Plan for Fisherman’s Village is crass, misguided

See “A Bigger, Busier Fisherman’s Village,” page 9

If the developer’s redesign for Marina del Rey’s Fisherman’s Village goes forward, the public recreational interest in the publicly-owned marina is about to be betrayed again — big time.

With its funky and brightly colored Cape Cod cottages, Fisherman’s Village is the most spectacular of the three public spaces in the marina, a list that also includes Mother’s Beach and Burton Chace Park.

Fisherman’s Village is a destination that has fallen on hard times, but tourists like it, even members of the Small Craft Harbor Commission keep calling for it to be replaced.

It is also a popular public destination on weekends, when locals dance to band music, listen to concerts and stroll along the waterfront with its sea lions flopping on the docks and seabirds congregating in the trees.

The commissioners might remember that if you were to propose demolishing something funky in Venice, just a mile or so north, you would be run out of town.

What the developers propose is to turn Fisherman’s Village into a site for a sprawling luxury hotel, a strip mall and an ugly car parking lot with slatted sides, chewing up the public space. Just looking at their plan raises the question: Why would anyone want to go there?

There is no designated concert area, no integration with the magnificent water panorama of the marina entrance, precious little in the way of recreation for children and nothing for parents.

Significant changes have been made to the earlier plan the developers presented in 2013. Then the proposed hotel was a strip building set off discreetly to the side. Now it is a massive structure looming over the whole area.

In 2013 the developers repeatedly promised that although they would demolish all the cottages they would keep what they called the ‘iconic lighthouse tower’ in the middle of the area.

Now the ‘iconic’ lighthouse tower has disappeared too. When it comes to developers’ demands, iconic doesn’t count for much.

Bruce Russell, Marina del Rey

Bruce Russell is the author of “Chinatown County: The Sell-Out of Marina del Rey.”

Beware Burning Underpants in Venice

As a longtime Venice resident I have seen the boardwalk slide into its current state as if in slow-motion — a long downhill ride from funky fun into frightening chaos.

I wish I had one uplifting story to tell you about my interaction with the vagrants here, but I don’t

At 7:30 a.m. last Tuesday my friend and I were walking north along Ocean Front Walk at about Park Avenue when a woman who was shouting something I could not understand threw a burning pair of underpants at me.

This was both funny and sad.

My husband has now told me he really doesn’t want me to walk along the boardwalk without him. I guess he’s right. It’s scary in Venice these days, in large and small ways.

Noël Johnston, Venice

FROM THE WEB:

Re: “Venice vs. the Poor,” feature,
May 14

Ferguson, Mo., is vacationing on our beaches. Our police are out of control and waging war on the homeless, aiding and abetting the burgeoning Silicon Beach phenomenon and the rampant gentrification and over-development of West Los Angeles.

Art E. Musica

Re: “Undercover Sting Targets
Kombucha at Venice Spiritual Center,” news, May 14

Your tax dollars hard at work. When did ISIS take over?

OurManFlint1

I’m floored by this. Don’t they have anything better to do? Let us have our kombucha in peace.

Amber-Rain

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