The director of the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors has requested approvals for dock redevelopment of six county-owned and operated parcels in Marina del Rey, and authorization to issue a request for proposals for a design-build contract for those parcels.
A request for a concept endorsement to aggregate two of those county-owned and operated parcels and five private marinas was also made to the county Small Craft Harbor Commission at its Feb. 9 meeting. The commission voted to support the requests.
Santos Kreimann, Beaches and Harbors director, requested that the Small Craft Harbor Commission support the dock redevelopment plan for a portion of Parcel 44, as well as parcels 47, 48, 49, 77 and EE, water areas surrounding the Burton Chace Park peninsula. He additionally asked for authorization to issue a request for proposals for a contract to construct these docks.
Kreimann also requested the commission’s endorsement of the concept to aggregate dock reconstruction plans into one Master Waterside Coastal Development Permit application for two county owned and operated parcels, 44 and 47, (to be known as Anchorage 47), and for private leaseholds Parcel 8 (Bay Club), Parcel 10 (Neptune Marina), Parcel 21 (Holiday Harbor), Parcel 42/43 (Marina del Rey Hotel), and Parcel 125 (Marina City Club). A minor adjustment to the Marina del Rey Hotel’s leasehold water boundary is also included in the request.
The total number of slips for these marinas and for Pier 44 and Anchorage 47 is 1,826. The planned replacement marinas would contain a total of 1,346 slips, resulting in a net loss of 480 slips, according to the department.
The Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club is one of the tenants on Parcel 47, and after several meetings with county officials and yacht club members, Kreimann said it was decided that Design Alternative 3 would be the best option as it retains the greatest number of small boat slips and provides for some additional mid-size slips to serve the yacht club’s present and future needs.
This alternative also features a tiered dock with lowered reach that is more convenient for personal craft launching and disabled access, said county officials.
Wayne Brandow, a member of the yacht club, said the issue regarding the various alternatives had been successfully resolved and he applauded Kreimann and his staff for their “willingness to work with the club.” He said that while some slips would be eliminated, no boaters would be displaced from their slips.
All of these marina projects have to be approved by the county and the California Coastal Commission.
Coastal Commission staff suggested that the county and leasehold marina operators, as co-applicants, present these individual dock reconstruction projects in a single coastal development permit application, referred to as the Master Waterside CDP, because it is more efficient than multiple applications and enables a comprehensive review and evaluation of the projects in total, states county documentation.
A proposal to construct a new nine-slip transient dock at the end of Basin B adjoining the proposed new wetland park at Parcel 9 is also included in the Master CDP application.
In public comment, resident Nancy Vernon Marino said that these two requests are totally separate issues, and that the Master Waterside CDP had been “buried” in another agenda item. She said that it included all of the remaining development in the entire harbor and should be discussed at a night meeting with larger attendance by the public.
Vernon Marino claimed the Master CDP had not been adequately promoted to the public, and there is minimal information about it. The CDP had been mentioned at the July meeting, but the audience was told that it was only to inform, and that no decision was requested, she said.
Kreimann said that initially people were accusing the county of “piece-meal” development, project by project, and that now, when an aggregate proposal was introduced, they still found fault.
Another speaker asked if the Esprit I and II developments were a “harbinger of the future,” and claimed the Esprit I is half-empty, and doesn’t have any balconies. He said the proposed Woodfin Hotel Suites is part of the overdevelopment and too large, adding it would be “pushed onto a wetland.”
A boat broker said he had difficulty selling larger boats because of a shortage of larger boat slips. Other speakers said they were concerned they would be displaced once the docks were reconfigured.
Gary Jones, deputy director of the Beaches and Harbors Asset Management Bureau, said assistance would be provided to keep small boaters by phasing the construction, and providing slip access even if it was in a larger slip. There was general agreement among several of the speakers that the docks are old, in poor condition, and need to be improved.
The county maintains that the largest slip loss occurs in the smallest size category (25-foot and less), which has the highest number of vacancies and will cause displacement of boats (317 boats) from wet slips to either dry stack storage or other marinas.
Each individual applicant is obligated to follow Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements when reconstructing their marinas, said county officials. Compliance with Department of Boating and Waterways (DBAW) design guidelines ensures that each marina represents the latest design guidance from the state agency, which has the responsibility for overseeing recreational boating in California.
The change in powerboat widths also affects slip reconfigurations, and county officials said that after the reduction, Marina del Rey will still have more than 50 percent of its slips at lengths below 35 feet, comparable to the ratio in Long Beach and San Pedro, according to county documentation.
Compliance with ADA requirements and DBAW guidelines causes a reduction in the total number of slips provided, and requires marinas built in the 1960s to revise their existing configurations. ADA requirements call for increased dock and finger widths, and decreased ramp gradients.
Consequently, even if individual applicants wanted to retain the same slip distributions that currently exist, it wouldn’t be possible because the anchorage footprints must change due to these modern requirements for marinas, said county officials.
The Master Waterside CDP can be viewed online at: