A proposed Marina del Rey project was withdrawn at the applicant’s request during a November 5th hearing of the California Coastal Commission in Long Beach.
The project, the Holiday Harbor—Panay Way Marina LP (Parcels 21/OT), was before the Coastal Commission for consideration of a coastal development permit for dock replacement when it was announced that the project would be heard after the lunch break. But some of the commissioners had planned not to return after the break.
Santos Kreimann, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors, made a request to withdraw the project on behalf of the co-applicant, Goldrich and Kest, because the applicant wanted all of the commission members present when the project came up for discussion.
The Department of Beaches and Harbors is the co-applicant for this parcel and Parcel OT, the Oceana Retirement Facility for senior care.
Kreimann was told that withdrawing the project meant that “the clock would start over” for rescheduling the project to be heard before the commission. He then requested that when the project was again before the commission that the hearing would take place in Southern California to allow concerned parties to attend.
The next meeting in Southern California by the coastal commission could be as soon as January or February, according to Kreimann.
The Holiday Harbor-Panay Way project was recently heard by the Regional Planning Commission in Marina del Rey, and after hearing an outpouring of concerns by local residents, the commission scheduled a second meeting to give the county staff and the applicant time to answer questions that had come up during the meeting.
This second meeting was held October 21st in downtown Los Angeles, where Regional Planning staff gave a presentation on the proposed project.
The applicant and members of the public provided testimony, with opponents of the Holiday Harbor project expressing their opposition to the project that was also addressed at the Marina del Rey meeting.
The October 21st meeting was continued to address issues from the public and for staff to address issues raised in a letter from the Department of Toxic Substances Control to the Regional Planning Commission. The meeting also allowed for the cases to be heard sequentially with the proposed project on Parcels 9U (Woodfin Suites Hotel) and Parcels 10/FF (Legacy Apartments and Anchorage), according to an October 29th letter to the Regional Planning Commission from Samuel Dea, head of the special projects section of the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning.
At the October 21st meeting, the project hearing was continued to February 10th, but following the meeting, planning staff received a letter from Beaches and Harbors staff requesting that an earlier hearing date be considered, stated Dea’s letter.
The Regional Planning Commission then directed the planning staff to consider at the November 4th meeting to allow the commission an opportunity to discuss the possibility of changing the February 10th hearing date, Dea said.
In an October 27th letter from Kreimann to the Regional Planning Commission, he said that the commission had lost its quorum at the October 21st meeting, preventing the applicants from answering the commission’s questions.
“The department [Beaches and Harbors] was ready and able to answer those questions the day of the hearing, and believes that had a response to those questions been made, the commission would have been satisfied with the answers,” stated Kreimann.
He requested a hearing date of December 9th for this item and said Beaches and Harbors could provide a presentation on the Right-Sizing Parking Study if the commission felt it would be of assistance.
The public hearing for this project before the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission was officially rescheduled for 9 a.m. Wednesday, December 16th at the Hall of Records, Room 150, 320 W. Temple St., Los Angeles. The draft environmental impact report (DEIR) associated with this project will also be considered.
Kreimann’s letter continues, “Although the rationale for the long hearing continuance was the loss of public parking, in fact this item does not eliminate public parking at all. The proposed projects are staggered in terms of implementation, and replace every space that is currently on the ground, albeit with respect to 94 spaces in a different location more convenient to users of Mothers Beach.
“We do not believe that the issues presented are the same. Additionally, we will incorporate into the final EIR our pro-forma response to the comments made in the Department of Toxic Substances Control’s October 12th letter to the Department of Regional Planning,” Kreimann’s letter said.
The Holiday Harbor Courts, proposed for two phases, would consist of a five-story, 29,300-square foot mixed-use building (health club, yacht club, retail and marine office), an 87-slip marina, and a 28-foot-wide waterfront promenade and pedestrian plaza. Phase II would have the westernmost portion of the land revert to the county for public parking.
Goldrich & Kest Industries has an affiliate that is the prospective lessee of Parcel OT that would encompass a 114-unit senior care facility with public access from Washington Boulevard and Admiralty Way.
As part of this parcel’s development plan, a portion of the required replacement public parking is proposed to be in a parking garage to be constructed on the Holiday Harbor parcel.
In addition, Beaches and Harbors wants to reacquire a portion of the Holiday Harbor parcel to expand a county-owned public parking lot serving Marina (Mothers) Beach, and an agreement was negotiated with Goldrich & Kest for the redevelopment of the Holiday Harbor parcel.
A Marina del Rey Local Coastal Program (LCP) amendment is required to allow the proposed use, as well as a parking permit for the senior care facility and a parking permit to allow some replacement of public parking off-site, according to county documentation.
Two coastal development permits are required for this project — one for the landside development from the Department of Regional Planning and the other from the California Coastal Commission for the waterside development.
Two of a number of speakers opposed to the project are David Barish and Nancy Vernon Marino, co-directors of We ARE Marina del Rey.
Speaking against the Holiday Harbor project at each of the meetings along with other local residents, Barish and Marino put together a document outlining the reasons they want the Coastal Commission to deny a coastal development permit for the project.
The following claims are from the written statement that Barish and Marino presented to members of the California Coastal Commission:
1. The hearing of this coastal development permit is premature and out of order because the landside portion of Parcel 21 is one of the “roadmap pipeline projects” requiring an LCP amendment by the Coastal Commission in 2011.
2. The slip sizing study hasn’t been reviewed or approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors or the Department of Regional Planning.
3. The Marina del Rey Design Control Board hasn’t reviewed or approved the current Parcel 21 landside project, which calls for the Marina’s first parking structure, a private, six-story, 447-space structure on waterfront property.
4. The coastal development permit hasn’t been approved in concept by Regional Planning.
5. The two proposed dry stack storage facilities, which would purportedly mitigate loss of wet slips, haven’t been approved, and are in a very early regulatory phase.
6. A proposed commercial/retail project on the public boat launch ramp and mast-up storage sites that will have an impact on boaters displaced from small wet slips is included as one of the “roadmap pipeline” projects to be reviewed at a later date.
7. This coastal development permit is being heard prior to a purported comprehensive plan for the waterside portion of the marina to be submitted to the Coastal Commission by Los Angeles County.
8. This coastal development permit is inconsistent with the commission’s LCP review recommendation made on January 8th, 2008, that no net slips should be eliminated and no slips of 35 feet and under.
9. The coastal development permit is inconsistent with the public access, recreation and visual impact sections of the California Coastal Act.
10. The slip sizing studies are based in part on studies more than five years old [the Coastal Commission recommends studies no more than five years old] and Esprit I was not included in the study, skewing the results.
11. Coastal Commission staff [in its staff report] has not reviewed or considered feasible alternative dock reconfigurations that would have less impact on coastal resources as required, and mitigation measures are “empty concessions” and don’t mitigate adverse impacts on coastal resources.
12. Barish and Marino alleged that approval of the coastal development permit will result in a number of CEQA violations by the Coastal Commission.
13. We ARE Marina del Rey has filed a complaint with the Coastal Commission against the applicant for allegedly violating the Coastal Act for removing small slip renters in the Holiday Harbor Marina in anticipation prior to obtaining a coastal development permit. Information, www.wearemdr.com/.
Kreimann told The Argonaut that even after the docks have been reconfigured, 75 percent of the boat slips in the marina will be 35 feet and under, and that there will always be room for small boats.
Beaches and Harbors is taking its direction from the Coastal Commission, and “finding the balance is the issue,” he said.
The California Coastal Commission had requested a boat slip sizing study and Beaches and Harbors have complied with that request.
Regulations by the California Department of Boating and Waterway (DBAW) require American With Disabilities Act (ADA) configured docks, which take away some existing space for boat slips, the addition of pump-out stations added to docks and inclusion of a water taxi also reduces the number of slips, said Kreimann.
He added that it’s the responsibility of the director to set policies for boating and to maintain a balance for all boaters, small, medium and large.
The Coastal Commission has approved the reduction of total slips at Dana Point to comply with DBAW standards, noted Kreimann.
“Some people are trying to recreate a 1960s marina, but Marina del Rey has grown up and there is a demand for a larger size boat and beam width,” said Kreimann.
“Henry Ford used to say that if you asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses,’” Kreimann said.