Recommendations for conceptual approval of the proposed Woodfin Hotel Suite and Vacation Ownership project and the adjacent project Neptune Marina Apartments and Anchorage (Legacy) were made with conditions by the Marina del Rey Design Control Board Thursday, July 20th, at Burton Chace Park Community Building, Marina del Rey.

The special July 20th meeting was called because the board’s July 13th evening meeting had adjourned before all matters on the agenda could be considered.

Revised minutes of the Design Control Board meeting Thursday, June 29th, were addressed for both proposed adjacent projects, which will share a wetlands park area. The minutes had not been approved at the July 13th meeting because of inaccuracies.

Design Control Board chair Susan Cloke and board members Katherine Spitz and Peter Phinney had emphasized at the June meeting that the board believed that the Woodfin Suite Hotel project was “located incorrectly and that it was incompatible and out of scale with the neighborhood.”

Cloke said the design board “recognizes that it does not have authority to address those issues and defers to the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning for further determinations relative to land use compatibility.”

WOODFIN HOTEL SUITE AND VACATION OWNERSHIP — Conditions attached to the July 20th recommendation for conceptual approval were that:

— the existing vernal wetland be protected and restored and not be damaged or converted to a tidal wetland;

— the applicant return to the Design Control Board for reconsideration of this project in its entirety if there are any changes in the interpretation of the wetland or wetland development or required buffer zone as this project progresses through entitlements;

— the plinth area, particularly on the promenade side, receive further study by the architect in terms of improved articulation, planters be scaled down at ground level and additional openings be explored in the parking area;

— the project be designated a “resort” hotel, since it is a resort hotel by design;

— upon the applicant’s return to the Design Control Board the waterside design include the new transient boat slips; and

— the applicant return for final approval of colors, landscaping, fenestration and building materials.

The Woodfin Hotel Suite and Vacation Ownership proposed project would consist of a 19-story hotel containing 152 hotel rooms or suites (52.8 percent) and 136 vacation ownership suites (47.2 percent) centered within the parcel, including:

— construction of a connecting low-rise building for hotel ancillary uses such as lobby/reception, hotel restaurant/bar, kitchen, sundry shop, meeting rooms, restrooms and administrative spaces;

— construction of a 332-space, five-story parking structure along the northern parcel boundary adjacent to the Neptune Marina Apartments and Anchorage;

— development of a concourse area connecting to an outdoor terrace above the waterfront pedestrian promenade;

— development of an enhanced (muted) wetland park along the southern portion of the parcel;

— development of new public transient dock space (560 linear feet) and public access improvements serving boaters in Basin B; and

— enhancement of a 28-foot wide public promenade with public access improvements.

NEPTUNE MARINA APARTMENTS AND ANCHORAGE — Conditions attached to the conceptual approval recommendation were that:

— the existing vernal wetland be protected and restored and not be damaged or converted to a tidal wetland;

— further study and articulation of fenestration, roof forms, car court and promenade elevations be done to express a more waterfront marina context;

— the applicant return if the replacement parking cannot be appropriately provided;

— the applicant return with more information about contributions being offered to the boating program, including the use of facilities;

— the applicant return to the control board for reconsideration of this project in its entirety if there are any changes in the interpretation of the wetland or wetland development or required buffer zone as this project progresses through entitlements;

— the applicant return if there are changes in the design due to further analysis of wind studies; and

— the applicant return for final approval of colors, landscaping, fenestration and building materials.

The proposed apartment community would include 526 apartment dwelling units, recreation amenities for the residents, public access improvements, a new marina and related boater facilities, with the full project occupying a total of 9.368 acres, according to county documents.

The project consists of four separate apartment buildings.

A transient dock with a sewage pump-out facility would be provided, which would also provide for a water shuttle drop.

The enhanced anchorage facilities would include a separate boaters’ lounge facility.

Adjacent to the boater’s lounge would be the dockmaster’s office, and additional amenities for the boaters would include restrooms, showers and lockers in two of the buildings.

FISHERMAN’S VILLAGE — A recommendation for conceptual approval was given for a proposed project at Fisherman’s Village, with a condition that the issue of sufficient parking facilities be addressed.

Fisherman’s Village would be completely demolished, with the exception of the lighthouse, which would be remodeled.

Upscale retail shops, a small boutique hotel above retail shops, a restaurant, a food court, outside dining, jewelry stores and a supervised children’s play area are all proposed.

The existing El Torito restaurant would be demolished and relocated to the south of the property, adjacent to Shanghai Red’s restaurant.

The total adjusted area of the new redevelopment proposal is 127,450 square feet, an increase of 94,850 square feet over the existing improvements and 78,850-square feet more than the project approved in 2003, according to county documents.

The developer also proposes to construct rearranged boating facilities and improve the public promenade.

Modifications to the planned dock improvements include:

— elimination of the charter boat slip adjacent to the Loyola Marymount University Boathouse and provision of a dock extension along the pier-head line to provide 485 linear feet of dockage area for two charter boats in tandem;

— creation of a larger boat rental area;

— provision of individual sewage connections for each commercial slip and elimination of a single common vessel pump-out;

— provision of expanded area for three transient slips and dinghy dockage area;

— relocation of the water taxi slip to the central area; and

— provision of dock and gangway improvements compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act throughout.

Aaron Clark, a representative of the Fisherman’s Village proposed development, claimed that parking would be sufficient, and that there would not be an influx of people for events because the developer wasn’t proposing any large events.

In a meeting of the Marina Affairs Committee of the Westchester/LAX-Marina del Rey Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, May 2nd, Jack Hollander, the architect for the Fisherman’s Village proposed project, had told the audience that “there would be an amphitheater in the center of the development, and we hope to hold summer and other concerts and possibly a fireworks display if we can get the county’s permission.”

During public comment, speakers angry about the existing traffic gridlock said the renovation of Fisherman’s Village would only increase the traffic burden.

The issue of traffic studies was addressed by a speaker who said that previous traffic studies only counted traffic on one side of Lincoln Boulevard, and that both sides of the street are considered to be part of Marina del Rey.

Attorney Richard Fine, who represents the Coalition to Save the Marina in several lawsuits, said a traffic cap actually stops all Marina development after peak hour traffic reaches a certain level.

Fine suggested that county officials contact the City of Los Angeles and ask officials to undertake a city mapping project with “meets and bounds” of Marina del Rey, and use that map as an overlay of Marina del Rey to determine where the boundaries are located.

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