A copy of Los Angeles County’s draft response for the Marina del Rey Local Coastal Program (LCP) Periodic Review update is available online to the public for review and comment.

The county has one year from the transmission date of April last year to respond to recommendations made by the California Coastal Commission on the LCP update.

Gina Natoli of the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning said that after public input has been received, the finalized draft will be prepared for the county, and the county Board of Supervisors would then need to approve it and send it to the Coastal Commission by the end of April.

The complete county draft response is available online for review and public comment at http://beaches.co.la.ca.us/BandH/Main.html/.

The deadline for public comment is Friday, February 26th. All comments should be e-mailed to: gnatoli@planning.lacounty.gov/.

The periodic review doesn’t change the LCP nor does the response. Only an amendment can change it, she said.

Natoli said the county opposes California Coastal Commission recommendations related to boat slip reduction and county funding of a bus/shuttle system. The county additionally opposes a proposed LCP amendment for revisions to the specifications and minimum standards of architectural treatment and construction as well as the determination of the presence of environmentally sensitive habitat areas (ESHAs), she said.

In other business, county Small Craft Harbor Commission chair Russ Lesser said that public comment will occur at the beginning of commission meetings rather than the end to accommodate those who are not speaking on a particular agenda item. Individuals interested in commenting on agenda items will still be able to do so.

Nancy Vernon Marino of the group We ARE Marina del Rey addressed the Marina development status reports being printed on regular size paper rather than legal size. She said that the smaller-size paper makes reading the report very difficult, and that the map of Marina developments had not been included with county documentation at the meeting.

Marino asked why the Burton Chace Park project is not included on the redevelopment status report. While the project information is online, she said it makes the park expansion seem larger than it really is.

She added that the omission of Mothers (Marina) Beach Strategic Plan is also not on the status report, and that both the Burton Chace Park and Mothers Beach projects should be tracked just like other proposals.

Marino claimed that there is a conflict on the Parcel 49/77 proposed project between what has been presented to the public and what is really happening relating to the request for proposal (RFP).

The parcel identification said it is a public park, but the RFP says only that if the developer chooses to put something on that part of Parcel 77, it has to be an enhancement to the park, she noted.

This gives the developer leeway, but most importantly, it privatizes Parcel 77, said Marino.

“There’s a big difference between a public use parcel and one that is tied to leasehold obligations, so we would like this put on the agenda for the next meeting,” she said. “There is an issue of the status reports and what information needs to be included on the status reports and what kind of reporting is adequate to serve the public interest so we can be aware of what’s going on.”

Lesser agreed that all development information should be on these reports, and he asked county staff to return the report to its original size for the next meeting.

FARMERS MARKET SUGGESTION —

Steve Whipple, who operates several farmers markets, said he had lived on a sailboat in the Marina in the past and felt a connection to the area. He told the audience that he had been approached by local resident Carla Andrus to speak at the meeting and discuss the possibility of starting a farmers market in the Marina.

He said the benefits of a farmers market are many — helping the local economy, providing freshly grown, local produce, and offering a place to bring the community together and share information.

At the request of commission member and vice chair Vanessa Delgado, Whipple said he would put together a proposal and present it to county officials.

David Barish, co-founder of We ARE Marina del Rey, said the Marina is a unique setting for a farmers market, with water and boats. A WaterBus stop could be included for the potential market and advertisements could be sold on the back of WaterBus tickets to raise funds, he suggested.

Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors Director Santos Kreimann said an LCP amendment to include a farmers market would be required, and it could take as long as a year. An amendment by itself is costly to the county, but the amendment could be included in an amendment underway for other projects, requiring simply additional language to include a farmers market, he said.

Local boater Jon Nahhas told the commission that the Marina del Rey LCP periodic review is a “very critical process,” and that besides the modification of the General Plan and the Land Use Plan, it’s one of the most important issues.

He asked for more night meetings to allow the public to attend and be aware of critical issues such as the changing of laws and what is happening with development.

Marina del Rey boater, resident and business owner Dorothy Franklin said the impression people have is that the county allegedly pre-qualifies developers through the request for qualifications/proposal to find the developers that are able to build huge projects that the county wants.

Local resident Bruce Russell asked what happened to the recreational plans for Burton Chace Park after all of the public workshops.

Kreimann said the preliminary plan has been completed and the documents are online at the Beaches and Harbors Web site at http://beaches.co.la.ca.us/.

He said grant funding is required to move the project forward.

A Regional Planning meeting on the proposed Woodfin Hotel Suites and Vacation Ownership project is scheduled Wednesday, March 10th in downtown Los Angeles, said Mike Tripp of Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning.

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