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Shopping Center Wins Hours Fight

The California Coastal Commission has rebuffed residents of the Malibu Colony in their efforts to shorten the business hours of Malibu’s largest shopping center, located just across the street from the wealthy seaside enclave.

Representatives of a homeowners group, whose members include actors Larry Hagman, Lee Majors and Burgess Meredith, argued before the commission last week that the center’s builder, Reco Development Corp., is violating a 1987 agreement limiting hours. Tenants of the center, Malibu Colony Plaza, include a 24-hour Hughes supermarket and a soon-to-open restaurant to be operated by celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck.

Despite the residents’ complaints about noise, parking and security, the commission voted to accept changes sought by Reco in the 1987 agreement. That agreement, reached after lengthy negotiations with the residents, included concessions by Reco aimed at preserving the neighborhood’s character by providing landscaping and shielding the Colony from public access, in addition to limiting the center’s operating hours.

The homeowners group, which includes about 35 owners of million-dollar properties along Malibu Road, sought midnight closing times for Puck’s restaurant and for the supermarket.

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The vote means the supermarket will be allowed to stay open 24 hours and the restaurant until 2 a.m. A spokesman for the homeowners group, the Old Road Committee, said it would appeal.

Most of the $12-million, 100,000-square-foot shopping center was completed this spring. Adorned with a mission-tile roof, carved Mexican stone columns, semicircular brick arches and two fountains, the center has drawn general praise even from its opponents.


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