The proposed construction of a 114-unit retirement residence in Marina del Rey has concerned members of the Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council about potential negative impacts on the Venice community.

The project is proposed on a parcel that is currently a 186-space parking lot adjacent to the Marina International Hotel, between Washington Boulevard and Admiralty Way in the Marina.

The project applicant, Gold-rich & Kest Industries, proposes to construct the new retirement residence, including 47 two-bedroom units of 1,050 square feet and 67 one-bedroom units of 700 square feet, at the site.

The parking lot parcel has frontage on both Admiralty Way and Washington Boulevard, and is located between the county Oxford Flood Control Basin on the east and the Marina International Hotel on the west.

The proposed project also includes 5,000 square feet of retail space on Washington Boulevard and a landscaped public accessway on the eastern edge of the parcel, connecting Washington Boulevard and Admiralty Way.

Developer representatives first presented the plans in August to the County Marina del Rey Design Control Board, which gave conditional conceptual support for the project.

But some Venice community residents living near the site have expressed some concern regarding the height, density and traffic related to the proposed retirement home, said Challis MacPherson, Grass Roots Venice Neighborhood Council member.

The Grass Roots Neighborhood Council unanimously approved its Land Use and Planning Committee recommendation Tuesday, January 17th, to send a letter to Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl that expresses the project’s potential negative impacts on Venice.

Although the proposed residence is located in unincorporated Los Angeles County and doesn’t need approval from any city agencies, the building would face Venice and would have “significant impact on Washington Boulevard traffic and future city planning in the area,” the Neighborhood Council letter states.

Venice community members have not had an opportunity to offer input on the proposal and Neighborhood Council members are recommending that Rosen-dahl get involved, said Phil Raider, a Neighborhood Council member.

While the proposal is for a retirement home, it will be occupied primarily by “active seniors” who may generate increased traffic in the area due to their many activities and visitors, MacPherson said.

“These are active seniors who have cars, kids visiting and are going out and in,” MacPherson said. “This is not an assisted living facility.”

The retirement residence building is expected to be about six stories, or 65 feet high, facing Washington Boulevard, which some Neighborhood Council members said is “significantly out of character and scale” with existing development along Washington Boulevard.

According to the letter to Rosendahl, the Marina International Hotel to the west is only four stories high along Washington Boulevard and the Oxford Flood Control Basin to the east is “considerably below grade.”

But a Goldrich & Kest document says that the 65-foot height is much lower than the maximum 140 feet allowed.

Goldrich & Kest representatives had not returned Argonaut phone calls at press time.

Neighborhood Council members also requested that Rosen-dahl send a letter to the County Regional Planning Commission, suggesting that the proposed height and density are “significantly out of character and scale” with existing development along Washington Boulevard.

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