Some local residents claim that a public scoping meeting for two proposed Marina del Rey projects failed to garner attendees because Los Angeles County officials failed to properly notify local residents and interested parties about the meeting because they wanted as little public comment as possible.

The individuals who did attend said they found out about the meeting by coincidence two hours before it began and that less than ten people attended.

The original review period that started with the Notice of Preparation (NOP) states that “the review period will be from March 1st to March 30th, 2007,” and that responses must be received by the county no later than April 4th.

Some also stated they had not received information about this Notice of Preparation, and some received a copy after the due date to respond had expired.

The public scoping meeting for these two proposed Goldrich & Kest developments — Oceana Retirement Facility (4445 Admiralty Way) and Holiday Harbor Courts (14025 Panay Way) — took place at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in the Marina del Rey area on August 9th.

One of the attendees said he had asked that the public meeting be rescheduled because of the paltry attendance due to lack of notification, but the person conducting the meeting for the county denied the request.

Envicom Corporation, the environmental consultant for Los Angeles County that is preparing the joint environmental impact report (EIR) for the two projects placed a legal notice in the July 26th issue of The Argonaut in the “Legal Notices” section (located in the back of the paper), as they are required to do by law, said company representative Johanna Falzarano.

Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning representative Rick Kuo said copies of the Notice of Preparation were made available at local libraries as well as on the county’s Web site and was sent out to various county and public agencies for comment from March 1st to 30th.

The two projects will share an EIR, and Falzarano told The Argonaut that originally two separate reports had been prepared that were less stringent under CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) requirements, and that county officials had then requested one joint EIR that was more stringent.

According to county documentation, the two proposed projects would require conditional use permits, coastal development permits, parking permits and amendments to the Marina del Rey Specific Plan for the transfer of development potential between three separate parcels.

The plan amendment for the proposed project at 4445 Admiralty Way is to designate the parcel for hotel land use with a mixed-use overlay, and to transfer 114 hotel spaces and 5,000 square feet of office space from the Admiralty Development Zone to the Oxford Development Zone.

In addition, 94 of the existing and required parking spaces from that project would be relocated to the proposed project at 14025 Panay Way.

The proposed Oceana Retirement Facility parcel is currently zoned for parking, and the proposed Holiday Harbor Courts parcel is zoned for marine commercial, according to county documentation.

In the initial study by the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning for the Notice of Preparation, the mandatory findings of significance for the Impact Analysis Matrix (listed as “yes,” “no” and “maybe”), rate as “maybe” for traffic and air quality under the question, “Does the project have possible environmental effects which are individually limited but cumulatively considerable. (Cumulatively considerable means that the incremental effects of an individual project are considerable when viewed in connection with the effects of past projects, the effects of other current projects, and the effects of probable future projects.)”

A rating of “maybe” was also given for geotechnical hazards, water quality, air quality, noise and environmental safety to the question, “Will the environmental effects of the project cause substantial adverse effects on human beings, either directly or indirectly?”

The conclusion of the mandatory findings states that the project (in this case two projects with one EIR) could have a “potentially significant” impact (individually or cumulatively) on the environment.”

The retirement facility is proposed to be adjacent to the Oxford Basin, with trees on the parcel that “may” provide nesting for black-crowned night herons.

These answers were provided to questions about the project containing a major riparian or other sensitive habitat, and other factors such as a wildlife corridor and adjacent open space linkage.

The county study states that the proposed Panay Way marine commercial building portion of the two projects “may obstruct views of Mothers Beach and Basin D of the Marina,” and the proposed six-story facility project, two stories of which are partially subterranean, rated a “yes” to the question, “Is the project likely to create substantial sun shadow, light or glare problems?”

In the traffic/access category, the proposed 114-unit retirement facility and the commercial offices on Panay Way received a “yes” rating to the question, “Does the project contain 25 dwelling units or more and is it located in an area with known congestion problems (roadways or intersections)?”

Under “Other factors — environmental,” the study states that Parcel OT (the Admiralty Way parcel) lies within the Methane Buffer Zone for the Playa del Rey and Venice fields (County Department of Building and Safety information) and rated a “yes” to the question, “Would the project or the environment involve the accidental release of materials into the environment?”

Mitigation measures for the Admiralty Way parcel state, “Mitigation improvements are typically required where subsurface methane concentrations exceeds 5,000 ppm (parts per million), and concentrations as high as 28,000 ppm were measured at Parcel OT (the retirement facility).

In the “Other ñ land use factors” category, the questions were, “Can the property be found to be inconsistent with the plan designation(s) of the subject property; and can the project be found to be inconsistent with the zoning designation of the subject property?”

Answers to both questions were rated “yes,” as the document states:

ï “Plan amendment for Parcel OT (the retirement facility) to change land use from parking to hotel and to transfer 114 hotel spaces and 5,000 square feet of office space from the Admiralty Development Zone to the Oxford Development Zone; and

ï “Retirement facility is proposed on Parcel OT, and 94 proposed parking spaces are transferred to Parcel 21, which is three-fifths of a mile away.”

OCEANA RETIREMENT FACILITY — The Oceana Retirement Facility is proposed for the Admiralty Way parcel, a 2.10-acre site, and would consist of a six-floor, 114-unit retirement facility, which would house an estimated population of 145 residents (assuming a 90 percent occupancy rate at any given time).

The facility would include retail space, a lobby, two lounges, two card rooms, a chapel, administration and reception offices, a dining room, a library, an arts and crafts room, laundry facilities, a trash and mail room, a kitchen, a beauty salon and on-site parking.

HOLIDAY HARBOR COURTS — Holiday Harbor Courts is a 2.55-acre site on Panay Way, and the proposed project would replace an existing on-site marine commercial office, a health club and retail uses with a new five-floor structure housing a marine commercial office, a health club, yacht club and retail uses, as well as a public park plaza, a promenade and on-site parking.

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