Welcome to The Silver Strand News, Marina del Rey, CA

Welcome to The Silver Strand News. We hope to keep all those who live in the Silver Strand in Marina del Rey, California, as well as those who simply appreciate the beauty of this area, up to date on neighborhood news and to encourage communication between those who interested in the area. You can sign up for an email subscription by entering your email address in the box on the upper right. You then will receive an email from  wordpress.com, our web host, asking you to confirm your subscription by clicking on “Confirm Follow.” Without this confirmation your subscription will not be activated.The Silver Strand News is an independent news source and all posts represent the opinion of the author.

Please click on the Heading “Calendar of Upcoming Events” for up-to-date information on items of interest to residents.

Sandra Starr (Author, Publisher and Editor)

All material in this blog, unless otherwise indicated, is © The Silver Strand News.

Posted in History of Marina del Rey, History of the Silver Strand, Marina del Rey/Venice Events, Silver Strand Events, Silver Strand Marina del Rey State and National Representives, Venice Events, Via Marina, Marina del Rey: News on County & City Proposals, Welcome to the Silver Strand News, What Topics would you like to see in The Silver Strand News | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Urgent: On-line Petition Opposing the Marriott Hotels on Via Marina, Marina del Rey

A group of Marina del Rey residents have put up an online petition opposing Samuel Hardage’s proposed development of parcel 9U as a Marriott Courtyard Hotel and a Marriott Residence Inn. If you agree with the petition, go to:

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/no-hotel-on-parcel-9u.html

The petition will close tonight, July 20.The results will be e-mailed to each of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and submitted at the hearing on Wednesday, July 22, 2015 (see previous post on the meeting).

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________
It takes 1 minute and other than name & e-mail address, other personal data is optional.  An e-mail confirmation is sent to the signer.  Please sign individually, instead of single entry per household.  Any resident of LA County can sign as the Board of Supervisors represent from all over and Marina del Rey was chartered as a public amenity for to the County.

Petition Background (Preamble):

No one denies better use can be made of this land. However, Marina del Rey is supposed to be a recreational area for the People. The County has a fiduciary duty to represent and protect the Public’s interests.

• The Marriott already has two hotels within walking distance. It is an economic concentration of interests to grant the same owner rights to build another hotel. This violates the 7th item in Exhibit C of the Assignment Standard for County Leases.

• Developer gerrymandered areas such as Crenshaw and areas in South LA 80 blocks south of USC to wrongfully claim EB-5 status. The Developer’s ‘Invest LA’ Exit Strategy which declares “After the hotel operation, the estimated NOI will be $9.18M annually, and after 5 years operation the hotel is projected to be valued at $131M. It is expected that after 5 years, the property can be sold or refinance to repay the EB-5 investors. If the loan is not fully repaid upon maturity, the loan will be converted into equity ownership interest in the form of equity stock based on the prevailing Loan Balance to prevailing Market Value at the maturity date.” Invest LA states the number of EB-5 investors will be up to 72. Developer stated he has right to re-assign a County lease. We believe this to be illegal.

• The Visioning Statement, on which the County spent a lot of money hiring consultants and a lot of time vetting, and this RPC approved last year highlights this area is in a Residential Zone. Although Parcel 9U was approved for hotel use years ago, this does not mean a hotel is the appropriate use. The current Visioning Statement concludes this is a Residential Zone.

• Developer touts offering ‘public’ amenities such as paddle board rentals. The Community already has a number of places that provide these services. Also, note the Developer’s valet parking will be profiting from ‘public’ use of amenities; not County parking lots.

• Developer touts providing water taxi shelter. This is NOT a new amenity for the Community. There already exists a water bus on Tahiti near Via Marina, as well as another on this basin further down Marquesas.

• Variance No. 200600012 should not be granted to allow zero set-backs. Hearing Notice cites zero set-backs for the waterfront pedestrian promenade. However renderings also indicate there will no longer be sidewalk along west side of Via Marina. It is unrealistic to think pedestrians zig-zag to boardwalk where sidewalk along Via Marina disappears. The Visioning Statement which the County spent a lot of money, time and this RPC approved last year highlights the need for pedestrian mobility. More people walking along Via Marina, for example to the increasingly successful Farmers Market.

• Visioning Statement says building massing should a like a bowl and step down around the water. Proposed hotel is stepping up compared to neighboring buildings Also the proposed 5 & 6-stories becomes 6 & 7-stories when including elevator shafts and cooling tower screens.

• Via Marina is designated as a “scenic drive”. In order to make an arriving southbound turn into their main entrance, the median and all historic coral trees along the length of their frontage on Via Marina will be destroyed.

Petition:

In accordance with the Marina del Rey Visioning Statement, we, the undersigned, call for a ‘no’ vote to:

– Not grant a lease for the last open space in MDR to Developer with a track record of litigation with other municipalities and Unions.

– Not grant Coastal Development Permit No. 200600007 for a 5- & 6-floor hotel which really is a 6- & 7-story structure;

– Not grant Variance No. 200600012 authorizing zero set-backs of public-accessible land.

To sign the Petition go to:http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/no-hotel-on-parcel-9u.html

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Reminder: Important Regional Planning Meeting, July 22, 2015 re proposed Marriott Hotels on Via Marina

Hotel from Via Marina

Rendering of the proposed Marriott Hotels from Via Marina

    On this coming Wednesday, July 22, 2015, the Regional Planning Commission will be considering a proposal to construct a 288-room hotel in Marina del Rey at Parcel 9U, located at Via Marina and Tahiti Way. The meeting will be held at 9:00 a.m. at 320 W. Temple Street, Room 150, Los Angeles, CA 90012. This project, a Marriott Courtyard Hotel and Marriott Residence Inn (formerly the Woodfin Hotel and Timeshares),  has a long and controversial history. The lessee in both projects is Samuel Hardage, a San Diego developer with longtime ties to the Marriotts. Supervisor Don Knabe appears to be pushing his pet projects forward prior to being termed out in 2016. For the background on this project go to the main page of the Silver Strand News    mdrsilverstrandnews.wordpress.com and type in “Hardage.” 

Brief Background:

  Mr. Hardage originally leased the parcel in June, 2006 in order to build a  19-story Woodfin Hotel and Time Share. Thanks to the public and residents, the original design was rejected by the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Hardage’s Woodfin hotel chain went out of business following Hardage’s filing for bankruptcy on behalf of the chain. In October, 2013, Mr. Hardage (now operating under the corporate name of MDR Hotels, LCC) submitted a new proposal for a 5 and 6-story  Marriott Brand Hotel and Residence. In February 2014, the Board of Supervisors entered into lease negotiations on the project. http://file.lacounty.gov/dbh/docs/cms1_205242.pdf. The lease was first provided to the public online in November, 2014.

    Hardage has been working with Invest LA since 2013 to  raise half the estimated 70 million dollar cost of the project by qualifying for EB-5loans. This government program allows developers to get foreign companies/individuals, mostly Chinese and Korean, to invest anywhere from $500,000 to 1 million dollars each in areas with an unemployment rate of 15% or higher. The developer gets loans at under market interest rates, in this case a 5-year loan at 1%. In return, the foreign investor gets, apart from his return on investment, a U.S. visa/green card.

    The program began in the 1990s and was meant to create jobs and development in blighted areas with high unemployment. MDR has an unemployment rate below six percent. When Hardage managed to get the hotel project qualified, all he had to do was  draw a map including 150 census tracts excluding the wealthy districts of nearby Venice, Santa Monica, Mar Vista, Culver City, Playa Vista and Playa del Rey and including poorer communities to the south and east. Compton for example has an unemployment rate of 20% and is nowhere near Marina del Rey. While EB-5 is still legal, the US Senate is proposing legislation which would make the requirements far more stringent.

Here is Invest LA’s Description of the Project: http://www.investlaeb5.com/projects/wfh.html. You need to download the brochure  to see details.

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  The public and local residents have expressed their opposition to the hotel/s at every stage of the hearings on the parcel over the last nine years.  The County “Visioning Process” planners have designated Via Marina as a residential area. How does a hotel fit into that picture?

1) A hotel is an inappropriate use for this site and Marina del Rey already has plenty of hotels, including two Marriotts (the Ritz is a Marriott).

2) Ideally, this parcel, the largest remaining undeveloped site in MDR, would be a public park containing a small maritime museum including the history of Marina del Rey and a center for the educating the public about the Ballona wetlands (the southern portion of the parcel contains a wetland). One way of financing this would be to put a public bond issue on the ballot.

3) The snake in the grass. If the 288-room hotel is shot down and the park plan is rejected, the County could retaliate by putting up yet another monstrous 500 plus apartment complex  like “The Shores,” on the site.  In terms of Via Marina, The AMLI project is already underway, Legacy Partners is proposing another huge development a block south of it. The Hotels are the third. All these Via Marina projects will coincide with the installation of the new Venice auxiliary sewer line. Work on the latter is scheduled to begin in early 2016.

Here is the official notice from the Department of Regional Planning:

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING· COUNTY PROJECT NO. TR067861-(4)
COASTAL DEVELOPMENT PERMIT NO. 200600007 CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT NO. 200600288 PARKING PERMIT NO. 200600020
VARIANCE NO. 200600012 ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT NO. 200600216
Richard J. Bruckner
Director

The Los Angeles County Regional Planning Commission will conduct a public hearing to consider the project described below. You will have an opportunity to testify, or you can submit written comments to the planner below or at the public hearing. If the final decision on this proposal is challenged in court, testimony may be limited to issues raised before or at the public hearing.

Hearing Date and Time: Wednesday July 22, 2015 at 9:00 a.m.
Hearing Location:320 West Temple St. Hall of Records, Rm. 150, Los Angeles, CA 90012 Project and Permits:

Project No.TR067861-(4)

Coastal Development Permit No. 200600007
To authorize the construction of the following: 1) a new five- and six-story 288-room hotel in two wings with associated amenities including meeting rooms, restaurant, bar/lounge, fitness center, and operations spaces including lobby, offices, and laundry and maintenance facilities, a parking garage, parking lot, and associated signage and landscaping;2) a new 28-foot-wide pedestrian promenade; and 3) water taxi shelter.

Conditional Use Permit No. 200600288
To authorize development of a parking structure and the sale of a full line of alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption .

Parking Permit No.200600020
To allow for the use of valet-managed,tandem parking.

Variance No. 200600012
To authorize a zero setback from the waterfront pedestrian promenade and a reduction in the northerly, side yard setback to allow a 7 Ya-foot setback .

Environmental Review No. 200600216
An Addendum to an existlng Environmental Impact Report certified in April of 2011 and an updated Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program (“MMRP”) to determine whether any significant effects to the environment were not identified in the original certified EIR and would result from the revised project has have been prepared pursuant to California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) reporttng requirements.

PROJECT LOCATION
The proposed Marriott Courtyard and Residence Inn Project (“Project ) site is located on Lease Parcel 9U at the western end of Basin B in the unincorporated community of Marina del Rey. The Project site consists of the northernmost 2.2 acres of the lease parceland is accessed via Via Marina.
320 West Temple Street • Los Angeles, CA 91.l’t) 12 • 213-9 .!-64 l l • Fax: 213-626-0434 • TDD: 213-617-2292
For more information regarding this application, contact Kevin Finkel, AICP Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning (DRP), 320 W. Temple St., Los Angeles, CA 90012. Telephone: (213) 974-4854, Fax: (213) 626-0434, E-mail: . Case materials are available online at http://planning.l acounty.gov or at the following libraries. All correspondence received by DRP shall be considered a public record.

Please try and attend the meeting and fill out speaker card to express your opinion on the project. Your comments will be included as part of the public record.

If you are unable to attend you can expresss your opinion via email to the following. The deadline is for submitting comments  is 5pm July 21, 2015. Your comments will be entered in the public record.

Department of Regional Planning:

Richard Bruckner: rbruckner@planning.lacounty.gov

Kevin Finkel: kfinkel@planning.lacounty.gov

County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors:

Sheila Kuelh Supervisor, Third District: e-mail: Sheila@bos.lacounty.gov

Sheila Represents those of who live west of Via Marina

Hilda L Solis Supervisor, First District: e-mail: hildalsolis.org

Mark Ridley Thomas, Second District: e-mail: MarkRidley-Thomas@
bos.lacounty.gov

Don Knabe Supervisor, Fourth District: e-mail: Don@bos.lacounty.gov

Mike Antonovich, Fifth District: e-mail: FifthDistrictlacbos.org

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Thank you former Hurricane Dolores. Los Angeles including Marina del Rey and Venice, have experienced a very rare and heavy rainfall in July, 2015

  Some did the rain dance, others prayed, no matter the rain fell. And we are grateful. Hurricane Dolores, now downgrated to a Pacific storm, has produced heavy rains in the Los Angeles area, including Marina del Rey and Venice. Los Angeles received 0.36 inches of rain on Saturday, breaking an 1886 record of 0.24. Normal rainfall in Los Angeles in July is 0.01. More rain and thunderstorms are expected on Monday. For those of you venturing to the beaches tomorrow, be aware that there is a strongly worded advisory from the national weather service regarding rip tides on our local beaches, effective until 9pm on Monday.  Be careful out there!

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Highlights of SSMHOA Regular Board Meeting on June 29, 2015

   The Homeowner Forum began with Harry Lederman discussing of stagnant water at the northern end of Roma Court at Ketch, Lighthouse, Mast and Reef Malls. Among other things, stagnant water provides a breeding ground for mosquitos who carry West Nile disease.  Bali Management will work with Harry to contact the City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works and explore the feasibility of installing French drains. Block Captain Brady Connell agreed to find volunteers willing to clean up after Halloween on Roma Court, one of our major annual events.

Landscape Committee. Chair Sandy Gooch continues to walk the Malls on a regular basis with Ray Garcia, SSMHOA landscaping contractor. A decision was made to allow the trees and shrubs to grow taller this year in order to decrease evaporation and water use. This has been effective and water usage has been lowered. Star Jasmine,  fragrant drought tolerant, being planted around the Malls as a ground cover. The Malls and mini-Mall sprinkler systems have been converted to low-impact water usage.

Block Captain Committee: Chair Nora Nicosia reported on the ongoing success of the mini-Block parties. She also announced that she has started a new SSHOA Film Club. The first meeting will take place on July 23, 2015. If you would like to join, please leave a comment below.

Street Committee: Chair Joseph Nesane was absent, but brickwork repair on Lighthouse mini-Mall will be completed by July 3, 2015. Other repairs were discussed by Sandy Gooch and suggestions will be given to Joseph Nesane for review.

Kids’ Activities: Chair Eric Beane reported that people continue to leave inappropriate books at the Little Free Library. The library is meant to serve children and teenagers. In addition, there is much taking of books from the library, but few residents are either returning or replacing. Eric continues to work with City of Los Angeles Councilman Mike Bonin’s office on the proposed park in the vacant lot on Via Dolce.

Editorial Note: The SSMHOA Little Free Library is a popular destination for our young people. If you don’t have books to contribute- the Lloyd Tabor Public Library on Admiralty Way has lots of  children’s books you can purchase for a dollar or two. They are on the lower shelf as you enter the library.  Please do not use the Little Free Library box as a dumping spot for your romance novels, detective fiction, etc. If you want to get rid of this sort of thing, both the Lloyd Tabor Library and Abbot Kinney Memorial Library on Venice Boulevard are happy to accept your donations.  The Little Free Library is dependent on the honor system. Take a book and either return it or replace it.

Emergency Preparedness: Chair Richard Cervantes reported that the on-line Emergency Preparedness Survey has been posted in the Silver Strand News blog. It only takes a few moments to complete. If you have not already done so, you can complete it here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Re0wAZWy5aYlk3NZKR3AS-CL3XlaGZqCFQhs92NO-mE/viewform?c=0&w=1

The results will be reported at the Annual SSMHOA meeting in October, 2015.

Goverment Outreach: Chair Gary Garland discussed the idea of placing speed bumps and or stop signs on Roma Court to prevent speeding.  Speeding cars present a real hazard to the many pedestrians, children and bicyclists who walk/ride on Roma Court. Gary will report back to the Board on this issue.

SAVE THESE DATES

The next regular SSMHOA Board Meeting is tentatively scheduled for Monday, August 10, 2015 at 7:30pm, 131 Quarterdeck Mall. Details to be announced.

The 4th Annual Silver Strand Neighborhood Block Party will take place on Saturday, September 12, 2015, from 1:00pm – 5pm. The event is sponsored by Peter and Ty Bergman of Bergman Properties. There will be delicious food, games and live entertainment. Details to be announced.  Other than Halloween on Roma Court, this is our biggest annual event.

The Annual SSMHOA Meeting is tentatively schedule for October 8, 2015 at the Del Rey Yacht Club. Details to be announced.

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Photos from the Reef/Quarterdeck Malls & Adjacent Roma Court mini-Block Party, July 12, 2015

SSMHOA Block Captains, Lisa Amster, Beverly Pazak and Marilee Karlsen hosted the Reef/Quarterdeck and adjacent mini-Block Party on July 12, 2015. The Happy Hour event took place on Quarterdeck Mall. As you can see from the happy faces below, it was a happy time indeed. With many thanks to Marilee Karlsen for her report and photographs.

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A cornucopia of delicious appetizers were offered to guests

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Suzy Greenberg digs in. If anyone ate dinner after this event, we’d be amazed.

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Lisa Amster’s adorable son Jake. Small mouth, big slice.

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Nora Nicosia, left, SSMHOA Board Member, Chair of the Block Captain Committee and the person who initiated the mini-Block parties 3 years ago. Cindy Carlin, right, Block Captain and Chair of the ad hoc mini-Block party Committee.

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Front: Cassie Hermiston-Boyd. Second row left to right: Robin Boyd, Block Captain Angela Durrant, Bill Boyd, Judy and Stan Coleman. Third Row: Block Captain Marilee Karlsen, SSMHOA President, Fred Karlsen, Michael Greenberg, Brad Cox and Simona

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Left to right: Michael Klein and Simona, Rubin and Laura Archilla

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Left to right: Ed Amorosi, Myra Amorosi and Michael Klein

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Sam Gorodistian (Lisa Amster’s husband) and Lynn Beyer

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Left to right: Lisa Amster, Lynn Beyer, Myra Amorosi, Robin Boyd and Angela Durrant

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Upcoming Event: Mast/Northstar and Adjacent Roma Court mini-Block Party, August 2, 2015

Originally posted on The Silver Strand News:

Mast:Northstar Aug 2 for blog  This will be the last of the Silver Strand mini-Block parties for 2015. These intimate neighborhood gatherings are a prelude to our biggest event of the year: The Annual Silver Strand Neighborhood Party which will take place on Saturday, September 12, 2015 from 1:00pm to 5:00 pm, sponsored by Peter and Ty Bergman of Bergman Beach Properties-http://bergmanbeachproperties.com/.Save the date!

View original

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Upcoming Event: Mast/Northstar and Adjacent Roma Court mini-Block Party, August 2, 2015

Mast:Northstar Aug 2 for blog  This will be the last of the Silver Strand mini-Block parties for 2015. These intimate neighborhood gatherings are a prelude to our biggest event of the year: The Annual Silver Strand Neighborhood Party which will take place on Saturday, September 12, 2015 from 1:00pm to 5:00 pm, sponsored by Peter and Ty Bergman of Bergman Beach Properties-http://bergmanbeachproperties.com/. Save the date!

Posted in Silver Strand Marina Homeowners news | 1 Comment