Conceptual approval with conditions was given by the County Marina del Rey Design Control Board for a proposed Marina Beach Residence Inn at Admiralty Way and Via Marina.

The project had twice before been denied conceptual approval at Design Control Board meetings.

Residence Inns are part of the Marriott chain and the project applicant, Thomas Henry, is the vice president of development for Pacifica Hotel Investors, LLC.

The Design Control Board gave conceptual approval with conditions at its meeting Thursday, February 16th, after last-minute negotiations with Henry, who agreed to redesign an area near a proposed exercise room as a concession area with storage space for rentable beach items.

The situation had reached a stalemate after board chair Susan Cloke said she would not consider giving conceptual approval unless the applicant made a commitment to provide space for some type of public amenities and increase level of service uses for beach visitors.

Stan Wisniewski, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors suggested that Cloke give the conceptual approval with conditions, and that his staff would provide a summarized finding of those conditions from the verbatim transcript of the meeting to be submitted at the March Design Control Board meeting for final review, to which she agreed.

“Building a hotel on the beach is a privilege, and the advantage of being a hotel on the beach means it needs to be part of the beach life,” said Cloke.

“I want people who come to this beach to be glad that the hotel is there,” Cloke said.

Henry had stated that he couldn’t make a commitment because restrictions and liability issues relating to possible injuries to non-hotel guests using such amenities needed to be explored with Marriott officials.

County counsel Tom Faughnan advised Cloke that the nature of what she was asking of Henry was a business decision, not a design issue.

Cloke said that her concern was giving the conceptual approval and then being unable to ask for public beach amenities after the developer had already gone through the approval process with the Los Angeles Regional Planning Commission.

The applicant is required to provide a public pedestrian path along the view corridor area connecting the beach to a widened and realigned intersection of Via Marina and Admiralty Way.

With the proposed widening and realignment of Admiralty Way, approximately 20,000 square feet on the western side of the parcel is required to be dedicated for road purposes, the county request for proposals (RFP) says.

Together, the road dedication and pedestrian plaza significantly reduce the developable land area by one-third, from 105,700 square feet to 70,400 square feet, the county RFP states.

The proposed Marriott Residence Inn development would have 147 suites — 20 two-bedroom and 127 one-bedroom suites — to be operated as an extended stay hotel.

The building height is proposed to be 45 feet, with four to five stories.

An 80-foot-wide view corridor from the proposed realigned intersection of Admiralty Way and Via Marina is required, to provide a view from the street to Marina (Mothers) Beach and down Basin D, according to the RFP.

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