MALIBU (CBSLA.com) — A debate over Measure R got heated in Malibu Sunday night, with Hollywood director-actor-producer Rob Reiner leading the charge in support of the bill and L.A.-based developer Steve Soboroff standing on the other side of the argument.
Organizers say the measure helps preserve Malibu’s current ambiance by giving voters a long-overdue say “on the 1.5 million square feet of commercial development currently planned in the heart of the city and on future development plans.” It would require voter approval for future shopping centers and would restrict the number of chain stores at those sites.
“Measure R gives the people the right to have a say over what their community will look like,” said Reiner during the debate. “Its very simple. We want the voters to have a voice in what comes to this city.”
CBS2/KCAL9 political reporter Dave Bryan was on hand at Malibu City Hall as a debate moderator.
Soboroff stood at a podium opposite Reiner, and said developers and the city council are already handling development responsibly.
The developer said the measure is well-intentioned but flawed: “Measure R is going around the system with no public hearings. It does the wrong thing for this community.”
He claimed Reiner has “spent $400,000 on consultants that have given you information and made back-room deals that have hurt this community.”
That charge set off Reiner, who shouted back, “That accusation is 100 percent a lie…When you make a deal don’t you have to get something for it?! Where’s my money? Give me the money! I’d love to have a back-room deal.”
Actor and Malibu resident Dick Van Dyke attended the debate in support of Measure R: “I can’t understand why people are appearing against it. I don’t see any flaws in it, and don’t see why it wouldn’t pass.”