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Judge Says Rich and Famous Malibu Can't Block Chain Stores

Just over a year ago, Malibu approved Measure R, a Rob Reiner-backed anti-chain initiative that was intended to keep Malibu's small-town charm intact (even as the city is overrun by money and celebrities). The measure imposed new rules on how much space a chain store can take up in shopping centers (30 percent), required every new chain to get a conditional use permit from the city, and mandated that any commercial or mixed-use project over 20,000 square feet be approved by voters. But it was short-lived: this week, a judge ruled Measure R is illegal, says the LA Times.

A lawsuit brought by a developer whose project was rejected by voters under the new rules filed the lawsuit that eventually got the initiative in trouble. A Superior Court judge ruled that a few of the sections of the measure overreached on what an initiative is actually allowed to do; additionally, having businesses get conditional use permits based on "who they are rather than what they do is contrary to state law."

Malibu's not giving up on stickin' it to chain stores entirely, but it will have to do it more legally in the future. Chain-store foe/When Harry Met Sally... director Reiner expressed hope that Malibu city officials would make up for the loss of Measure R by putting other rigid restrictions on developments, but commented,"Obviously, we're very disappointed."
· Judge overrules Malibu voters, clearing the way for Whole Foods shopping center [LAT]
· Rich Famous People Fighting to Keep Malibu Quaint/Expensive [Curbed LA]