A recommendation by California Coastal Commission staff to coastal commissioners to extend a 90-day review period of the roles and responsibilities of the Marina del Rey Design Control Board as requested by Los Angeles County officials in November would mean the issue will not be addressed at the January 9th to 11th meeting of the California Coastal Commission, if approved by the coastal commission.

The California Coastal Commission meeting on the Marina del Rey Local Coastal Program (LCP) is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Wednesday, January 9th, at the Marina del Rey Hotel, 13534 Bali Way, Marina del Rey.

On November 6th, the County of Los Angeles submitted a request to amend the Marina del Rey LCP to “clarify the roles and responsibilities of the Design Control Board in its review of devel- opment proposals in the Coastal Development Permit process,” an amendment that affects both the Marina del Rey Land Use Plan and Specific Plan.

Coastal commission staff members say the extension of the 90-day period (for a period not to exceed one year) would give commission staff additional time to “dedicate the appropriate time to this LCP amendment request given the overall workload.”

On September 26th, 2006, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion to modify the role of the Design Control Board in reviewing projects in the Marina del Rey Coastal Zone as designated in the LCP.

According to county documentation, in response to the Board of Supervisors’ request, the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning prepared an amendment to the Local Coastal Program that clarifies the role and timing of the Design Control Board’s review of projects, and amendments were made to the Marina del Rey Land Use and Specific Plan.

The proposed amendment would modify the scope and timing of the Design Control Board’s review, continuing the board’s authority to review the architectural design (building and faÁade design) and site plans of proposed development projects during the conceptual review phase after the project was submitted to the Department of Regional Planning for a Coastal Development Permit, states county documentation.

Any recommendations that the Design Control Board has after its conceptual review would be submitted to the county Regional Planning Commission within 90 days of the project submittal for its consideration during the Coastal Development Permit process, according to county documentation.

County officials said this would assure that the Regional Planning Commission would have the Design Control Board’s comments prior to the public hearing on the Coastal Development Permit, which it could use to determine if the proposed development was consistent with the Local Coastal Program provision relating to visual resources and design, and require the applicant to make any necessary project modifications to achieve consistency.

Following the Regional Planning Commission’s approval of a Coastal Development Permit for a development proposal, the Design Control Board would have final review of the architectural design (building and faÁade design, materials, colors), landscaping and signs based on the site plans approved by Regional Planning prior to a building permit being issued.

The Regional Planning Commission, not the Design Control Board, would determine if a project is consistent with the Local Coastal Program.

Opponents of development in the Marina who have long stated that the county needs a master plan for Marina development, rather than “piece-mealing” projects on an individual basis, said the Design Control Board was the one entity during public meetings about development projects that they could turn to when expressing frustration and opposition to what they see as non-conformance to the LCP by the county.

“The Design Control Board, and in particular, Susan Cloke, the chair, attempted to hold fast to standards of development that complemented the Marina and to stand up for public use and recreation,” said one local resident.

The Design Control Board had asked that developers return with revised plans for their projects when issues arose regarding massing of buildings, projects that had “over-the-water” components, or sheer size and inappropriate design for the Marina.

The timing of approvals and the permit process was seen as an issue only by county officials, rushing through development projects that contributed to more traffic congestion and scaling back of recreational activities for the public, said several opponents.

The coastal commission staff report is available online at http://ceres.ca.gov/coastalcomm /index.html/.