A rather run-of-the-mill posting of a hearing notice that had been placed on the county’s temporary park at Fiji Way and Lincoln Boulevard caught our eye.

What big project could possibly be planned there, we wondered. Certainly none that we had heard about at any County Marina Design Control Board or County Small Craft Harbor Commission meeting.

We knew, of course, about the county’s earlier plan to place a temporary park on the site of the former Union gas station. We wrote quite a bit about the county’s plan to use the corner parcel as one of the “Gateways to the Marina.”

But the county hadn’t begun any long-range plans for the “gateway” and didn’t have the funds set aside for such a project anyway.

For a while the county put up some decorative walls around the parcel, which soon deteriorated. Portions of the wall panels started to separate, fall apart and generally create a rather unsightly scene.

Rather than a “Gateway to the Marina,” the place looked like some abandoned parcel you’d find in the middle of the desert on your way to Vegas.

We wrote several times about how terrible the scene looked and others joined the chorus, demanding that Marina officials do something about this “gateway” parcel.

So the county took down what was left of the wooden wall panels and put up a rather attractive low stone wall, added some environmentally-sensitive plants, added some lighting and a little pathway through the parcel and went back down Fiji Way to the Administration Building.

Now, many months later, comes the County Regional Planning Commission to announce that the County Department of Beaches and Harbors never got — indeed, never applied for — a required Coastal Development Permit for this “temporary” park.

So now, up goes the notice of a 9 a.m. Wednesday, January 25th, County Regional Planning Commission hearing in downtown Los Angeles.

The commission will be hearing the Beaches and Harbors Department request for a retroactive Coastal Development Permit.


What’s that all about, we asked ourselves — and then started making phone calls to Marina staffers who suddenly went dead at the other end of the line.

Alas, the Marina’s chief press spokesperson didn’t know about the retroactive permit request.

The department chief deputy acknowledged that she too couldn’t remember much about how the department got to this — can we call it “embarrassing”? — position.

A deputy planning staffer assured us that all the documentation we would want is at the library.

Oh, is it, we asked the near-top-honchos at B&H.

Ah, well, we think it is. We’ll get back to you on that.

Actually, the documentation really was over at the Marina library.

So now come the explanations.

“Well, this is a temporary park and we didn’t think we’d need a permit for this.”

“This is really a permit request from Regional Planning, not the coastal commission.”

“This was just an — ah — unfortunate omission.”

You get the idea.

But the B&H honchos did have one last comment, sent to developers: “Don’t expect us to give you any retroactive permits.”