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Growth in Malibu Public Services, 1970-1991
Malibu's public services also gained during this period, filling out the infastructure required to support the residential and commercial development.
In the flood plain of Malibu Creek, on formerly agricultural land, the Malibu Civic Center Complex, housing courts, the Sheriff, and other County services, was built by Los Angeles County during 1970. In 1973 the single-judge Malibu Justice Court was upgraded to be a Municipal Court with multiple judges. Under California procedures this required demonstrating that the court would serve a population of 40,000 which was reached by combining Malibu with Calabasas and other nearby unincorporated communities.
The Malibu Library, a branch of the Los Angeles Public Library, moved into its present 16,530 square feet Civic Center location in 1970, replacing bookmobile service that used to serve residents in Topanga Canyon and along PCH.
To service the rapidly growing communities inland, the Tapia Water Treatment Plant was constructed by the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District at its Malibu Canyon site in 1972. Treated water was discharged into Malibu Creek, permanently altering the historical flows. It was soon noticed that Malibu Lagoon water quality deteriorated. Studies demonstrated that treated water was rich in nitrates and other contaminants that were distorting Malibu Creek's natural conditions. To cope with the changed water levels in the lagoon, lifeguards had to open a channel across the beach from time to time to prevent Malibu Colony residents' septic systems from backing up.
In 1974, the Getty Museum opened its new building to the public, replacing the ranch house used since 1953.
U.S. Mail service expanded considerably with the opening of two post office box units, at Carbon Beach (La Costa) in 1982 and Zuma Beach in 1984, and the addition of Colony Annex in 1986. These facilities were followed by the opening of the new Point Dume Station on Heathercliff Road in 1992 and the relocation of the Colony window and box facilities to the Malibu Colony Plaza in January 1992.
The California Department of State Parks and Recreation (DPR) bought Malibu Bluffs in 1979 and in 1983 the City of Malibu moved the Little League fields from Malibu Lagoon to the Bluffs by signing a temporary agreement with the State. That arragement lasted until 2002, leading to a dilemma about where to relocate the ball fields when the State expands visitor facilities at Bluffs Park.
In 1989, increasing pressure from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and concern for the plight of day laborers in Malibu, led to the creation of the Labor Exchange.
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