Culver City Planning Panel OKs Marina Place Report

Times Staff Writer

The Culver City Planning Commission has certified an environmental impact report on the massive Marina Place project, despite objections that the report does not adequately deal with how the development will affect traffic.

Steve Andrews, an aide to Los Angeles City Councilwoman Pat Russell, told the commission that the supplemental report, prepared by the city and a traffic consultant, did not completely describe how to resolve traffic problems created by the project.

However, Planning Commissioner Charles S. Blum said that the impact of traffic from Marina Place would be insignificant when measured against the traffic generated by major developments proposed in Los Angeles near the project site.

"We in Culver City are faced with an attempt to mitigate the impacts of traffic not generated in our borders," Blum told Andrews during a Planning Commission hearing Wednesday. "The situation leaves a lot to be desired."

The environmental report has to be certified by the City Council before Prudential Insurance Co. of America can proceed with the project. The council must also grant the company a zoning change and amend its general plan.

The proposed Marina Place development--a 12-story office building, 500 housing units, a 715,000-square-foot shopping mall and a 10-screen movie theater complex that would seat 2,500 patrons--would go on an 18-acre parcel in western Culver City, bounded by Washington Boulevard, Glencoe and Walnut avenues and Zanja Street.

"Traffic mitigation is not adequate as presented" in the report, Andrews told the commission. "Traffic-mitigation measures proposed must be appropriate for Los Angeles standards."

He urged the city to "analyze traffic (impacts) on a regional basis."

'Guardian Angel'

Blum said after the meeting that he disliked "the fact that the city of Los Angeles is . . . trying to appear as the guardian angel for the environment within this area."

Andrews said that Russell is interested in the project because the site is bordered on three sides by Venice, which is in Russell's district.

Since the Marina Place project is in Culver City, Andrews said he wanted to make sure Culver City officials provided for Russell's Venice constituents.

Andrews said that developers of such major projects as the Howard Hughes Center and Playa Vista already have agreed with Culver City to pay for street widenings and other traffic improvements in Culver City.

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