Crude emails reveal nasty side of a California beach city’s crusade to halt growth in a neighbor that isn’t
The San Pedro-Pescadores Beach Municipal Code provides that a city can ban growth in an adjacent city and replace it with a buffer zone. In San Pedro-Pescadores, the plan has been to limit new growth to a block-long buffer zone adjacent to the downtown area.
But the city is facing a challenge to those rules from a developer in the nearby, wealthy, beach-centered town of Malibu.
On Monday, city officials, including the mayor, sent their first letter to Santa Monica Mayor Jim Womack, asking him, in light of an August letter written by Mr. Womack’s appointee to the Metropolitan Planning Department, to stop approving growth in the Malibu city-county boundary as a buffer zone.
Also, city officials will send a draft of a letter to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti asking the mayor to stop approving development along the Malibu city-county boundary.
“What we’re saying is that we’ve been told by the Metropolitan Planning Department that we don’t have to get approval from the city council to make a buffer zone,” said Steve McDaniel, the city’s assistant manager of Planning and Development Services. “That’s not the law.”
In their August letter, Mr. Womack’s appointee wrote to the state Department of General Services to question whether San Pedro-Pescadores Beach Municipal Code section 6.7(e) allowed the city to adopt its buffer zone ordinance. The state agency said no, as the code said it could only apply to the city.
The city, in its letter to Mr. Womack, said it has decided “not to pursue a request that the state go through the entire review process before making a decision on annexation.”
But, if annexation is not approved, the city said it still wants to “proceed with a process to determine whether to incorporate the area.”
Mr. McDaniel said his department does not plan