Calls for more awareness about county’s plans in Marina

To the Editor:

Los Angeles County’s Response to the Marina del Rey Local Coastal Program (LCP) Periodic Review by the California Coastal Commission is a very significant event that our residential and boating communities should be aware of going forward.

The response accentuates the county’s alleged plan to change the land use in our public harbor to diminish the recreational boating uses even further and provide high density residential and commercial uses.

The public should be well-informed of this process as outlined in the certified LCP, which states “tremendous outreach efforts” and “maximize public participation.”

It is quite clear in talking with some residents and boaters that they do not know what is happening. Years from now, as these 19 projects around the Marina begin development, people are going to ask “when was this approved?” and “why weren’t we informed?”

While the land use laws are being changed, county officials are stating that it is in the best interests of the 13 million residents of the county.

Their plans are to allegedly decrease public access to the Marina while increasing the tax revenue.

While many of the county residents may have never visited Marina del Rey, they would agree that an open public process should be required and that any significant change in the intended use of this public asset should be placed on a ballot.

As the many residents and boaters who attended had testified, the county would much prefer that the changes to the Land Use Plan and Implementation Plan (parts of the LCP) be done quietly. Advertising in The Argonaut, passing out flyers or posting special notices would just allow for more awareness – more voices that might question their plans.

We need our county officials to obey the laws of the LCP and maximize public participation. Simply building a Web site is not a tremendous outreach effort.

Jon Nahhas, Playa del Rey

Says Santa Monica LUCE plan is not a sensible development

To the Editor:

Five members of the Santa Monica City Council have gone completely over to the “dark side” with their support for the LUCE (Land Use and Circulation Element) plan, and opposition to RIFT (Residents’ Initiative to Fight Traffic).

Unchecked, rampant development is inconsistent with neighborhoods and should be eliminated. The LUCE plan is not sensible development. After the contemptible performance of the Santa Monica City Council last month, when the pro-development faction again appointed a replacement that allegedly rejects the will of the people, I urge local neighborhood groups to form a coalition to organize a recall, and replace the present council with candidates who will represent a grassroots plebiscite of residents who support RIFT (and sensible growth) rather than city employee, pro development and SMRR (Santa Monicans for Renters’ Rights)-sponsored candidates.

I understand there will be two council contests in November. One to finish the terms of Ken Genser and Herb Katz, and the incumbents — Bob Holbrook, Pam O’Connor and Kevin McKeown — will be running separately.

Jonathan Mann, Santa Monica

Says approved 19-story hotel does not belong in neighborhood

To the Editor:

Thank you, The Argonaut, for the fine reporting on the Regional Planning Commission’s approval of the 19-story Woodfin hotel and the adjacent 526-unit Neptune Legacy apartments.

I would like to correct the location, as the projects are on the east side of Via Marina and their increased traffic will impact the morning exodus of working residents.

With the increased traffic there can be no safe biking down Via Marina to the jetty, necessitating a beach bike path which peninsula residents have long opposed.

One of the outrageous variances approved by Regional Planning was for work on the two projects to take place on Saturdays as well as during the week.

I would say that Regional Planning rubber stamped these projects, commenting only upon the water’s edge promenades and their planting, completely ignoring the fact that the proposed 19-story tower does not belong in our low profile neighborhood, where three-story residential buildings predominate. Nor does it belong on a scenic highway with established landscaping and not enough lanes to handle 282 hotel rooms and 526 apartments, their cars and taxis and trucks.

The vaunted tidelands park is nothing but a small walk-through beside the towering hotel: no tables, no swing-sets. It is a place where blue herons and snowy egrets are seen.

I especially resent the use of public land for over-the-top private enterprise. Does anyone doubt these rooms and apartments will be listed for big bucks, changing the nature of our diverse middle-class communityÖthat is, if they rent at all?

Great big Esprit I is kind of sad and vacant. If you feel as I do, please write to the supervisors before their meeting to approve these pet projects.

Lynne Shapiro, Marina del Rey