County Small Craft Harbor commissioners were told last week that they have no authority to delay approving or opposing an item listed on the commission’s agenda.

At issue before the commission at its Thursday, July 7th, meeting was a proposal for a dry-stack boat storage project at 13477 Fiji Way, near the county public boat launch ramp in Basin H.

The commission was being asked to support a proposal allowing the county to enter into exclusive negotiations with Pacific Marina Development/Almar Management, Inc. for an option and long-term lease for development of the dry-stack boat storage and adjacent parking lot.

During the July 7th meeting, commissioners expressed a desire to postpone their decision on the project because opponents of the project said they had not received sufficient information on the project.

“It is not in the purview of your commission to opine on the value of a project,” County Department of Beaches and Harbors deputy chief director Kerry Silverstrom told County Small Craft Harbor Commission commission acting chair Carole Stevens at the commission’s monthly meeting Thursday, July 7th.

Silverstrom said that county staff is required to have project information prepared for the following meeting of the County Board of Supervisors. The supervisors will next meet in downtown Los Angeles Tuesday, July 19th.

“Why do we talk about it here if it doesn’t matter?” asked Small Craft Harbor Commission member Russ Lesser.

Stevens said not having any graphics in the commission package to visualize the project made it difficult for her to make such a quick decision on the dry storage proposal.

Silverstrom told the commissioners that the matter would go forward to the Board of Supervisors regardless, but “your commission can recommend the Board of Supervisors not to act, or to have the board instruct beaches and harbors staff to get more information before a decision is made by the board.”

“We (the County Department of Beaches and Harbors) are a proprietary function, where the deals are made,” said Silverstrom.

The regulatory functions, such as the County Marina Design Control Board and the County Regional Planning Department give the public an opportunity to voice its opposition to the project at no less than seven different venues, Silverstrom alleged.

The dry-stack boat storage and amenities being sought by the county are described by Beaches and Harbors Department staff in a RFP (request for proposal) concerning the proposed project.

In its RFP on the project, department staff say that the proposed project site is suitable for build-out in excess of 300 dry-stack storage spaces in overall length not exceeding approximately 40 feet.

The county expects minimum build-out of no less than 276 dry-stack storage spaces, 30 or more mast-up surface spaces, and “an innovative set of boating-related amenities designed to serve the needs of both the users of the facility and visitors to the area,” the RFP says.

In addition to replacement of some existing public facilities, required amenities for the new project would include a guest dock for visiting boats, short-term dock spaces for passenger loading, public water bus and pump out station docks, three public boat wash-down spaces, a pedestrian promenade and a small boat repair operation.

Because the present height limit for dry-stack boat storage facilities in the Marina is as high as 75 feet when a 40 percent view corridor is provided — as set forth in the 1996 Local Coastal Plan (LCP) — it may be possible to achieve a maximum build-out of as many as 400 dry-stack storage spaces, the RFP says.

Priority consideration would be given to plans that both meet minimum build out requirements and maximize the number of dry-stack storage spaces, the RFP adds.

Retaining, relocation or replacement of a Sheriff’s Department boatwright shop, maintaining a hoist and forklift launching dock for both sailboats and powerboats are also included in the RFP.

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