Cemetery, Regulations

The only thing harder to find in Malibu than a hotel room is a grave. . .

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Malibu, California

Malibu, California was incorporated into a city in 1991 and that led to a moratorium on new development that included, among other things, hotels.  So, Malibu has famously become known as a very tough place to get a hotel room.

Back in 2015, however, a group known as Green Acres, LLC, began a push to put a cemetery on a 27.8 acre site that was once proposed for a hotel.  Recently that group has again been in the news, as you can read in this article.  They recently appeared in front of the planning commission to request an extension on the permit for construction of the cemetery/memorial park.

The project, if built, would not be a small one.   To be called Malibu Memorial Park, it would consist of 28,265 in-ground burial spaces, 47 freestanding mausoleum structures, 3,644 above-ground crypt spaces and a chapel.  It would also contain walking trails that would wind through 21 of the site’s 28 acres.

According to the applicant, Green Acres LLC, a request for an extension is needed because during the Covid pandemic, funding was difficult to secure.  One of the commissioners agreed stating that this was “a very, very, tough market for that kind of debt”.

According to the article all five planning commissioners approved the two-year extension on the memorial park project. It was also noted that the City of Malibu has been working on various road and sewer projects that will make the memorial park feasible should it finally secure necessary funds to break ground.

Funeral Director Daily take:  It’s interesting to me that in an prime area of real estate in Malibu, California, a cemetery is being proposed.  While I understand the green space value I also understand that to make things work financially, the business has to make sense.

Obviously, this cemetery would service an area bigger than the City of Malibu.  As you can see from this graphic, the city has a population of only 12,280.  When you consider that a possible death rate of 9 per thousand population is where the United States will be at soon, that means that the City of Malibu will incur only about 110 deaths annually.

The number of grave space — 28,265 and the idea of 47 freestanding mausoleum structures seems excessive for that community and that number of deaths.  However, I’m sure that the developers know how far and wide this cemetery will draw from and what its usage will be.

The article mentions that many proposals for this land have failed to receive approval from the government bodies since 1991.  And, as for the difficulty in getting hotel rooms and grave spaces in the city, the article mentions that the city has only 130 current hotel rooms. . . . soon, it may have many, many more available graves!

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