County Marina del Rey Design Control Board members were told last week that they have no jurisdiction to change the “use” allowed in a lease between the county and a lessee.
At issue before the board at its Thursday, July 21st, meeting was a proposal for renovation of a corner parcel at Fiji and Admiralty Ways that was recently added to the Waterside Marina Shopping Center through the county’s “request for proposal” process.
The tiny parcel had been used as a temporary bus parking area and parking by some shopping center employees.
The county put out a “request for proposal,” seeking potential lessees that might redevelop the corner site. County supervisors approved giving the parcel lease to the adjacent lessee at the Waterside Marina Shopping Center but retained in the lease that the parcel could only be used for landscaping and parking.
But last week, the Design Control Board wanted to eliminate some of the parking allowed in the lease of the corner parcel so that there could be more landscaping at the site.
Design Board members were concerned that a recommendation to move the proposed project forward to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors might preclude the later addition of “green space” to an area allocated for parking stalls.
Control board members present at the meeting initially attempted to delay a recommendation on the corner parcel because board chair Susan Cloke and member Katherine Spitz were absent.
The board was told by Los Angeles County Beaches and Harbors chief deputy Kerry Silverstrom that county supervisors had ordered that the matter be returned to the board “within 60 days” and that a delay in moving the matter forward to the board would mean the board would not receive the Design Control Board recommendation within the requested 60-day period.
The board members present then sought to make their “landscaping” recommendation, reducing the number of allowed parking spots in the lease from 32 to 30.
The Design Control Board doesn’t have the jurisdiction to change the lease and say “that you don’t want parking,” Silverstrom said.
The board also supported a staff and lessee proposal that a 72-inch box Coral tree be replaced with an appropriate tree that didn’t have surface rooting and weak branching.
The vice president of Caruso Affiliates, developer of Waterside Marina Shopping Center renovation, told the design board members that the project has been delayed to a point, where, if a decision was not made at the meeting and the site development was further delayed, the developer would not proceed with the remainder of the development on the parcel near Fiji and Admiralty Ways, which includes the California Pizza Kitchen.
Addressing the board’s concerns, Silverstrom said that in previous meetings, concerns for better pedestrian flow and outdoor seating were foremost, and that this redevelopment address-ed both of those issues.
The board of supervisors had already approved parking for the corner Parcel 83 (Fiji and Admiralty Way) rather than a “green space,” and that the renovated corner area would enhance the Waterside Marina Shopping Center, the board of supervisors had said in its approval of the annexation of the corner parcel to the shopping center.
Silverstrom added that originally parking had been planned for the south side of the plaza, but with the addition of the corner parcel, that area now will have landscaping and triple the number of trees that were proposed to be planted.
According to project details outlined by County Beaches and Harbors Department staff, modifications to the combined parcels would allow the proposed expansion of several public areas, as well as additional indoor and outdoor seating at the California Pizza Kitchen — which will also be remodeled to conform to the shopping center’s design and because of a corporate makeover.
The main components of the Waterside Marina Shopping Center would include:
— realignment of curbs;
— expansion by 200 linear feet of an eight-foot wide sidewalk along Admiralty Way;
— addition of landscaping, including a 1,110-square foot planter area on the northeast corner of Fiji and Admiralty Ways, with the possible return to the Design Control Board for a sign at that location; and
— construction of 32 new parking stalls with planters.
The creation of 32 additional parking stalls by California Pizza Kitchen will provide the opportunity to add additional restaurant and general outdoor seating to the center, according to project information.
Specific changes to the Waterside Marina Shopping Center would include:
— increasing the size of the Fountain Court to Building 1 (near West Marine) by adding 3,085-square feet of additional paving patterns and associated amenities to match those previously approved by the design control board, by enlarging the area through the elimination of five parking stalls;
— 40 additional outdoor seats in the Fountain Court for the exclusive use of the proposed new restaurant;
— relocation of the fountain within the Fountain Court and 20 additional tables with 80 seats for public use by the customers and visitor of the shopping center;
— addition of five tables proposed near the new Starbucks — which would have an entry from both Lincoln Boulevard and the Admiralty Way parking lot — for the exclusive use of the proposed new restaurant; and
— modification of the sidewalk on the south side of Admiralty Way and related improvements to pedestrian circulation from the newly created parking near California Pizza Kitchen.
With the addition of the new 32 parking spaces on the corner parcel to the 596 parking spaces on the shopping center parcel, there would be a combined total of 628 parking spaces.
According to the developer, Caruso Affiliates, as only 582 parking spaces are required for current uses, there are 46 additional spaces that will allow additional restaurant seats.
With a parking ratio of one parking space for every three seats, this excess parking would allow for 138 additional restaurant seatings.