Rehabilitation of the Marina City Club anchorage, Marina del Rey speed limits, the Marina del Rey water distribution system, and the Department of Beaches and Harbors’ new Web site were among the issues discussed at the county Small Craft Harbor Commission meeting Tuesday, April 13th.

Eric Alexander, senior vice president of operations for the Essex Property Trust, Inc. which owns the Marina City Club, and Tim Bazley of Blue Water Design Group, presented a proposed project to rehabilitate the development’s anchorage built in the 1970s.

Bazley said that the broken and damaged floating dock is beyond its service life and requires replacement.

The existing 323-slip marina is configured in 16 docks. With changes in configuration due to requirements for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), slip layouts to meet Department of Boating and Waterways (DBAW) guidelines, as well as utilities for a green and clean marina, the proposed slip configuration would have 282 slips within 15 docks.

Promenade improvements, a landing for a water taxi, and pump-out stations on the docks would decrease the total amount of slips, said Bazley.

The fire station’s emergency dock would also receive improvements for electrical services to meet code and vessel requirement including potable water, fire protection and sewer pump-out.

On average, approximately 15 narrow width slips will result in the loss of one slip, and each bulkhead will require an additional three to five foot wide finger in the new dock configuration, said Bazley.

The proposed project can be reviewed on the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors Web site by scrolling down on the main page to “Marina City Club Rehabilitation Presentation” at:

http://beaches.co.la.ca.us/BandH/Main.htm/.

During public comment on the proposed project, Jon Nahhas of the Boating Coalition alleged that the loss of recreational boating resources (slips) would be in violation of the California Coastal Act; and that proposing “archaic” pump-out stations will reduce the water quality.

He also claimed that Essex Trust’s statement that pricing has nothing to do with design or planning of the docks and that vacancy rates are higher in the small slips is erroneous because they were 100-percent occupied in 2000-2005.

Local resident Dan Gottlieb said that a boat slip study requested by Beaches and Harbors was a “wholesale mistake” because in talking about slips being available, the department divided the number of available slips by the total number of slips. This is incorrect, he said, because that would mean every slip is available to every boat.

Alexander also proposed keeping an access gate at Marina City Club locked during certain hours for security concerns, but speakers said they are opposed to that idea because the waterfront promenade is a central link and an access way to all hotels.

Hotel guests and local individuals want to be able to walk to a restaurant and back without being restricted by a locked gate and having to walk on Admiralty Way to get back, said one speaker.

She added that some residents at Marina City Club who are local business owners would consider the locked gate a bad precedent, saying that access way has always been open.

The commission members approved moving the project forward, but said they feel very strongly about keeping the access way open to pedestrian traffic, and they are making a strong recommendation to the California Coastal Commission on that issue.

In other business, Bill Winter, assistant deputy director overseeing the Department of Public Works Traffic and Lighting Division, said that basic speed laws are determined by the motorist and limits are set as close to an 85th percentile as possible to govern the speed in the Marina.

Winter’s presentation was in answer to complaints at the last meeting on how high the speed limits are in Marina del Rey.

He said that speed is adjusted upward when a certain number of drivers increase their speed — for example, if the limit is 40 miles per hour and a certain number of drivers are over that limit, the speed is then adjusted upward.

Russ Lesser, the commission chair, remarked that drivers could increase speeds by exceeding the limit consistently, and that a speed limit of 70 miles per hour or higher could eventually be reached, which would definitely impact safety.

Resident Nancy Vernon Marino commented that speed in the Marina is already high enough and safety is compromised, noting that it is a scenic recreational area with bicyclists and pedestrians enjoying the ambiance.

She suggested that a no-right-turn on a red light be instituted at Bali Way and other streets since drivers constantly make right turns, which impedes traffic.

The Marina del Rey water distribution system was discussed by Daniel Lafferty, assistant division chief of the Waterworks and Sewer Maintenance Division in the county’s Public Works Department. He spoke about the water conservation program and rebate program, as well as the availability of water.

Lafferty said there is still a drought, even with all of the snowfall and rain that recently occurred, and that all water is imported to the Marina. He said water is “divvied up” among municipalities and that another year of water conservation is expected.

The replacement of regular water meters is being planned, and meters that emit a signal when the meter reader drives by may replace the old meters, he said.

After Marino asked about the availability of water with the proposed new developments in the Marina, Lafferty said the Urban Water Management Plan, which is updated every five years, addresses the availability of water in a 20-year planning horizon.

County consultants Betsy Barker and Kevin Fountain presented the new Beaches and Harbors Web site, and said the department is asking for public suggestions on what it wants to have access to on the site.

They said links to other county agencies, projects and documents will be available as soon as the other county agencies get connected with the site.

The new site will make it much easier to navigate and find all of the information that people are looking for, they said.

Comments and suggestions about the site can be made online by going to “Contact Us” at:

http://beaches.co.la.ca.us/BandH/Main.htm/.

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