Measure R Ruled Illegal 12-16-15

Measure R Ruled Illegal 12-16-2015 – This is a developing story, the Malibu Voters voted against the Whole Foods and the Park project on 11/4/2015 per the requirement under Measure R which was passed by Malibu City voters on 11/4/2014.  Measure R was meant to limit the size of new commercial development in Malibu.  The Whole Foods and the Park project tried to satisfy the community’s concern, but while approved by City of Malibu Planning and the City Council to proceed, it failed to pass the vote under Measure R.  The following is quoted from The Malibu Times on-line 12-16-2015:

“Measure R was ruled illegal this week in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles, Malibu City Attorney Christi Hogin confirmed to The Malibu Times early Wednesday morning.

Opponents of Measure R filed a suit against the city’s formula retail ordinance in state court, a measure undertaken after their case against the City of Malibu was declined to be seen by a federal judge.

On Nov. 4, 2014, Malibu voters approved the initiative Measure R, which enacted a 30% cap on the number of chain stores in shopping centers citywide and created a voter-approval requirement for new commercial centers to be built in Malibu if they measure over 20,000 sq. ft.”

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Whole Foods and the Park Malibu CA

Whole Foods and the Park Malibu CA

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UPDATE 12/17/2015:

For Immediate Release

December 17, 2015

Contact: Matt Myerhoff, Media Information Officer
(310) 456-2489 ext. 283


Malibu’s Measure R Invalidated by Superior Court
(Malibu, CA) – This week Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant invalidated Malibu’s Measure R, which was adopted by the voters to regulate commercial development and chain stores in Malibu.

“Although disappointing for the initiative proponents and Malibu voters, the decision has one very positive aspect that the City may use to salvage the objectives of Measure R,” said City Attorney Christi Hogin.

“While the court rejected the measure’s particular mechanism for regulating chain businesses, the court accepted the essential premise that chain stores are a different land use category than non-chain stores. The City may re-examine the formula retail ordinance that was superseded by Measure
R and use the decision as a roadmap to enact future regulations.”

The Judge ruled that Measure R’s requirement that any proposed commercial or mixed-use project over 20,000 square feet be approved by a vote of the people, violates California law. Specifically, the court held that Measure R’s requirement of a specific plan – ordinarily a legislative act within the authority of the voters – was a contrivance to allow voters to approve or reject individual development projects, which is illegal.

Reading Measure R as a whole, Judge Chalfant concluded that, “Measure R is categorical in requiring a voter-approved specific plan for each new large-scale commercial development.” The court acknowledged that voters may adopt general plan amendments and specific plans, but held that, while initiative measures are not to be struck down lightly, Measure R’s voter approval and hearing requirements “cross the line into administrative, not legislative, function.”

Judge Chalfant also ruled that the measure’s requirement that individual chain stores obtain a conditional use permit violates state law because it applies to specific tenants, not to a general category of uses.

Measure R was overwhelmingly approved by the voters in November 2014, replacing the City’s chain store ordinance. The ruling also blocks the City from enforcing Measure R.

The complete ruling has been posted on the City’s website at