LUP: 338 pages.

    But those are not the only two documents of codes and development guidelines that are needed  in order to build or renovate a home in Malibu. As I explain in my book, “Building in the ‘Bu: Navigating the Malibu Zoning Code,” Malibu’s zoning codes evolved from several regulations. Malibu followed Los Angeles County zoning code rules until the Coastal Act was passed in 1977. The act was meant to protect natural resources in California’s coastal zone. All cities within the  81-square-mile coastal zone, which extends 5 miles inland, had to come up with a Local Coastal Program Land Use Plan in order to abide by the Coastal Act’s guidelines. Because the City of Malibu dragged its feet, the Coastal Commission jumped in and wrote one for it. After a two-year battle in the courts, Malibu was required to implement the CCC’s LUP.

    And that leave us with two gargantuan documents, in addition to existing county’s guidelines,  that those who want to build their Malibu dream home, or renovate an existing one, must follow.

    To get a clearer perspective on how all this Malibu code craziness came to be, and guidelines to navigate the convoluted Malibu permitting process, check out my book.

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A blog on architectural design, and thoughts and ideas on the process of design, from the unique perspective of a Malibu architect, who must deal with severely restrictive zoning codes.

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