Thanks for reporting ‘shenanigans’ of county in delaying Marina LCP

To the Editor:

Thank you for Helga Gendell’s strong reporting about the County of Los Angeles’s shenanigans in Marina del Rey.

Most appreciated is last week’s story about the seventh time the county has stalled having a periodic review of its Local Coastal Program heard by the California Coastal Commission.

Why is it stalled yet again? Mostly because the county is still trying to convince the coastal commission staff that it has a legal plan to extinguish nesting great blue herons from the Marina environment.

The heron rookery which exists at the western end of Fiji Way, all on public land, is in its current location because the herons chose this site as the best place to build a nest, raise and feed their young.

The county’s consultant, Andi Culbertson, and the director of the County Department of Beaches and Harbors, Stan Wisniewski, claim that they know better what the herons want, and they’ve devised a scheme to build islands in the middle of the Ballona Creek estuary channel, and somehow “lure” the birds there.

They are trying to convince the coastal commission executive director not to declare as “Environmentally Sensitive Habitat Area” (ESHA) this heron rookery, as well as similar rookeries for the snowy egret along Admiralty Park and the black-crowned night heron near Oxford Lagoon. ESHA protection is all that will save these birds in the end.

Why are these bird areas on public land under attack? Because the county wants to raze perfectly good structures and sell off development rights with a clean slate.

We don’t object to the county enjoying revenues from other good projects, but we do object to this happening at the expense of nature and these majestic birds.

Los Angeles Audubon Society has been working tirelessly to protect the nesting sites mentioned above. We thank Audubon and fully support their efforts. We hope others will join us in the effort to save these birds from the destructive hands of the county.

Marcia Hanscom, Playa del Rey resident, vice chair, Conservation Committee, Sierra Club Angeles Chapter and co-director, Ballona Institute

Says five of ten Marina parking lots threatened by development

To the Editor:

Marina del Rey has ten parking lots to assure public access to recreational facilities. Five of them at the western entrance to the Marina are in prized real estate territory, as far as Los Angeles County is concerned.

The county proposes to give away four of these five parking lots for the building of apartment complexes, commercial centers and hotels.

The most objectionable project is the Marriott Residence Inn. The Mothers Beach picnic tables and parking would be shifted to either side of the beach. Parking for other than the hotel uses would be cut down considerably.

Developers have, almost without exception, not met their obligations to provide on-site parking for the public.

One developer plans a commercial complex including a Trader Joe’s, stating that it would be acceptable to place part of his parking off-site because locals would walk home with their shopping.

Developers of other projects, including a senior citizen home, also insist that partial off-site parking is sufficient.

The county wants to get an amendment to the Local Coastal Program (LCP) for its proposed projects. The issue of the parking lots is due to come before the California Coastal Commission in January.

I believe the public is unaware of the parking nightmare that will be created in Marina del Rey if the county’s building projects go through. The Los Angeles area press has reported little on the county’s plans for the Marina.

The Design Control Board recently acknowledged the mounting parking shortfalls in the county’s proposed projects. The county, not liking criticism, tried to strip the Design Control Board of its primary review responsibility for Marina del Rey projects.

The county has pressed ahead, giving permits to these projects despite the fact that the California Coastal Commission mandated in Marina del Rey’s LCP rules that these ten parking lots shall be used exclusively for parks and parking. An environmental impact report is very much needed.

D. B. Franklin, Marina del Rey

Proposed Marina developments are unreasonable and unfair misuse

To the Editor:

It is obvious that Los Angeles County and the County Board of Supervisors have shown their contempt for the will of the Marina residents by the latest constructions. They are building a three-story hotel at the corner of Palawan and Admiralty Ways, plus an extension of apartment units of Jamaica Bay, also on the same corner.

Also, Harbor House and Edie’s Diner have shut down. These locations could have retail shops such as Trader Joe’s, etc. plus residential units.

All this is going on unabated with possibilities of the county turning all or a major part of Mothers Beach into commercial projects.

This, along with added traffic congestion on Admiralty Way, with more to come if a Marina Freeway extension is built, is totally unreasonable and unfair misuse of Marina land to satisfy the greedy developers and their county supporters.

Fred Newman, Marina del Rey