A public scoping meeting for the proposed Marina del Rey Boat Central project’s environmental impact report (EIR) was held Thursday, February 19th at the Marina del Rey Hotel.

Meeting facilitator Lloyd Zola of HDR Engineering said public comment will be accepted until Friday, February 27th. Comments should be addressed to Michael Tripp at the County of Los Angeles, Department of Regional Planning, 320 Temple St., Los Angeles, CA 90012.

Information, (213) 974-4813, fax (213) 626-0434, or e-mail to mtripp@planning.lacounty.gov/.

Zola said that by the fall, a draft EIR is expected to be prepared for a 45-day public review period. At the end of that period, the county will prepare written responses to the public comments to be included in the draft EIR, and a final EIR is expected late this year or early 2010, after which the report will go to Regional Planning for a public hearing.

The project site is at 13483 Fiji Way, west of Admiralty Way and Fiji Way.

The scoping meeting was intended to gather input from local residents and concerned parties about the content and analyses to be addressed in the EIR.

The scope of the proposed Boat Central project involves the development of a dry stack boat storage facility on a 4.25-acre property, comprised of land and water areas on Parcels 52R, GG and 49M, according to county documentation.

The following amendments, permits and variance would be required:

A Specific Plan amendment designating public facilities to boat storage with a waterfront overlay (52R, GG) and from parking to public facilities (49M);

— a Local Coastal Program amendment to add dry stack storage buildings to permitted uses in water land-use category and to allow buildings over the water portion of parcels to be the same height as landside buildings;

— a coastal development permit for demolition and construction;

— a conditional use permit to authorize the proposed uses;

— a parking permit for reduction in required parking and use of valet parking;

— and a variance to allow construction of a dry stack building in required setback areas and for increase in maximum allowable height.

The applications required the county to take discretionary actions, reviewing any potential environmental effects of the proposed actions, and the county determined that “significant” environmental effects could result, requiring an EIR.

Topical areas to be analyzed in the EIR include: aesthetics, air quality, biological resources (including marine and bird assessment), geology and soils, hazards and hazardous materials, hydrology and water quality, land use and planning, noise, transportation/

traffic and utilities and service systems.

Each section contains information on existing setting, thresholds of significance, project impacts prior to mitigation, mitigation measures, level of significance and cumulative impacts.

Public speakers told Zola, the meeting facilitator, that because the county doesn’t have a master plan for the entire redevelopment of the Marina, they believe the “piecemealing” of each project has deleterious effects on the basic infrastructure, sewers, traffic, air and noise congestion, elimination of public parking and small boat slips.

One speaker reminded the audience that in a 2007 Marina del Rey Design Control Board meeting, this project had not received a recommendation to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to move forward, but it had still moved forward to the regional planning department for the permit process.

Speakers said it is essential that they provide as many crucial issues for inclusion into the EIR, because once the EIR is completed, those items can’t be included at a later date or mitigated.

Issues of importance to the speakers included monitoring of noise, hazardous material handling, air quality, protection of roosting and nesting herons and egrets, construction traffic, view disturbance (the Marina LCP states that views of the harbor are a priority), lack of pedestrian amenities such as sidewalks, shade, shadow and wind studies, scenic views (the visual effects of entering the Marina and seeing such a large, “barn-like” structure), short and long-term air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, traffic trip generator studies, idling boat impact while waiting to be uploaded into the storage and fuel and water quality effects on wildlife and plant species.

Other issues included monitoring noise from pile drivers and debris from construction trucks; the tidal conduit linkage to Ballona Creek; requiring an on-site independent monitor to log compliance of construction activity; gray water recycling; consistency of the project with the county general plan; county zoning regulations and the Marina LCP; shoreline public access; as well as honoring the California Coastal Commission finding that no boat slips under 35 feet be eliminated.

Among other issues were the need for public restrooms, pump-out stations and construction parking; utility system needs and requirements; logging of types of solid waste and how it is picked up; and wheelchair cutouts and appropriate surface for wheelchair use with public access according to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

Speakers asked how the EIR addresses the social analysis and how the project and all of its ramifications affect the social fabric of the environment and its inhabitants.

Zola responded that the impact on people that are displaced is not analyzed.

BOAT CENTRAL PROJECT—

The boat storage structure will accommodate a maximum of 345 boats and 28 boat trailers. The structure would be approximately 70 feet in height. The crane and protective covering will range from approximately 75 feet to 82 feet in height.

The boat storage structure would protrude into Basin H and overhang the water in an articulated manner by approximately 45 feet on the eastern side and approximately 97 feet on the western side. Along Fiji Way, the structure frontage would be approximately 138 feet.

Dry stack storage for 30 mast-up sailboats within a fenced area will also be constructed. A new dock structure for boat queuing only, an office and customer service lounge, and a sheriff’s Boatwright office in a two-story building are also proposed.

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