The Los Angeles County Marina del Rey Design Control Board recommended final review approval for the proposed Villa Venetia renovation project and conditional conceptual design approval for the Marina City Club’s proposed Marina Walkway improvements and signage at its Nov. 17 meeting.

A mitigated negative declaration and the option for an amended and restated lease for the Villa Venetia project was approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors in September. The project consists of the renovation of the existing 224 apartment units at 13900 Fiji Way, Marina del Rey. The renovation had received conceptual design approval from the Design Control Board at its Aug. 18 meeting.

The $25.7 million project is on a 6.4-acre site consisting of four, three-story (28-foot-tall) buildings, said a representative of the developer. The leasehold, which is located along the east side of the main channel, does not include a water area or any marine facilities.

The applicant said that at the suggestion of the Design Control Board at the last meeting, bicycle access is being considered at the southernmost corner of the site near the UCLA Boathouse where more suitable access conditions exist. This was proposed instead of at an opening at the perimeter access road barrier to allow bicycle access to the Ballona Creek Trail, the applicant said.

The county department’s transportation engineer had expressed concern about the location of that entrance and the potential for creating poor sighting distances for merging bicycle traffic.


The Marina City Club is located on the northernmost part of Marina del Rey between Admiralty Way and Basin E of the harbor. The proposed project by the applicant, Essex Property Trust, includes renovations to the 1,400-foot segment of the promenade (to be called Marina Walk), the fire access lane and associated new signage.

During lease negotiations in 2004, the county negotiated for a marina replacement project and an option for the county to receive a dedicated 12-foot-wide easement for a public Marina Walk along the entire Marina City Club waterfront to improve the existing restricted access conditions.

Essex Property Trust has volunteered to make the Marina Walk improvements concurrent with the reconstruction of its anchorage, and has proposed to simultaneously renovate the Marina Walk, fire access lane and associated signage, according to county documentation.

Two typical design types are proposed for the Marina Walk renovation. Each section will provide 24-hour public access within the 12-foot-wide Marina Walk. Section A, which starts from the western end of the leasehold and extends approximately 200 feet eastward through the FantaSea Yacht Club area, includes the Marina Walk along with the fire access lane within a 21-foot, seven-inch travel way.

Section B continues from Section A eastward approximately 1,200 feet and includes a 12-foot Marina Walk and a separate 20-foot, six-inch fire access lane that is gated on each end. The fire access lane is separate from the Marina Walk by a six-foot-high fence.

Eight new seating benches are proposed along the sea wall and at the perimeter of the fire access lane. A dark-colored 42-inch wire mesh fence is proposed for the length of the seawall. A six-foot-tall wire mesh fence will separate the Marina Walk from the fire lane.

Glass gates are proposed near each of the eight gangways and at each of the seven entrances to the fire access lane from the Marina City Club.

During public comment at the Design Control Board meeting, several speakers praised the decision by Essex Property Trust and the agreement by the condominium owners and Marina City Club residents to provide the 24-hour access and a widened promenade.

Access to and from restaurants along Admiralty Way has been a concern after the security gates are locked at 9 p.m., as tourists who are unfamiliar with the area have had difficulty trying to return to hotels. Residents say customers have traveled to other areas to dine to avoid dealing with the situation, which has had an economic impact on local restaurants.