The Los Angeles City Council has been asked by the Venice Neighborhood Council to intercede on getting environmental impact details regarding a county-owned development in Marina del Rey.

The neighborhood council voted July 19 to ask that City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose 11th District includes Venice, request the City Council to write to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in regards to a proposed retirement facility at the site known as Parcel OT.

The motion recommended that “no development of Parcel OT occur until such a time that the City Council is satisfied that any negative impacts with Los Angeles city borders arising from such development have been fully analyzed by the county, that all negative impacts be reported in a public hearing to the city of Los Angeles, and mitigated so that all negative impacts are reported in a public hearing to the city of Los Angeles and mitigated so that all negative impacts are minimized.”

The board’s resolution also called for communicating the recommendation to the Board of Supervisors, the California Coastal Commission, and MDR Oceana, LLC c/o Goldrich & Kest Industries, LLC.

When the Venice Neighborhood Council first learned about the proposed Oceana Retirement Facility project in 2008 from Oxford Triangle neighborhood residents, the council invited the developer, Goldrich & Kest, to present the project to the council.

Marc Saltzberg, the Venice council’s outreach officer, noted that because the developer didn’t respond to that invitation, the neighborhood council has decided to notify Rosendahl of its concerns with the project. Saltzberg told The Argonaut that the developer had been invited a number of times to present the project to the board, but there was never a response.

Originally, the project had been described as a “senior hotel,” said Saltzberg, but it is now identified as a senior living facility. The fact that there are no kitchens in the units means they can’t be described as apartments, he said. The development is also described as mixed-use, he said.

“We are saying to the city of Los Angeles, please get involved, and make government-to-government contact with county officials. We’re trying to get answers from the developer about what the project entails and what the impacts are on the city,” said Saltzberg.

“The city of Los Angeles needs to be satisfied that any negative impacts on surrounding communities are fully mitigated, and to have a proper review of the project from the perspective of the environment.”

Regarding the neighborhood council’s recommendation, Rosendahl stressed the need for the county to receive a full EIR on the multiple projects it has proposed in the Marina.

“They’ve ignored us, and my constituents in the area are receiving no cooperation from the county,” Rosendahl told The Argonaut.

“The major combination of all these Marina projects needs a full EIR. You can’t separate the projects in terms of the impact they have on the area. I’m happy that the Venice Neighborhood Council has taken this action and I’m happy to send a strong letter to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.”

On Feb. 17, 2009, the Venice Neighborhood Council passed a resolution requesting that the Board of Supervisors “suspend issuance of development permits and entitlements for any and all land/projects located with Marina del Rey proper until a comprehensive environmental impact report (EIR) complying in full with the California Environmental Act (CEQA) was prepared by the county’s Department of Regional Planning, covering all such proposed or anticipated developments and addressing their environmental impacts on adjacent communities within the city of Los Angeles, or as an alternative, until a comprehensive LCP (Local Coastal Program) amendment update consisting of all proposed or anticipated developments within Marina del Rey for purposes of the project be prepared and submitted to the California Coastal Commission for consideration and approval (a process considered exempt from CEQA because it is considered to be the functional equivalent of a CEQA-compliant EIR).”

The neighborhood council also passed a resolution in 2009 asking that Rosendahl and those copied on the letter review the project and urge Goldrich & Kest to appear before the board’s Land Use and Planning Committee to present the project to the community, and to provide any information on the project that is available.

Because the county declined to prepare a comprehensive EIR or comprehensive LCP update and elected to prepare an LCP amendment for select projects in the Marina known as “pipeline projects” and no additional information was received by the VNC or its land-use committee regarding the project, the VNC has taken these steps, according to the letters.

When the five-member Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission approved the proposed project on April 28, 2010, the one opposing vote was from commissioner Harold Helsley. He said the Oceana proposal — to be located near the northeast corner of Palawan Way and Admiralty Way, with frontages on both Admiralty Way and Washington Boulevard — was the wrong project for that location, and that the county should be making rule changes to the Marina del Rey LCP first before approving projects.

The Oceana Retirement Facility project was approved by the Board of Supervisors in February despite numerous individuals speaking out against the project because of a change in zoning of parking lots that they claim is inconsistent with the LCP, and the loss of recreational use and parking space utilized for Mothers Beach, Venice Beach and event parking.

We ARE Marina del Rey co-directors David Barish and Nancy Vernon Marino and other residents have long opposed the Oceana project at public meetings in the Marina and before the Board of Supervisors, alleging that county officials have piece-mealed projects and failed to be open about the redevelopment planning in Marina del Rey.

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