An emergency meeting titled “The Council of Trees,” will be held tomorrow Mariner’s Village. The event is a gathering to memorialize and protest the cutting down of a decades-old tree by developer-lessee, E&S.Ring, on October 8, 2014. The tree was fondly named “The Avatar Tree” by residents. All are welcome. The meeting is being organized by Marcia Hanscom, Executive Director of the Ballona Institute in cooperation with the Friends of Mariner’s Village.
Time: Saturday, October 11, 2014: 9:30am to 11:30 am. Attendees are asked to bring cushions or lawn chairs.
Place: Southern end of Via Marina just outside of Mariner’s Village at 4600 Via Marina, MDR, CA 90291. There is a public parking lot across the the street.
Background: Mariner’s Village is sited on public land owned by Los Angeles County. It has been leased to E&S.Ring (now know as Marina Admiralty Company) since 1972. The developer is currently seeking to renew the lease until 2066. In connection with the lease renewal, MAC has submitted plans for a massive renovation of the property that, among other things, calls for the removal of all existing landscaping including over 1000 trees, pools and waterfalls. MAC has previously been cited for removing 11 great blue heron nests and cutting down 4 trees without the necessary approvals from the County. The developer is attempting to get an “After the Fact” approval for this.
Current Status: On August 25, 2014, the Los Angeles County Department of Regional planning determined that the removal of the existing landscaping might have a significant impact on Biological Resources. The site contains nesting colonies of great blue herons, snowy egrets and black-crowned night herons. It is the last great blue heron rookery in Marina del Rey. In addition, it is one of only five Snowy Egret breeding sites on the Coastal Slope of Los Angeles County. These nesting native birds are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty of 1918 and Section 3505 of the California Fish and Wildlife code. In addition, the DRP found that emissions during the 10-year construction period proposed by the developer might have a significant environment impact on air quality, especially to residents in or near the site. As a result, the DRP has required that a new Environmental Report be made, along with additional approvals required from other governmental agencies, before the developer can go forward.