The Venice Neighborhood Council unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday, February 17th requesting that the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors suspend issuance of development permits and entitlements for any and all land projects within Marina del Rey until a comprehensive environmental impact report (EIR) for all such projects is prepared or a comprehensive Local Coastal Program (LCP) update is submitted.
The EIR should comply fully with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and be prepared by the County Department of Regional Planning, or the LCP update of such projects should be submitted to the California Coastal Commission for consideration and approval, according to the Neighborhood Council.
The council also approved a letter to 11th District Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, asking him to urge Marina lessee Goldrich and Kest to appear before the Neighborhood Council concerning a proposed 114-unit retirement hotel development (Admiralty Courts), located between the Marina International Hotel and Oxford lagoon on Admiralty Way.
According to the letter, the Neighborhood Council Land Use and Planning Committee, chaired by Challis Macpherson, had requested that Goldrich and Kest representatives give a presentation of their project to the committee, but the company “simply ignored our requests, notwithstanding that this project will have a significant impact on the Venice community.”
“The proposed project seems as if it will have a significant impact on the adjacent Oxford Flood Control Basin,” the letter states. “This basin is rich with wildlife, including many migratory species. It is an important asset to both Venice and Marina del Rey communities.”
The resolution states that the county is redeveloping the unincorporated area of Marina del Rey with 16 developments as of February 1st, including hotels, residential units and mixed-use developments — 3,904 new residential units; 636 new hotel rooms in three new hotels and one hotel expansion; 1,369 additional restaurant seats; 135,162 square feet of additional retail/ commercial space; and 48,173 square feet of additional office space. The City of Los Angeles communities surrounding this area, particularly Venice, Del Rey, Mar Vista and Playa Vista have not been informed of the comprehensive project, nor given the opportunity to participate in land use reconfiguration decisions, the resolution continues.
Los Angeles County avers that the Marina del Rey Local Coastal Program, which was last updated and certified by the Coastal Commission in 1996, is the functional equivalent of an environmental impact report, states the resolution.
In January 2008, the Coastal Commission had unanimously voted to recommend that Los Angeles County prepare a comprehensive LCP update consisting of all proposed or anticipated developments in Marina del Rey to address indirect and cumulative environmental changes since 1996 — the last time the Coastal Commission certified the LCP — because there have been numerous social and environmental changes since that time, states the resolution.
In addition, at least seven proposed developments violate policies and ordinances in the LCP, alleges the resolution.
“The Marina is the 3,000 pound gorilla in the room and we don’t want to be stepped on,” said Macpherson.
The Venice Neighborhood Council’s resolution emphasizes that the surrounding communities will “bear a significant portion of the short-term construction and long-term cumulative impacts, including increased traffic, air pollution, environmental degradation and the provision of essential services and amenities such as parks, playgrounds, schools, hospitals and churches, which the unincorporated area of Marina del Rey does not provide.”
David Barish, a member of We ARE Marina del Rey, drafted the resolution along with Marc Saltzberg, a Venice Neighborhood Council stakeholder.
“We hope the passing of this resolution by the VNC sends a strong message to Supervisor Don Knabe that it is not in the best interests of the county to ignore any longer the residents of Marina del Rey and surrounding communities,” said Barish.
The resolution was transmitted to the Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning, the Coastal Commission, Secretary of State Debra Bowen, Senator Barbara Boxer, California Congresswoman Jane Harman, Senator Jenny Oropeza, California State Assemblyman Ted Lieu, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Rosendahl, the Los Angeles City Council, the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, We ARE Marina del Rey, Save the Marina, the Del Rey Neighborhood Council, Neighborhood Council of Westchester-Playa del Rey, the Palms Neighborhood Council, the Mar Vista Community Council, the City of Culver City and the City of Santa Monica.