The current 1995 Marina Local Coastal Plan (LCP) doesn’t contain any objectives for environmentally sensitive habitat, according to Liz Fuchs, manager of statewide planning and the Federal Consistency Unit of the California Coastal Commission.

Fuchs addressed local residents at a public workshop discussion concerning a Marina del Rey local coastal plan review Wednesday, January 20th. The purpose of the workshop was to facilitate discussion and get public input on priority issues for the plan review.

Attendees told Fuchs that priority concerns were protection of environmentally-safe habitats and the loss of public boating and use of Marina del Rey because of the influx of developments.

A handout from the coastal commission itemized some of the major LCP implementation issues that could be considered, based on LCP goals/objectives/policies, or by coastal commission actions on LCP amendment or permit appeals.

Fuchs said a major question is whether goals, policies and objectives of the 1995 LCP have been met, and whether stewardship of the Marina has been handled in a responsible way.

Due to limited resources, not all issues will be facilitated, only priority ones, said Fuchs.

The California Coastal Commission cannot unilaterally amend the LCP, but the review can call attention to specific issues, she said.

Many audience members told Fuchs and other coastal commission representatives that the Marina public boating and use are declining because of existing and pending development.

“We’re not prepared to draw a conclusion now,” Fuchs told the audience when asked if this review would lead to a formal update of the LCP.

Issues listed on the handout included whether recreation and visitor facilities had increased or decreased, or if uses had changed, and included the following questions:

– Has new development provided additional recreational opportunities and protected priority uses?

– Have non-priority/non-coastal-dependent facilities been built, and if so, was mitigation provided?

– Are requirements for visitor-serving uses and amount still sufficient to reflect priority uses consistent with the Coastal Act?

– Have conflicts increased between private leaseholds and public parking?

– Has access for persons with disabilities been increased?

– Have conditions changed regarding biological resources, and is the LCP still sufficient to protect resources consistent with the Coastal Act?

– Have traffic studies been updated and development zones revised accordingly?

– Has the main focus of the Marina (recreational boating and visitor-serving commercial) been maintained?

– Are boating requirements in the LCP still sufficient to protect recreational boating consistent with the Coastal Act?

– Have recreation facilities been protected and maintained, and have lower-cost facilities and uses been protected and where feasible encouraged?

– Have boating and support facilities been maintained?

Other areas of question included shoreline public access, marine resources, cultural resources, new development, visual resources, hazard areas, and circulation.

Public works, diking, dredging, filling and shoreline structures, industrial development and energy facilities, and procedures of adequate public noticing or procedural issues were also listed.

Representatives of Fuchs wrote down audience questions and concerns and will include that information in their report to the coastal commission.

The areas of recreation and visitor facilities, recreational boating, environmentally sensitive habitat, and new development received the most attention.

Concern for boating capabilities for families of modest means, the lack of a campsite at the Marina, the lack of affordable housing offered in the Marina, and the lack of addressing handicapped accessible areas in new developments concerned members of the audience.

Fuchs told the audience that all comments to the California Coastal Commission had to be submitted by Monday, January 24th.

The coastal commission staff will review the public comments, along with information provided by County Beaches and Harbors and the commission’s own private data collecting.

A report of the review should go to the commission in March. A decision about requiring an LCP revision could be made at the June coastal commission. meeting.

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