The state of the county’s economic condition as well as updates pertaining to Westchester and Marina del Rey will be on the menu at the “State of the Marina” address Wednesday, March 7.
Fourth District Supervisor Don Knabe will discuss the abovementioned topics as well as transportation and the environment at a breakfast meeting before the LAX Coastal Chamber Area of Commerce at the Marina del Rey Hotel.
“There is some positive news to talk about, although we still have a long way to go,” the supervisor told The Argonaut in a preview of what he will discuss with the business group. “There has been a bump in sales tax so there is some positive economic news.”
Knabe, who represents the Marina, will also talk briefly about a project that he feels is instrumental to the Marina’s environmental health as well as it being a sound public policy initiative.
On Nov. 15, the Board of Supervisors approved an agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for an initiative that will remove sediment from the Marina channel that will be used for beach improvements in other areas.
“This innovative agreement between federal and local agencies is a terrific example of government at all levels working together to solve regional issues,” the supervisor said on Feb. 14.
The dredging project is slated to move approximately 140,000 cubic yards of clean sediment offshore to Dockweiler State Beach in Playa del Rey and up to 75,000 cubic yards will be pumped on Redondo Beach to address beach erosion.
Santa Monica-based Heal the Bay, which belongs to a task force on contaminated sediment, was initially concerned that tainted sediment could wind up on county beaches.
“Some of where the dredging project will occur is near an outlet to Ballona Creek, so we were worried that there might be sediment that is unsafe going to the beaches,” explained Susie Santalena, an environmental engineer in water quality with Heal the Bay. “We are now confident that the sediment that they want to put on the beaches is clean.”
On Feb. 28, the supervisors considered an ordinance that would create a category for food vehicles as well as implement new fee revisions for them.
On the first Friday of each month in Westchester, several food trucks gather on 87th Street near the Westchester Triangle for what is called “First Fridays,” a takeoff of a similar venture on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice that began nearly five years ago.
It was designed to bring more people out to triangle businesses, which are tucked away from Sepulveda Boulevard and Manchester Avenue.
Transportation is another topic that could be discussed during the supervisor’s address. The Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail Corridor and the Metro Green Line are light rail projects that will come into Westchester and light rail advocates hope that at least one of them will eventually enter Los Angeles International Airport.
In his last act representing Westchester, the supervisor submitted a motion to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Board of Directors last year to consider an additional station for Westchester on the Crenshaw/LAX line, which will run from South Los Angeles to the airport.
Knabe lost Westchester last year to county redistricting.
“An at-grade station alternative near Hindry Avenue should be advanced in the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Project’s design and construction (request for proposal), in a manner similar to but not competing with the Vernon (Leimert Park) station, in order to not preclude a station in Westchester if that station can be designed and constructed within the project budget,” Knabe’s motion stated.
“It is appropriate at this time, to advance the concept of a Westchester station by taking this important step toward making it a reality.”
Westchester will have at least one station at the Aviation/Century boulevards stop.
Westchester resident Denny Schneider would like to hear Knabe discuss updates on the Green Line extension to the airport, which he has advocated for and worked with transportation officials on for over 20 years.
“We owe him a debt of gratitude for submitting the motion,” said Schneider.
The supervisor has come under fire from an anti-development group in Marina del Rey as well as a contingent of boat owners who contend that county officials have shut them out of the process regarding development. They say Knabe and his colleagues have not done enough to curtail the increase in boat slip rates, which at some marinas have been raised as much as 40 to 50 percent over the last five years.
The groups accuse county representatives of favoring wealthy developers over the public and have accused them of “piecemealing” projects.
Piecemealing is a legal definition under the California Environmental Quality Act, defined in the landmark environmental statute as the improper separation of a project into smaller parts in order to avoid environmental analysis.
Knabe said that due to the size of his district and other commitments on county boards he does not have time to visit the Marina often, although when he does, he said he typically does not like to draw attention to himself.
“I always enjoy coming out and talking with the folks in the Marina,” he said. “It’s nice to give an annual update and to hear what folks are thinking and what they want to hear from their elected officials.”
The Marina del Rey Hotel is at 13534 Bali Way, Marina del Rey.