Reminds county that we are all stakeholders

To the Editor:

It certainly would help all concerned if Don Knabe, our representative on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors for the 4th District had his facts straight about Marina del Rey.

In the September 3rd Argonaut he stated that Marina del Rey was owned by the county, which is wrong. Marina del Rey is a publicly owned asset that was created as a small craft harbor recreation area in the 1960s through a taxpayer base paid off in 1993. We are all stakeholders in Marina del Rey as community members and taxpayers of Los Angeles County.

Now is the perfect time to plan the future of Marina del Rey, the perfect opportunity to update or to work on the Local Coastal Program and start afresh with Marina del Rey public community support and awareness. Long term leases (for land and water parcels) will expire in the next ten to 14 years and revert back to full public property.

We cannot let the Department of Beaches and Harbors (DBH) and the L.A. Board of Supervisors continue to rubber stamp the development projects proposed for Marina del Rey. (19 are currently proposed.)

The DBH has bundled some properties together such as the Woodfin Hotel/Timeshares (which is not permitted on public land) and the Neptune Apartments. Another is the senior retirement hotel (Oxford Lagoon) and the Holiday Harbor (Marina Fitness on Panay) which share an EIR. My guess is that the DBH thinks that bundled proposals have a better chance of being passed, even though the properties bundled are unrelated. These are among the six projects to be given priority by the board, which are eight in actuality.

The proposed development of 19 properties threatens our community because the land involved will also take away five of our parking lots for commercial use and more housing develpments. Granted, some of our parking lots are not used as much as they could be. Shuffleboard, baseball, basketball, hopscotch, back-packing or hiking stagings or even tent camping could possibly be considered. It just takes a bit of creative thinking and overall management. That way we would still have parking lots available for the holidays, when they are absolutely necessary.

Just look at the cutesy shops at the Waterside and ask if more commercial development should be encouraged. Trader Joes would be an asset, while more of the same may not be, in my opinion.

Again, let’s ask Knabe to rescind the roadmap approach and move quickly towards completing a comprehensive updated LCP. The county and Coastal Commission both admit our current LCP is bad. Jenny Oropeza, whose Senate resolution on coastal development is the proper direction for our Marina del Rey community, is definitely worth wholeheartedly supporting to protect and save our Marina.

D.G. Franklin, Marina del Rey

Says pier nets ‘will torture and kill many birds’

To the Editor:

To try to curb ocean pollution, the Santa Monica City Council has approved a $107,758 contract with a company called “Bird Busters” to put up a net under the pier which will run its length and width.

Animal rights activists have said this net will torture and kill many birds. They are certain that once the net is installed, the pigeons that remain trapped will starve to death, while those on the outside will kill themselves from the exhaustion of repeatedly trying to return to their nests.

The Voice for Animals organization has said that there has not been a single documented case of a human disease being traced to a pigeon or its droppings.

Now that the water quality around the pier has risen to a usual “B”from an “F,” I would ask the council to reconsider its decision to attack the pigeons living there. Birth control could be tried. Or presumably, the city’s agreement with Bird Busters could be modified to allow Santa Monica to switch to one of their less damaging products. The birds could be deterred from re-nesting there, rather than assaulted. Why not try audio /visual bird deterrents and bird scare devices?

With an L.A. County health inspection score of “B” and lower, we are all expected to keep eating at restaurants. Sure the water quality “B” score is from a different system, but does it really require such a draconian response for our health? Save money, show some mercy, and give the birds a break.

Cosmo Bua, Santa Monica

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