A recommendation to adopt various county ordinance amendments related to administration, advisory commissions and committees, parks, beaches and other public areas, airports and harbors for the third and fourth supervisorial districts, was approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Tuesday, Feb. 7.

Presented by Department of Beaches and Harbors Director Santos Kreimann on Jan. 31, the ordinance amendments relate to Title 2 (administration), Title 3 (advisory commissions and committees), Title 17 (parks, beaches and other public areas), and Title 19 (airports and harbors) of the county code. The regulations affect the unincorporated county areas, including Marina del Rey.

According to county documentation, the purpose of the recommended action is that most provisions of the existing beach ordinance were adopted in 1969, with modest revisions in 1985. Most provisions of the existing harbor and maritime ordinance were adopted in 1967, with major revisions in 1988 – the same time that the Harbor Patrol was transferred from the Department of Beaches and Harbors to the county Sheriff’s Department.

The proposed ordinances were developed in conjunction with the lifeguard division of the fire department and the Marina station and harbor master of the sheriff’s department. Additionally, changes recommended by the Beach and Small Craft Harbor commissions, as well as members of the public, during presentations of the proposed ordinances at public meetings have been incorporated, Kreimann said.

Major specific substantive changes include:

Chapter 2.20 – explicitly establishes that ocean lifeguards are under the direct control of the fire department;

Chapter 2.116 – specifies that the director of Beaches and Harbors has the authority to license or permit beach and Marina events and activities and to issue rental licenses/permits not exceeding a monthly rental amount of $15,000. This delegation of authority to the director doesn’t limit the board’s authority to enter into rental licenses/permits and similar agreements in excess of $15,000 per month pursuant to government code procedures;

Chapter 17.12 – beach definition defines “beach” to include accompanying areas, such as facilities, bike paths, service roads, parking lots or pedestrian access roads, and all navigable waters within 1,000 feet from a public beach or shoreline;

License/permit requirements – previously reaffirmed by the board in August 2011, defines and requires licenses/permits for the non-inclusive use of specified areas on a beach, right-of-entry licenses/permits for construction-related activities, parking permits, and beach use rental licenses/permits for organized events such as volleyball tournaments, surfing contests/competitions, weddings and receptions, organized group or sponsored gatherings involving 50 or more people, 5k/10k runs, triathlons, school groups, organized youth groups, recreational camps, physical fitness training, any commercial activity, including commercial filming and photography, and corporate parties;

Enforcement authority extended – defines code enforcement officer and requires compliance with any lawful order, signal, or direction of a code enforcement officer or ocean lifeguard seeking to enforce any provision of the beach ordinance. Also extends the director’s enforcement authority and delegates power to the fire chief, ocean lifeguards, or any peace or code enforcement officer;

Digging prohibition – prohibits digging of holes in the sand deeper than 18 inches or into a vertical sand embankment;

Parking restrictions (Section 17.12.232;

Smoking prohibition – the beach ordinance prohibits smoking on a public beach within the unincorporated areas of the county;

Fire restrictions – identifies fire prohibitions and limits fires to fire pits at Dockweiler RV Park, the built-in and personal barbecues at Dockweiler State Beach in Playa del Rey and personal barbecues brought to the Marina Beach picnic shelters;

Model operation restrictions – prohibits operation of model airplanes, boats, helicopters or similar craft except in areas established or designated for such use by the director;

Ball-playing restrictions – allows for balls other than beach balls or beach volleyballs in areas established or designated for such use by the director, when a permit from the director has been obtained or during the off-season, provided the ball-playing activity is carried out in such a manner that it does not endanger any person or property on or near the beach. Similarly, allows for other than water polo balls in or over the Pacific Ocean during the off-season or when allowed by the fire chief or an ocean lifeguard;

Boating restrictions – prohibits launching of vessels within 150 feet of a pier. Allows film and television production companies to launch and land personal watercraft in areas designated by the director or fire chief and according to conditions established by the director or fire chief;

Water sport/activities additions – includes more recent water sports and activities;

Repair prohibition – prohibits work upon or to any vessel that would reasonably tend to cause any materials or substance to be deposited on county property or into the Pacific Ocean;

Overnight vehicle restrictions – adds to the list of prohibited overnight vehicles (Section 19.12.730);

Alcohol restrictions – allows alcohol within any public area of Marina del Rey upon advance written approval from the director;

Anchoring restrictions – prohibits anchoring or mooring outside of the detached breakwater south of Ballona Creek, authorizing the harbor master to remove any offending vessel at the expense of the owner and without liability for any damage thereto;

Burton Chace Park dock requirements – requires owners to register with the Chace Park staff immediately after docking at Chace Park transient docks, or between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., with the harbor master prior to docking and to vacate the four-hour dock at the end of four consecutive hours, authorizing the harbor master to remove any offending vessel if the owner cannot be located within a reasonable time, at the expense of the owner and without liability for any damage thereto;

Unlawful acts – adds to the list of unlawful acts in the public areas of Marina del Rey (Section 19.12.1420.

The county report further states that restrictions related to the Marina waterways and sanitation and pollution control on the water will be sent to the State Department of Boating and Waterways (DBAW) for review and comment.

“We will review any forthcoming comments, but do not need to secure DBAW approval of our revisions,” Kreimann said.

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