Takes issue with approval of Marina LCP amendment

To the Editor:

Last month quite a few residents attended the county Board of Supervisors meeting in downtown Los Angeles where many of us voiced our objection to the proposed plans to redevelop Marina del Rey into a high-density, high-traffic, high-end shopping, dining and living area. The Marina once had the potential for 7,000 boat slips and was known as the largest man-made marina.

At the present time slips have been cut to approximately 4,700, and gone will be another 800 boat slips, because of the increased developments proposed by the county Department of Beaches and Harbors, along with the developers, and approved by the Board of Supervisors.

A major amendment to the Marina land use and development laws was passed and is on its way to the California Coastal Commission, which will be meeting June 15 through 17 in Marina del Rey and making the final decision about the “future of the Marina” at that time.

The Local Coastal Program (LCP) was updated in 1996 when the county was allowed to add a significant amount of new potential development to what existed at that time, which was opposed by the Coastal Commission staff and the Marina community.

Based on the amended LCP, the county may still develop 1,954 more residential units (three times the size of the Marina City Club towers), 505 more hotel rooms (five times the size of the Jamaica Bay Inn), 1,323 more restaurant seats (three times the size of the Cheesecake Factory), 273,000 more square feet of retail space (two times the size of Waterside Shopping Center), and 53,000 additional square feet of office space (three times the size of Marina Fitness Center).

The reason that county officials give is to allegedly allow for a handful of developer-driven projects by changing the land use designation on the parcels of land that they wanted to develop.

Our opposition lies in the manner that public land has been taken for private developments by L.A. County (60 percent of the land has been privately developed). The laws should have been reviewed instead of trying to change them, with requests for proposals and negotiating lease options, and then allegedly sending the projects through the regulatory process despite not having the permits. Long-term planning of the Marina for the benefit of the public was scrapped for developer-driven projects.

Our Marina needs to be revitalized in a way that supports its mandate as a public recreational resource and the renovation of existing buildings.

Developing public parking lots into private development is not allowed by the LCP. There are four parking lots which the county wants to develop rather than have recommended recreation; a farmers market, a youth hostel as well as picnicking, volleyball, basketball, shuffle board, tennis, paddle tennis, and skateboarding. Staging running, recreational walking, bicycling, fishing, kayaking, rowing, remote controlled car and model airplane events as well as a park-and-ride would certainly be a draw to the Marina.

Recreation could be suspended when the parking lots are full due to overflow for the Fourth of July fireworks and Holiday Boat Parade. These alternatives for recreation could be easily implemented with a little creative management, and the support of our community with a lot of positive energy.

Together our community can accomplish all that we strive for, so let’s all do as much as we can to let the California Coastal Commission know how we feel when they visit June 15-17.

D. G. Franklin, Marina del Rey

Thanks Argonaut for coverage of Del Rey Shores project

To the Editor:

This is my first “Letter to the Editor. It’s a thank you.

One: for passing along information, not drama, in reporting events of our community. (Los Angeles Times, etc.)

Two: your clear reporting of Del Rey Shores North. I wanted to pass along a thank you from many of us silent citizens to local residents John Baron and Hans Etter and their associates for standing up to David Levine, president of the Marina del Rey Lessees Association and representative for the Del Rey Shores project, and “the largest apartment construction project in the U.S. since 2008.”

Wow. Like we need more people using our streets – a lot more people. Quality of living may win out over a corporate agenda.

David Brooks, Santa Monica

Grateful to Venice firefighters who responded to apartment fire

To the Editor:

I want to thank Los Angeles Fire Station No. 63 in Venice and back-up firefighters for their commendable job in fighting a land-locked, two-story apartment fire on Feb. 13 at 109 Paloma Ave. in Venice. It is especially admirable because only six of the usual 12 Venice firefighters were on duty that night due to budget cuts.

If those six firefighters had been on another call and we had to wait for fire trucks further away for the initial response, the outcome would have been disastrous since my house and two others were minutes away from becoming engulfed in flames.

There are rumors that Los Angeles city may permanently close Fire Station 63. Please call or write Councilman Bill Rosendahl at (310) 575-8461 or e-mail, Councilman.Rosendahl@lacity.org.

Please let him know that it is essential for our community fire station to be fully staffed at all times by firemen who are accustomed to working together as a coordinated, efficient team and are knowledgeable in the unique areas of Venice with its nooks, crannies and land-locked properties.

Please get involved. The house you save may be your own.

Carol Katona, Venice

Wonders why broken sidewalks have not been fixed

To the Editor:

As you walk down the streets of Westchester one might wonder what the Kentwood Home Guardians are doing to keep the streets looking good.

For example, at a house in the 7700 block of Dunbarton Street, the sidewalk is completely broken up with large pieces of sidewalk piled up at the curb. It has been this way for many months with nothing being done about it.

It not only looks horrible but is a danger, especially at night, for individuals running or walking.

On another subject, why doesn’t the police department that patrols Westchester stop the people who are going through the blue (recycle bins) and black trash bins on trash pick-up days? I am sure that the police department could use their non-paid reserves to do something about this activity.

I, for one, have stopped using the blue recycle bin.

Sergo Nammun, Los Angeles