Capri Apartments rent questioning continues


The Marina del Rey Local Coastal Program (LCP) will not be reviewed by the California Coastal Commission until October, either at the meeting in Los Angeles or Orange County, said Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors director Stan Wisniewski at the Small Craft Harbor Commission meeting Wednesday, April 11th, at the Burton Chace Park Community Building in Marina del Rey.

Wisniewski said that county and coastal commission staff met Thursday, March 29th, to discuss the periodic review staff report, discussing areas of agreement or ongoing disagreement, and will meet again at the end of May.

Some Marina residents say they are very frustrated with the continued long delays of the periodic review of the LCP.

Don Klein, president of the Coalition to Save the Marina, told The Argonaut that he is concerned that there is the potential for conflict of interest regarding the California Coastal Commission hearing on the Marina del Rey Local Coastal Program because Dr. William A. Burke, one of the commissioners of the California Coastal Commission, is married to Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Brathwaite Burke.

ìEven if Burke recuses himself from the Marina del Rey Local Coastal Program hearing, his standing with the coastal commission and his opinions still bear weight,î said Klein.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved an amendment to the Marina del Rey Local Coastal Program at its March 27th hearing, clarifying the ìroles and responsibilities of the Marina del Rey Design Control Board and the timing of the control boardís review of Marina redevelopment projects during the coastal development permit process.î

The Board of Supervisors approved the amendment, which clarifies that ìit is the role of the Regional Planning Commission to determine project consistency with the Local Coastal Program, whereas it is the Design Control Boardís role initially conceptually to review a projectís architectural design and site planning.î

The amendment further allows coastal development permit applications to be filed with the Regional Planning Commission prior to the Design Control Boardís conceptual review of the project, with the Design Control Board having up to 120 days after the filing of the application to submit its recommendations to the Regional Planning Commission, said Wisniewski.

After the Regional Planning Commissionís action on the coastal development permit, the Design Control Board will have final review of project architectural design, landscaping and signs, Wisniewski said.

A public outreach process is planned, with a date to be determined, to consider needs of updating the Marina del Rey Asset Management Strategy, including development of urban design guidelines, a master plan for public recreation areas such as Burton Chace Park, Marina (Mothers) Beach and Admiralty Park; a transportation improvement plan; and a plan to maintain and upgrade the Marinaís public infrastructure.

A timeline for completing this task will be provided by county staff at the June or July Small Craft Harbor Commission meeting, said Wisniewski.

The Marina del Rey Asset Management Strategy is the document pursuant to which the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors has been soliciting and negotiating deals for the redevelopment, or ìsecond-generationî development of the Marina.

CAPRI APARTMENTS ó At the February meeting of the Small Craft Harbor Commission, some members of the public expressed anger about the fact that the Capri Apartments (13935 Panay Way) management company, Goldrich & Kest, had not yet signed the CC&Rs (covenants, conditions and restrictions) pertaining to the Capri Apartments affordable housing covenant.

The covenant required that ten designated units of the proposed 99 units in the Capri Apartments project ìshall be income-restricted and rented only at an affordable rate and exclusively to a low-income person or household.î

Capri Apartments tenants allege that the rent they are being charged for the affordable housing is higher than the required formula set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and that they are being charged for parking.

At the March meeting of the Small Craft Harbor Commission, Wisniewski informed the commission that the covenants, conditions and restrictions documents had been signed on Feb- ruary 20th and needed only to be recorded.

But at the time of the April meeting, these documents had still not been recorded by the county recorder, according to county staff.

One of the tenants at Capri Apartments alleged that it has been over 14 months (since December 2005) since tenants moved in, that the correct rent is still not being charged and that since the State of California regulates these events, not complying with state law is fraud.

She also stated that a class-action lawsuit was being strongly considered against Goldrich & Kest.

Small Craft Harbor Commission member Harley Searcy and Wisniewski agreed that if these tenants have been overcharged, they should receive interest from Goldrich & Kest at the prime rate on the overcharged amount of rent.

Another speaker asked why the county hadnít gotten the covenants, conditions and restrictions signed first if the document is a condition of occupancy.

ìIf we erred, weíll fix it,î said Sherman Gardner, a representative of Goldrich & Kest. ìIf we collected in excess, weíll refund.î