Visitors to Venice are one step closer to having the chance to soar across a stretch of the beach.
The Los Angeles Board of Public Works voted Aug. 10 to deny an appeal to a proposed zipline attraction on Venice Beach.
The plan now moves on to the California Coastal Commission, which must approve a coastal development permit for the temporary project to be installed near the popular Venice Boardwalk.
The three-month project would install a 50-foot-high launch tower with a 44-foot takeoff platform on the northern edge of Windward Plaza, allowing harnessed riders to soar 750 feet to a 24-foot-tall landing tower near 17th Avenue and the basketball courts. Rides would operate between 11 a.m. and sunset and cost $20 per person, with some discounts offered.
City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who believes the amusement ride could help generate revenue for various maintenance needs at Venice Beach, had urged the board to deny the appeal.
“During this economic crisis, all city departments have had to learn to do more with less,” said Rosendahl, who believes money could be used for cleaning beach restrooms and emptying garbage cans. “Permitting the Venice zipline would be a wonderful opportunity for a private-public partnership that could generate some much needed revenue for Los Angeles City Recreation and Parks to maintain Venice Beach.”
The zip ride project is proposed by Greenheart Conservation Company/Flightlinez, a Canadian company that designs, builds and operates conservation based canopy walkways and other nature-based attractions around the world including Las Vegas, the Amazon and Rwanda.
According to Greenheart, a key element of the Flightlinez plan would be regularly scheduled classes and workshops on aerial acrobatics, juggling and hooping specifically targeting at-risk youths. The aerial attraction would also feature periodic evening performances involving lights such as an installation held at the Burning Man event. Funding for the classes and shows will be raised through the zipline tickets.
Residents who appealed the proposal argued that the new attraction would block beach views, create noise issues, impact parking and is out of place in the community. Other objections included that the towers would exceed area height limits and that parks are not designed to generate revenue.
Public Works staff recommended for the appeal to be denied, saying that park views are already limited due to existing palm trees, the Department of Recreation and Parks and police would be responsible for regulating noise and that the applicant may offer possible discounts to those using alternative transportation, helping to minimize parking impacts.
The plan was initially intended to be considered for the summer but could now be implemented next year.