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Malibuites Worried Whole Foods Will Ruin Their Rural Burg

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The environmental documents for a proposed Whole Foods development at the corner of Civic Center Way and Cross Creek Road in Malibu (the former site of Papa Jack's Skate Park) are now available for public comment, and there have already been plenty of internet fireworks from local opposition to the project. According to the EIR, the development would build a 24,549 square foot Whole Foods market, in addition to four smaller commercial buildings (the total development will total 38,425 square feet). The project would also include 220 parking spaces, two electric vehicle charging stations, and 16 bike racks, in addition to an accessible play area with a sensory playground, water features, and native plantings. The comments on a recent article by the Malibu Patch announcing the public comment period for the report features developer Steve Soboroff (also a former LA mayoral candidate, former CEO of Playa Vista, and former McCourt-era Dodgers executive), calling for dialogue but getting drowned out by the likes of commenter roy, who claims the project is "One more mostrosity [sic] destroying our rural way of life." (This is not the first time Malibu has worried about its retail being too fancy.)

The development is made all the more tricky because the city of Malibu has no public sewer system--although the city is required to build a centralized wastewater treatment system by 2015 under a Memorandum of Understanding between the State Regional Water Resources Control Board and the Regional Water Quality Control Board for the Los Angeles Region. According to the EIR, the property will be among the first to connect to the new centralized system. The wastewater treatment requirement is cited by some of the commenters as the enabler for the project. A public scoping meeting for the project will be held on May 22 at City Hall and public comment ends May 29, 2012.
· Hearing Set on Proposed Whole Foods [Malibu Patch]
· Malibu Losing a Skate Park and Getting a Whole Foods [Curbed LA]
· Malibu Worried About Its High-End Boutique Problem [Curbed LA]