An environmental study scheduled to start in November and take one-and-a-half to two years must be completed before work on the Marina Freeway (State Route 90) access highway and a connector road to Admiralty Way can begin.

A representative from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works Traffic and Lighting Division presented this timetable to the County Small Craft Harbor Commission members during a commission meeting Wednesday, October 12th, in Burton Chace Park Community Building in the Marina.

The county is the administrator of the project, even though the state transportation department, Caltrans, is responsible for the work to be done said James Chung, county traffic and lights division representative.

“Does this mean that there will be no shoveling, digging or bulldozing for almost two years?” asked Harley Searcy, Small Craft Harbor Commission chairman.

Chung responded in the affirmative.

Stan Wisniewski, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors, said he is concerned about the length of time projected for the proposed environmental study.

Wisniewski said he wants a map at the county’s next quarterly meeting showing where the traffic mitigation sites will be and the capability to track the completion date where improvements are to be made.

Small Craft Harbor commission vice chair Carole Stevens asked Chung how the Marina Freeway will impact the Marina.

Chung said a study is currently under way with three different proposals, and that no conclusions could be made at this time.

In early September, Barry Kurtz, Sr., Los Angeles County Department of Public Works traffic engineer, told members of the Westchester-LAX/Marina del Rey Chamber of Commerce Harbor Committee that three alternatives are being studied for the Route 90-Admiralty Way linkage.

An early proposal had the road continuing westward across Lincoln Boulevard and the former Budget Rent-A-Car parcel and entering Admiralty Way in a T-junction near the County Lloyd Taber-Marina del Rey Library.

Another proposal would have the road crossing through the present Marina del Rey Toyota property and linking with Bali Way.

A third proposal would also have the road cross over the present Marina del Rey Toyota property and link with Admiralty Way between the library and Bali Way.

Kurtz said that advantages of the third plan include that the roadway would not touch the existing bicycle path near the library and not interfere with the former Budget Rent-A-Car (now Beverly Hills Rental) parcel.

Such a crossing would be grade-level, rather than an overpass over Lincoln Boulevard, Kurtz said, but would eliminate the present Marina del Rey Professional Building that now exists at Admiralty and Bali Ways.

Kurtz said the present lease period for that parcel is nearing termination, which would allow the county to assume the parcel.

In such a plan, Kurtz said, the county might consider closing Bali Way between Lincoln Boulevard and Admiralty Way.

Wisniewski said the county would benefit by having Kurtz work directly on this project on a more full-time basis.

CAPRI APARTMENTS — Wisniewski told commission members that his department had submitted paperwork to the County Regional Planning Commission opposing a request by developer Goldrich & Kest to change from providing affordable housing to paying “in-lieu” fees at the Capri Apartments on 13953 Panay Way in Marina del Rey.

A meeting of the Regional Planning Commission was held Wednesday, October 12th, to consider the appeal by Goldrich & Kest.

A commission decision was postponed until late November.

Wisniewski said the developer had had ample time to decide if the project would be profitable before agreeing to include affordable housing for low-income individuals, and that the project’s residential component was already completed.

Small Craft Harbor Commission chair Searcy offered the commission’s full support in joining Wisniewski’s opposition to the developer’s request — with the exception of commissioner Russ Lesser, who said he didn’t have enough information to oppose the project.

MARINA SHERIFF CRIME — Sheriff’s Lt. Greg Nelson reported that while the burglary rate in the Marina has declined, the rate of grand thefts has increased.

He reported that construction equipment and a truck had been stolen at Waterside Marina Shopping Center and outboards and bicycles were stolen in other areas of the Marina.

MARINA LIBRARY — In other new business, Susan Baier, community library manager, announced expanded hours for the Lloyd W. Taber-Marina del Rey Library at 4533 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey.

Baier said new library hours are:

n Monday — 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

n Tuesday — Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.;

n Friday — noon to 6 p.m.; and

n Saturday — 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The library is closed Sundays.

CONVENTION AND

VISITORS BUREAU — Small Craft Harbor Commission vice chair Stevens was appointed a member of the Marina del Rey Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors for 2006 by the other commission members.

Russ Lesser was appointed an alternate.

Wisniewski recommended that the renewal of and third amendment to the Marina del Rey Convention and Visitors Bureau agreement be extended for five years, and that funding from the county remain at the current 31 percent per year of the total funds received by the bureau. Other funding is received by the bureau from local hotels and businesses.

Small Craft Harbor commission members discussed the bureau funding, with Stevens saying she “has a problem” that the bureau continues to receive only 31 percent of its revenue from the county.

The commission agreed that if the visitors bureau lost funding from one of the other sources, a special case-by-case consideration of county funding might be undertaken.

TRAFFIC CRUSH — During public comments, some local residents told the commission members that the reason for traffic congestion in the Marina goes directly to the large number of residential developments allowed by the county in the Marina.

The residents reminded the commissioners that the Marina was originally intended for public recreation and boating.

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