Says Marina parking plans have “disaster” stamped on them

To the Editor:

Los Angeles County’s parking plans for Marina del Rey outlined in The Argonaut issue of January 21st have “parking disaster” stamped all over them.

There is scarcely a single project in the county’s overdevelopment which does not assign part of its parking responsibilities to what is vaguely described as “off-site.”

Among the silliest of these “off-site” proposals — a so-called “active seniors” complex on Washington Boulevard — plans to put a large part of its parking on Panay Way, three-fifths of a mile away.

An apartment block on Marquesas Way is assigning much of its parking to Burton Chace Park on the other side of the Marina, a good mile or more away (of course residents can shorten the distance by swimming across the Marina).

The county’s explanation for handing over public parking lots for luxury private development is that the lots are “under-utilized.”

Yet county officials conveniently ignore a number of inconvenient facts: It plans to turn three of the four public parking lots around Mothers Beach over to private developers, leaving one parking lot on Panay Way to handle all of the public’s need to access the west side of the Marina.

The county ignores the fact that this parking lot is already half full morning, noon and night, every day of the year, with overflow parking from The Cheesecake Factory.

It describes the Marquesas Way lot as underused, yet if the county goes ahead with its plans to build a 19-story hotel next door (which hopefully it will not), this lot will be crammed.

Proof of this lies in the fact that overflow parking from the Marriott Hotel takes up about a third of the Mothers Beach parking lot most days, and when the Marriott is hosting a special event this lot can be chock full.

The Marina Local Coastal Program (LCP), which the county wants to amend and was agreed to by the county and the California Coastal Commission, specifies that these public lots should be dedicated to parking or to parks. It should stay that way.

Bruce Russell Marina del Rey