Marina development as master plan a ‘joke’

To the Editor:

Our county supervisor, Don Knabe, certainly knows how to make a good joke, and none better than his describing the development process the county has been going through in Marina del Rey as a “master plan” (The Argonaut, March 15).

It seems to have escaped Mr. Knabe’s attention that year by year, time after time, critics of his Marina plans called for an end to piecemealing and the adoption of a proper master plan.

The county allegedly ignored these complaints and pushed ahead with permitting individual parcels or small groups of parcels without any regard for what was happening alongside.

A prime example of this was what happened on Palawan Way.

The county hired an urban planner to draw up a scheme for Mothers Beach. They came up with excellent ideas for developing improvements for non-powered boats like outriggers, rowboats and kayaks on the northern sandy strip of the beach.

What they were not told was that, at that time, the county was planning to give away the boaters’ parking lot on the other side of the road and there would be no way for the boaters to get their outriggers and kayaks in there.

In other words, one side of Palawan Way didn’t know what the other side was doing. The whole thing was an expensive and futile exercise and needless to say the plan hasn’t been heard of since.

If Mr. Knabe is elected again, we will no doubt be treated to more of his examples of what Stephen Colbert of “The Colbert Report” aptly calls “truthiness.”

Bruce Russell, Marina del Rey

Expresses total support to Bergamot Transit Village

To the Editor:

I would like to state my brief comment in response to the article “Santa Monica: Opposition to Bergamot Village project grows to nearby communities,” published March 23.

I visit Santa Monica regularly, and I have been following the developments of various projects closely. I’m very pleased to see many new projects evolving, which are transforming Santa Monica into a beautiful, vibrant region, as well as safer, and more pedestrian-friendly than ever before.

I am in total support of the developments. What I am disappointed with, though, is the typical case of NIMBYism of the local homeowners, and the recent article clearly demonstrates it. It looks like those NIMBYs have nothing better to do than create senseless oppositions, which are completely unreasonable.

I guess, those local residents don’t understand the concept of revitalization of Los Angeles’ various regions (including downtown Santa Monica), creating density to solve increased population issues, attracting pedestrians and getting rid of blighted spots; all of this is something that West L.A. and Santa Monica NIMBY residents cannot seem to comprehend – hence their distorted view.

As for the homeowners’ paranoia of the “project creating more traffic,” this is the most lame excuse on record. First off, we live in a city, meaning that traffic will always, no matter what, be a part of the city life. If you’re afraid of traffic, then maybe it’s time to move out to South Dakota, Idaho or Montana.

The NIMBYs keep singing their old “traffic” song without realizing that thanks to the mass transit breakthrough in the entire Los Angeles region, people have choices besides driving. Los Angeles County, including Santa Monica, offers many public transit options, including buses, trains, bicycling; walking is also a highly recommended option to avoid traffic issues. The new Expo Line to Santa Monica, opening in 2015, will offer Santa Monica residents yet another convenient, reliable option of travel, taking people away from their traffic problems.

The Bergamot Transit Village should not be reduced; the current plan looks great, and will significantly improve the quality of life in the area. If anything, the Westsiders (NIMBYs) need serious education about the benefits of transit-oriented developments and the pedestrian-, family-friendly lifestyle.

I totally support the developments and am looking forward to the beautiful new projects. I am confident the new Bergamot Station improvement and the Pedestrian Plaza will enhance the quality of life further, making the city of Santa Monica the truly wonderful place to live, visit and work.

Alexander Friedman, Hollywood

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