Development Services Review Report Unveiled By Malibu City Council

September 12, 2023 ·

MALIBU—A report detailing 46 recommendations for improving Malibu’s development services was presented during the August 28, 2023 City Council meeting. The city indicated that a consultant was hired last year to conduct a Comprehensive Development Services Review in an effort to improve Malibu’s development services and operations.

As a result of the Woolsey Fire and the Coronavirus pandemic, the city needs improvement to its development services processes.

Malibu is looking to make changes in a cohesive and holistic approach and placed an out a Request for Proposals (RFP) and hired Baker Tilly US, LLP as the consultant to perform the study.

Baker Tilly US, LLP conducted a comprehensive organization assessment, which focused on how the three city departments principally involved in permitting processes deliver development services. It included a review of organization structures, staffing, policies and regulations, customer service, and the management system used to oversee functions related to the development process.

The review considered the role and effectiveness of the Planning Commission and assessment of customer service. The consultant’s report stated while there are challenges in the region that require key changes in the organization, as well as an additional investment in staff and resources, the core process (workflow) in Malibu is normal of cities with high-performing development review processes.

According to the report, the problems with the development process in Malibu are rooted in three areas:

  • Policies and Regulations: A lack of clear and consistent policies and regulations that make project review more difficult and time consuming and result in varying outcomes;
  • Staffing Resources: Insufficient staffing resources that constrain the City’s capacity to handle the workload; and
  • Management System: Missing components and other challenges with the management system (i.e., the interrelated tools, techniques, approaches, and methods used to manage operations), which constrain the organization’s ability to monitor and manage the development process effectively.

The report discusses such issues in detail and provides recommendations designed to address them. The complete report is available to review in the staff report: https://www.malibucity.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/6236?fileID=53099.

Video of the presentation to the Malibu City Council is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_Do3KHiP4A&t=13855s (clip starts at 3:50:55).

Baker Tilly US, LLP will provide the Malibu City Manager with an implementation action plan the coming weeks, with additional details to be announced once available.

By Trevor

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