Malibu Parking Restriction


December 1, 2017

This item is an appeal of Local Coastal Development Permit to implement a 30-minute parking restriction between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. daily, and posting of parking restriction signs issued by the City of Malibu.

The City approved project would restrict public parking on both sides of Pacific Coast Highway in the vicinity of Surfrider Beach, adjacent to the Malibu Pier. The proposed 30-minute parking restriction between 2 and 4 a.m. would apply to approximately 767 feet of the ocean side of the public highway and 973 feet of the inland side. The intent of the City-approved permit is to prevent private vehicle owners and one specific commercial business (the Malibu Surf Shack) from parking their vehicles on the public highway overnight. The City argues that the restriction will encourage parking turnover, which will benefit coastal visitors because there will be more parking available during other hours.

The area where the restricted parking hours are proposed is directly in front of the most popular visitor serving portion of Surfrider Beach and is one of the few areas in Malibu where the public can park and access the beach at nighttime. The Surfrider Beach parking lot (directly seaward of the area in question), Adamson House State Park parking lot (located upcoast of the pier), and Malibu Lagoon parking lot (located upcoast of Malibu Creek and Lagoon) are gated and closed to the public at night. The City’s findings reference nighttime visitors who may “exit their cars and walk along PCH and enjoy views”; however, 30 minutes does not provide adequate time for members of the public to access the beach, enjoy a moonlight walk along the sand, observe a grunion run, or go swimming or surfing.

Commission Staff recommended that substantial issue exists and that the Commission deny the coastal development permit after the de novo hearing on the matter because the proposed project is not consistent with the public access and recreation policies of the certified City of Malibu LCP and the Coastal Act.

Commissioners voted to unanimously deny the City’s proposed parking restrictions.

Why You Should Care

If the City’s 30-minute nighttime parking restriction were implemented, the nearest unrestricted on-street parking upcoast would be on the other side of the Malibu Pier and down coast would be along a section of the highway lined with private homes and limited public beach access. Beachgoers would have to walk approximately ¼ mile along the highway from these on-street parking areas before reaching the visitor serving portion of Surfrider Beach on the east side of the Malibu Pier.


Pro-Coast Vote

Anti-Coast Vote

Due to the precedential nature of this decision, Commissioners found Substantial Issue with the city of Malibu’s parking restriction. If Commissioners were to authorize the parking restrictions, it could set a precedent for future misinterpretation of the cities LCP by restricting access in other locations and for other cities are also considering similar limitations.

Commissioner Vargas motioned to deny the city’s CDP and Commissioner Peskin seconded the motion. Commissioner Vargas noted that clearly there are significant public access in Malibu and this would in effect be an overnight ban to Surfrider Beach for the public. Commissioners unanimously denied the parking restrictions.

Organizations Opposed

Surfrider Foundation, Malibu Surf Shack

Decision Type

Appeal - Substantial Issue and De Novo Hearing

Staff Recommendation

Substantial Issue and Denial

Coastal Act Policy