Consideration of a proposed administration building for the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors was tabled for further review, and a proposed mixed-use development project received a recommendation for conceptual approval with conditions at the Marina del Rey Design Control Board meeting Thursday, November 16th, at the Burton Chace Park Community Building in Marina del Rey.

Design Control Board chair Susan Cloke said that because the proposed administration building would be located at the waterfront and would include several levels of parking, she was disinclined to recommend approval for the same reason she wouldn’t recommend approval for a developer who proposed parking at the waterfront.

The waterfront area should be for residential use and not for a parking structure, said Cloke.

“I don’t want to entertain a discussion with parking in the picture,” said Cloke.

In addition, the request for conceptual approval does not include an architectural design presentation, and is merely a “placeholder” to facilitate an RFP (Request for Proposal), according to Department of Beaches and Harbors director Stan Wisniewski.

Cloke said she preferred a combination public workshop and night meeting to discuss the proposed administration building project, where local residents could share ideas for the most feasible design and potential location.

This proposed meeting is yet to be scheduled.

The proposed administration building for the Department of Beaches and Harbors staff would relocate, replace and consolidate the county administration facilities, which currently share a facility with the Marina del Rey Sheriff’s Station and use several trailers located on a separate parcel, Wisniewski noted.

MARINA GATEWAY — Conceptual approval with conditions was recommended by the Design Control Board for a revised mixed-use plan for Marina Gateway.

The original design plan had received conceptual approval in November 2002, but after review by the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission, it was recommended that the development plan be revised to include 72 residential units over visitor-serving commercial uses.

The applicant, Gold Coast West, LLC was then asked to resubmit the proposed project as a totally new development for this presentation.

Conditions for the project include:

— eliminate reflective glass and break down the amount of reflective glass on the buildings;

— bring the scale of the fountains, building and decorative elements down to a neighborhood commercial and residential scale;

— increase park area with a less formal look;

— increase canopy trees and decrease palm trees;

— design park to reflect neighborhood scale and emphasize multi-faceted design of park;

— emphasize native plant materials;

— use larger plants in alley planter boxes that would grow vertically against the rear wall of the building;

— consider tile murals to break wall expanses in fountain;

— examine cornices, roof details and building materials for consistency with a neighborhood commercial residential scale; and

— examine intersections at Via Marina, Washington Boulevard and Ocean Avenue to design increased pedestrian and vehicular safety in conjunction with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and other related agencies.

The proposed Marina Gateway project — located at Washington Boulevard and Via Marina — has had conversions from strictly visitor-serving commercial to a mixed-use residential/office/retail project, resulting in a revised total adjusted project area of 109,395 square feet, which represents an increase of 69,782 square feet over the project approved in 2002, according to county documents.

The project includes four buildings — A, B, C and D — with public parking and a park.

Building A is near the corner of Via Marina and Washington Boulevard and has now been modified to accommodate the Islands Restaurant and to provide ancillary office and retail uses within two stories and a basement.

Building B, mid-block between Via Marina and Via Dolce, is now designed for use as a four-story residential (36 units) and retail/mixed-use building, rising to 62 feet high over a basement parking garage, according to county documents.

Building C was originally to remain as restaurant use, but now mirrors Building B by providing additional mixed-use residential (36 units) and retail uses.

Building D, a 5,713- square-foot building presently housing the Islands Restaurant, would merge into and become part of Building C.

The public park area of 0.225 acres would be at the southwest corner of Via Marina and Washington Boulevard and include a fountain/water element, a small circular amphitheater and enhanced signage/landscape “hardscape” (non-plant landscape elements) elements that provide an attractive outdoor area for gathering, entertainment or more passive uses, according to county documents.

Parking for the revised Marina Gateway redevelopment proposal would be provided in basement, surface and structured parking for Building A and in basement and structured parking areas within Buildings B and C.

Additional rooftop parking would be available between Buildings A and B, linking them with a bridge.

The revised project provides a total of 337 on-site parking spaces.

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