Approximately 125 local residents ñ most of them opposed to the Marina Public (Mothers Beach) Strategic Plan proposed by the County Department of Beaches and Harbors — attended the first scheduled evening meeting of the Marina del Rey Design Control Board Thursday, April 27th, at Burton Chace Park in Marina del Rey.

Local residents said they want the Marina Beach area — a public area for recreational and boating use maintained by taxpayer funds — to remain a public area for recreational use and not be turned into an area of personal enrichment for local private developers.

The county leases out Marina del Rey — including parcels at Mothers Beach — to private developers.

T. Keith Gurnee of RRM Design Group — a consultant to the County Department of Beaches and Harbors — has developed a strategic plan to enable improvement of public access and enhanced recreational activities for the Marina Beach area, said Stan Wisniewski, director of the County Department of Beaches and Harbors.

Gurnee’s revised plan includes 14 public beach projects, 11 public landside projects, six public waterside projects and six private leasehold projects.

Gurnee presented revisions based on discussions during previous meetings with the design control board and the public.

Information on the Marina Beach revised strategic plan, http://beaches.co.la.ca.us/BandH/Marina/Development.htm

Rubino said the alternate plan is based on more visitor-friendly beach aspects, and that it mandates that the Marina’s primary use be for boating and recreational use by the public.

According to Rubino’s presentation, the county’s asset management redevelopment scenario is 51 percent residential; 36 percent earmarked for private development; eight percent for hotels, restaurants and retail, and only five percent for marine/yacht/ charter usage.

Information about Rubino’s alternate plan, www.savemdr.org

Design Control Board chair Susan Cloke and board member Peter Phinney said Gurnee’s revised plan is overdesigned, the scale appears too large, and it is “too urban.”

“Don’t overwhelm the physical environment, be part of it,” said Cloke.

Phinney said the design should be “more human,” more “Marina del Rey in concept.”

Phinney said some of the ideas presented by Rubino were great ideas and individuals interested in developing these projects should find funding and then contact the county to “bring their ideas to the table.”