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March 31, 1994

MALIBU: The City Council has voted unanimously not to require residents seeking to rebuild homes burned in the November wildfires to indemnify the city from future liability resulting from landslides.

The decision came after hundreds of residents complained to council members that an indemnification clause contained in waivers they had to sign before rebuilding would be onerous.

For months, the city had refused to issue rebuilding permits until waivers releasing it from liability and indemnifying it were signed, holding up reconstruction of about 200 homes on properties prone to landslides.

Attorneys for the residents and the city reached a compromise Monday, dubbed Assumption of Risk and Release, which makes landholders assume risks incurred by building on geologically unstable land. Removal of the indemnity clause leaves the city open to third-party suits.

For instance, a homeowner whose house is damaged by another's during a slide would typically sue the neighbor and the city (for issuing a building permit). The indemnity clause would have exempted the city from such litigation.

MEETINGS NEXT WEEK * Culver City: 7 p.m. Monday, Interim City Hall, 4095 Overland Ave., (310) 837-5211.

* Los Angeles: 10 a.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. 200 N. Spring St. (213) 485-3126.

* West Hollywood: 7 p.m. Monday. West Hollywood Park Auditorium, 647 N. San Vicente Blvd. (310) 854-7460.

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