The proposed draft major amendment to the Marina del Rey Local Coastal Program (LCP) was the focus of a presentation at a special meeting of the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning Saturday, Aug. 21 at Burton Chace Park.

Mike Tripp of the Regional Planning Department gave the presentation on the LCP amendment, and members of the county Department of Beaches and Harbors, Public Works, Los Angeles County council, and the county’s coastal consultant were also available to answer any questions.

Five “pipeline projects” are being aggregated into one major amendment to the Marina del Rey LCP, which was certified by the California Coastal Commission in 1996, said Tripp.

There is no additional development potential proposed as part of this amendment. The Coastal Commission granted a specific amount of development potential in 1996, said Tripp.

“We are proposing to allocate development potential in other planning areas in the Marina,” said Tripp. “While there are residential projects in the aggregate amendment, they are utilizing development units that had already received approval in the 1996 LCP certification.”

No changes are being proposed for view corridor requirements that already exist in the LCP, he added.

The following land use plan information is from county documentation:

In the working draft of the Marina Land Use Plan, the plan map illustrates the policies applicable to redevelopment, renovation, and intensification of development in Marina del Rey.

When applied to a specific parcel, the category establishes the principal permitted land use for each separate parcel of land in the LCP area.

The number of development zones has been reduced from 14 to three proposed zones. A zone parcel map with identifying parcel numbers is online at the Regional Planning Web site.

Land use categories include Residential III, IV and V; hotel; office; marine commercial; boat storage; open space; public facility; parking; visitor-serving commercial; active seniors accommodation; water; mixed use overlay and waterfront overlay.

Descriptions of the other categories above are available online at Regional Planning. On the home page, click on “Notable Cases: Marina del Rey Land Use Plan at:

http://planning.co.la.ca.us/.

Residential III permits medium density, multi-family residential development, up to 35 dwelling units per net acre, with a height limit of 45 feet. Special height standards may apply to mole roads.

Residential IV allows medium-high density, multi-family residential development, up to 45 dwelling units per net acre, with a height limit of 140 feet.

Residential V permits high density, multi-family residential development, with up to 75 dwelling units per net acre and a height limit of 225 feet.

The “pipeline projects” include: Parcel 9U/10/FF n the 19-story Woodfin Hotel and timeshare with a wetland park on 9U and a 526-apartment unit and anchorage replacement at Admiralty and Marquesas ways (FF conversion contemplated in 1996 LCP relocation of open space to Parcel 9 for wetland park);

Parcel OT n a 114-unit senior retirement facility (conversion and replacement of public parking for senior use contemplated in 1996 LCP) at Washington Boulevard near Palawan Way;

Parcel 52/GG n a 345-space dry stack boat storage building and outdoor mast-up storage at Fiji Way;

Parcel 33/NR n a mixed-use project (The Waterfront) with apartments, restaurants and retail (formerly Harbor House/Edie’s Diner site); and

Parcel 49/77, which the county has withdrawn from leasing consideration for the present time but it will remain in the amendment package.

Tripp said that other aspects under review are the traffic circulation system, which requires improvement and needs an LCP update; a public parking review based on studies contracted by the county would be utilized; slip pricing and vacancies for boats per a county authorized study; a conservation and management strategy; and 11 acres will be added to the current open space.

PUBLIC COMMENT —

During public comment, Peter Phinney, chair of the Marina del Rey Design Control Board, addressed the Regional Planning staff that presented the information.

“Please do not include language in the LCP amendment that writes into law that the public promenade need not be continuous and may, in specific areas within the Marina, be disrupted and discontinuous for reasons of public safety, or restricted to hours of daylight use for reasons of security,” said Phinney.

“There are literally hundreds of methods available through careful planning, sensitive architecture and appropriate programming to resolve issues of safety and security.

“These mitigation measures are the responsibility of the developers. It is unconscionable to make mitigation the responsibility of the people of California by restricting their access to the shoreline they own in common,” Phinney stated.

Susan Cloke, the former chair of the Design Control Board, also spoke before the planning staff.

She provided additional comments to The Argonaut that could not be included in the public comment due to time constraints.

“Today, I want to speak to two main points. The first is to remind all of us that the Marina, the only boat harbor in Los Angeles, was built with funds that committed the county to serve the region by providing public access to the water and a regional recreation destination for all the residents of the greater Los Angeles area and for the many visitors to Southern California,” Cloke said.

“In my observation, the Board of Supervisors has looked to the Marina first as a funding source and second as a regional recreation resource. I think this is both bad public policy and shortsighted economic policy. Neighboring cities benefit hugely from sharing in the multi-billion dollar Southern California tourist economy. Why not the Marina?

“A beautiful and accessible waterfront and water recreational area would make it possible to create not only a better regional destination but also a better tourist destination and provide an excellent economic base for the county and would protect the Marina’s residential community,” Cloke continued.

“My second point is that the mandate of the (California) Coastal Act is to protect public access to the beach and coast. A continuous waterfront promenade, as is currently required in the Local Coastal Plan for the Marina, provides both view and recreational access and is the most important way for the Marina to provide the public access mandated by the Coastal Act. To remove that requirement would seem both shortsighted and harmful.

“In order to meet the originally stated mission of the Marina and the mandate of the Coastal Act I recommend that the requirement for the public promenade be left in place and/or strengthened in the Local Coastal Plan for the Marina. Further, I recommend that, in all cases, the criteria for decision making on land use projects in the Marina meet the standard of making the Marina a vital, recreational destination and boat harbor,” Cloke concluded.

David Barish, co-director of the group We ARE Marina del Rey, claimed that two of the pipeline parcels are not described accurately by Regional Planning.

Barish claimed that Parcel FF, a public parking lot, was not contemplated for conversion to a wetland park. It was supposed to be an active pocket park for area residents, and this park was part of a deal with the Coastal Commission in 1996, said Barish.

Barish also claimed that Parcel OT, a public parking lot, was not contemplated for conversion as stated by the county.

“It was actually protected by the Coastal Commission in 1996 for public access and parking. Los Angeles County tried to convert it back then and they were denied,” Barish said.

Barish explained that “When they say contemplated, they refer to a section in the LCP called ‘issues and discussion,’ where Marina issues at the time of the update in 1996 were raised and discussed, including potential uses for these parcels.

“But these sections were not final actions or rules and they are not allowed to rely on them for project decisions as they carry no weight. If I say I am contemplating changing a rule but then I don’t and the rule says otherwise, the contemplation is over,” claimed Barish.

Barbara McPherson of the Grassroots Coalition told the county representatives that leaky oil wells in the Marina area were their responsibility and that she had gotten no reports from the Harbor Commission after numerous requests. She said that part of her organization’s settlement agreement in a lawsuit stipulates that the Harbor Commission must provide such reports.

She said that it is the county’s job to retrieve such information as part of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements. McPherson said these are all extreme health and safety issues and that there was no excuse for the county allegedly not having the material.

Other public comments included allegations that studies were falsified by the county by providing consultants with the results the county wanted;

That the current LCP is supposed to be reviewed with the public as a partner but that the Board of Supervisors and the lessees drafted it;

Views are being removed of the mountains and the water for tenants and visitors while taxes are being raised for residents;

The Woodfin Hotel is too high and is more appropriate for downtown Los Angeles;

Vacation timeshares are not allowed on publicly owned land;

The 10-minute presentation is inadequate to inform people about the LCP amendment and that most people don’t understand it;

There aren’t enough recreational areas in the Marina for activities such as soccer, basketball and others;

The new traffic study information results showing that traffic will be better after all of the development is incorrect;

In case of emergencies such as earthquakes or a tsunami, senior citizens would be left without adequate emergency response because of overbuilding and excessive traffic;

Accepting mitigation fees from developers in lieu of fixing current problems isn’t the answer;

Small boat slips are being taken away in record numbers with the claim that boaters want larger boats;

County officials don’t have the authority to change the intent of the Marina or its focus under the mandate of the Harbors and Rivers Act; and

The Marina needs a master plan for all projects and their cumulative impacts on one another and on the community.

The draft LCP will be available for a six-week period that began Aug. 13.

Information, Michael Tripp from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday (closed on Fridays) at (213) 974-4813 or marinaplanner@planning.lacounty.gov/.

Project materials are available at the Lloyd Taber-Marina del Rey Library, 4533 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey, and online at:

http://planning.lacounty.gov/.

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