The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a vision statement for Marina del Rey this week, with officials saying they hope to better guide the neighborhood’s development in coming years.
The approval Tuesday marks the end of a months-long process in which county regional planners created a blueprint that will divide the marina into distinct districts, and they say, make it easier to get around town.
Although sections of the marina have been booming, thanks to an influx of upscale residential and commercial projects, planners and county officials agreed that other sections have become worn down and dated. They hope the plan will help modernize the marina and make it the hot spot that it was decades ago.
“We’ve memorialized a vision for future development in Marina del Rey that reflects its boating history and recreational use,” said Gina Natoli, a Los Angeles County supervising regional planner. “We’re very happy with how it turned out.”
The approved version of the vision statement remains much the same as the original version presented in February. The plan calls for clusters of activities for tourists, boaters, residents and beach-goers in separate areas, “mobility hubs” that will serve each of those districts. It also calls for improved signage, and enhanced bicycle and pedestrian paths that will make it easier to weave around the water.
Some residents raised concerns about plans to relocate a popular boat ramp, so Natoli said it will stay in its current location along Admiralty Way. And at Tuesday’s board meeting, some locals also complained that the plan allowed for development to overrun an area meant to provide a recreational boating haven.
Jon Nahhas, a boating advocate who spoke against the plan, called it “a textbook ‘government taking’ where … this public recreational facility built for the benefit of county residents is turned over to private interests.”
“There will still be visitor access and docks for large, luxurious yachts, but less and less families will be using the Marina as a destination for recreation,” he wrote in an email Thursday.
Nahhas and others had also argued that they were not given enough opportunities to weigh in on the plan.
In an interview after Tuesday’s the vote, Supervisor Don Knabe disagreed, saying that there were more than 40 public meetings related to the vision statement. He praised the plan as the first“effort to tie in the whole marina rather than doing it piecemeal at a time.”
“This happened overnight after 18 months of a very public process,” he said. “There are those that just don’t want other people down there or consider it their own marina. … It’s not just for someone else’s backyard, it’s a regional asset.”
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