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County supervisors to consider plan for hotel, shopping center in Marina del Rey

April 26, 2011 |  8:44 am

Fisherman's Village in Marina del Rey.

Los Angeles County supervisors on Tuesday will consider plans to add more shopping, hotel rooms and office space in Marina del Rey.

Those plans have been fiercely resisted by a coalition of residents, recreational boaters and environmentalists who say the county-owned marina is being overdeveloped. County officials have said the dilapidated marina is in dire need of a facelift that will attract more people to the pleasure boat harbor.

The proposal to build a hotel appears to be one of the most controversial items. The plan before the supervisors calls for a 19-story hotel and a six-level parking structure on the northeast corner of Via Marina and Tahiti Way. But earlier this month, the developer, Woodfin Suite Hotels, said it will propose a scaled-back plan, with two five-story hotel wings and a two-story parking garage.

Other proposals call for turning the last piece of undeveloped land in the marina into a 1.46-acre wetland park. A existing gym, the Marina Fitness Center, would be torn down and replaced with a large building for offices and retail, dubbed Holiday Harbor, at 14025 Panay Way. It would include a six-level parking garage, public plaza, gym, yacht club and 15,000 square feet of retail and office space.

Supervisors are also expected to consider the construction of the Neptune Marina apartment complex, which would replace an apartment complex and parking lot with 526 apartment units in four four-story buildings, and replace a parking lot with a five-story building to house seniors.

In general, the development plans have been supported by the supervisors. Supervisor Don Knabe, whose district includes Marina del Rey, has said the marina ought to be a "crown jewel" of the county, and officials have said the cracked docks and unsightly walkways are in dire need of improvement. One planning commissioner has also said the county needs to bring in more upscale shopping to boost sales tax revenue.

David Barish, who represents the group We Are Marina Del Rey, called on the supervisors to reject the plans.

"The scale and the size of the projects — the scale is too big for this residential and recreational community," Barish said. He said that some of the county's plans would involve construction over existing wetlands. The group wants the currently undeveloped land to be preserved as a public park or open space. For projects that involve tearing down existing buildings and building replacements, Barish asked that the scale of the projects be reduced.

"They're kind of overreaching on everything," Barish said. He urged the supervisors to "preserve open space, preserve recreation and when you do build, just build a little smaller."

If the supervisors approve the projects, opponents of the plan could file an appeal to the California Coastal Commission, which has broad authority over development along the coast.

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-- Rong-Gong Lin II

Photo: Fisherman's Village in Marina del Rey. Credit: Ken Hively / Los Angeles Times

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