Developers win battle against Malibu’s anti-growth Measure R

Proposed legislation would have limited chain stores and developments over 20K sf

Malibu Country Mart (Google Maps)
Malibu Country Mart (Google Maps)

Proponents of Measure R, an ordinance that would have limited chain stores in the city and forced major developments to be put to a public vote, hit a dead end Wednesday.

The Supreme Court decided not to take up an appeal to a lower court ruling invalidating the measure – handing a major victory to developers and paving the way for a proposed Whole Foods to open in the city, the Los Angeles Business Journal reported.

Malibu voters had passed Measure R in November 2014. But a group of property owners filed suit five months later — and the court ruled in their favor, invalidating the measure in December 2015, before it was ever enforced. The city of Malibu has since tried to appeal the court’s decision.

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The ordinance would have prevented shopping centers from leasing more than 30 percent of space to chain stores. It also would have required commercial projects with more than 20,000 square feet of retail, commercial or mixed-use space to be placed before voters.

Rod Bergen, past president of the Malibu Chamber of Commerce, said even though Measure R was struck down, residents shouldn’t expect the city to be overrun with big box stores.

“Even without Measure R, it is still incredibly difficult to get entitlement approvals for significant projects in the city,” he told the Business Journal. “Measure R would have made it all but impossible.” [LABJ] — Subrina Hudson