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  • Writer's picturePaul Grisanti

Permits, nonresponsive Woolsey owners, insurance limits and by district elections

The number of permits granted for Woolsey Fire replacement homes crept up to 81 this week and the total number of applications submitted is now at 229 as we inch ever closer to the 50% mark which would be just under 240 houses.

At the most recent Planning Commission meeting Richard Mollica of Malibu’s Planning Department made a remark that I understood as “We have about 200 property owners who are not responding to communications from the City”. Outreach from the Planning department has included snail mail, email, and phone calls. Please be aware that the current waiving of owner-occupied planning fees is scheduled to end at the end of June this year with the waiving of permit fees “Sunsetting” at the end of 2020. If you have a friend who hasn’t applied, urge them to give the City a call at 310-456-2489.

I received an email today from a homeowner who was curious about how much Fire Insurance coverage they should have and “Is there a rule of thumb”. The range of responses around my office is $300 per sq. ft. to over $1,000 per foot. The variance is accounted for by the difficulty of the site, quality of the existing construction and what the policy covers. People are willing to accept a lower valuation on older houses if there is substantial code upgrade coverage (25% to 50%) to deal with the additional cost of a better foundation, more earthquake resistant framing, additional costs due to required dual pane energy efficient glazing, high efficiency lighting, etc. Anyone who tells you not to worry about the foundation cost because “Concrete doesn’t burn” is mistaken.

Always ask if the money for “Alternative Living Expense” is in addition to the rebuild coverage or is part of the total listed on the policy. It was part of the total listed on my Fair Plan policy in 2007, a costly error. If the fair rental value of your home is $10,000 per month that’s $240,000 in addition to paying any mortgage you may have.

I’m running out of bandwidth for meetings but this is important! The City is having two outreach meetings about the possible map alternatives that would be used if we vote “by District” in future elections. The Demographer retained by the City will be present to explain the proposals and answer questions. Thursday March 12th will find us at the City Council Chambers starting at 6:00. A second meeting with the same content will be held at 6:00 on Friday the 13th at the Malibu High School auditorium on Morning View Dr.

In November 2020, the entire City will be voting for 3 “at large” seats. In the November 2022 election 2/5thof the City will each get to vote for one of the two “by District” seats being contested. The remaining 3/5thof the City will have no say on who will be governing until 2024. This is being done in response to threatened litigation and this decision is not our choice. Santa Monica just lost their lawsuit and the Plaintiffs Attorney’s fees claim is over $25 million. None of the over 30 cities sued has been able to avoid the change to “by District” voting.

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