The Los Angeles County Small Craft Harbor Commission discussed an upcoming study by a county consulting firm on recreational boating slip mix and addressed ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) dock compliance in the Marina at its meeting Wednesday, February 11th.

Santos Kreimann, director of the county Department of Beaches and Harbors, told the commissioners that Noble Consultants, Inc., a consulting firm that has worked with the county department for eight to ten years, will conduct a review of boating slip needs that takes into account small, medium and large watercraft.

Noble Consultants, Inc. will compile, analyze and make recommendations for boating needs that will include marinas up and down the coast, with a goal of establishing a policy regarding current and future dock replacement in Marina del Rey that is based on measurable historic trends and market data, said Kreimann.

The company has been tasked with obtaining and reviewing historic data on boat and berthing size trends for recreational power- and sailboats during the past 30 to 50 years.

Noble Consultants will determine the existing slip makeup within the Marina by slip length and average slip-clear width by number and percentage, as well as finger-dock width as compared to current Department of Boating and Waterways (DBAW) standards; forecast the required changes in these dimensions for marinas to be replaced in Marina del Rey to meet current and future boating size demands; and recommend the proper boat slip sizes and how the slip mixes should be used for reviewing proposed marina plans going forward, said Kreimann.

“The ADA dock compliance issue was placed on the agenda in response to past challenges that we have dedicated too many boat slips to Americans with Disabilities Act compliance,” Kreimann said. “We note we are committed to providing marina access to the disabled community and believe Department of Boating and Waterways guidelines require ADA-compliant slips at each individual anchorage, with the county’s building code being even more stringent.”

Opponents to the inclusion of more ADA-compliant slips have claimed that the county has gone overboard on the ADA-compliant slips, taking away space from vehicle parking and boat slips.

Completion of the draft study by Noble Consultants is expected by the end of the month, and draft findings will be discussed at the next Small Craft Harbor Commission meeting, which is scheduled at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 11th, at Burton Chace Park.

During public comment, boat owner Jon Nahhas said that the California Coastal Commission has found that the certified 1996 Marina del Rey Local Coastal Program (LCP) needs a comprehensive update and recommended that Los Angeles County conduct a boating study every five years to assess boating facility needs.

Nahhas said that the Recreational Boating Work Group (part of the LCP review process) “has spent countless hours on matters concerning an appropriate boating study.”

In other business, Russ Lesser, chair of the Small Craft Harbor Commission, welcomed new commissioner Dennis V. Alfieri, appointed by Mike Antonovich, who represents the Fifth District for the county Board of Supervisors.

Beverly Moore, executive director of the Marina del Rey Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the audience that its new tagline is “Coastal Warmth, L.A. Cool.”

Moore said a new Web site for the bureau has been launched, providing much more information about local activities and hotels for visitors.

The introductory welcome page offers information in several foreign languages as well as a link to Google for maps, said Moore.

“Many people aren’t aware that Marina del Rey is part of the greater Los Angeles area,” said Moore.

Information, visitmarinadelrey.com/.

A report from the county Sheriff’s Department Marina del Rey Station indicates that the major crime in the Marina area is one of “opportunity,” when individuals leave GPS (global positioning system) devices, laptops and other items in their vehicles in plain view in parking structures and elsewhere.

The Sheriff’s Marina Station “We Tip Hotline” phone number is (310) 482-6002.

The county Department of Public Works and the Sanitation District, in conjunction with Beaches and Harbors, are sponsoring the annual Household Hazardous Waste and E-Waste Roundup for the proper disposal of environmentally harmful household substances and electronic waste from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, February 28th, at the Dock 52 parking lot, 13483 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey.

Information, Los Angeles County Sanitation District, (800) 238-0172, or www.lacsd.org/.

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