These are both very controversial projects which have met with public resistance, including both City and County residents living on or near Via Marina. For background information,please go to the Silver Strand homepage mdrsilverstrandnews.wordpress.com and do a search in the bar on the upper right on “Legacy” and/or “sewer.” Among the many issues of concern to the public, is the prospect of work on the sewer line occurring simultaneously with the construction of the Legacy and the AMLI apartment projects, also on Via Marina.
1) The Legacy/Neptune Apartment complex on Via Marina:
The Marina del Rey Design Control Board approved the redesign of this massive project at their meeting on January 21, 2015 at Burton Chace Park, Marina del Rey. The next steps require approval by the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. We will post notice of these meetings when they are scheduled.
2) Venice Dual Force Auxiliary Sewer Line
The Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning will hold a public hearing on the City of Los Angeles Venice Dual Force Pumping Plant proposed auxiliary sewer line on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 9am. The hearing will take place at Room 150. Department of Regional Planning, 320 West Temple Street
Los Angeles, California 90012- Get directions to this location
Everyone agrees that the new sewer line is needed. The question is where to place it. Three routes were originally proposed:a) alongside the existing line on the beach; b)on Pacific Avenue on the Venice Peninsula; c) on Via Marina. The shortest, least expensive and least disruptive to traffic and residents would be the beach route. The City has liability if the existing line fails and is anxious to construct the new line as soon as possible. It worries that the Coastal Commission will not approve the beach route. The Pacific Avenue route is problematic due to the narrowness of the roadway. The 2-mile long Via Marina route is the longest, most expensive and disruptive route in terms of traffic and public inconvenience which will affect both City and County (unincorporated Marina del Rey) residents.
The County expressed its opposition to the Via Marina route by taking the City to court in 2010. It won on the first round and lost on appeal in 2011. Giving the Board of Supervisors the benefit of the doubt, it may have done so on behalf of residents on either side of Via Marina. However, it is far more likely to have waged its suit on behalf of the developers in the process of building massive apartment complexes along Via Marina – projects which will inject many tax dollars into the County’s general fund. The first notice sent out by the City regarding the project was received by some, but not all, residents on October 10, 2014. Following that, the City held several public “informational” meetings in Marina del Rey, Venice and Westchester. However, the format of these meetings was, designed to dissipate public protest about the project by sending attendees to various tables scattered throughout the room. A City representative confirmed to one attendee that this was a deliberate strategy. No minutes were taken by the City of these meetings and no comments by the public were entered into the public record.
Jon Nahhas of the Boaters Coalition has written a letter describing several important objections to the the Via Marina Route:
Changed Circumstances for Proposed Development on Parcel 9 (A-5-MDR-12-161)
Substantial Issues with the Venice Dual Force Main Project:
1. Public Safety on Drilling Near Abandoned Oil Wells
The use of microtunneling near numerous abandoned oil wells (more than 14), some of which have been found to be leaking gas by the California Superior Court, is a serious public hazard. There has been considerable public concern about digging, cutting, grinding, etc. near the proposed path close to the abandoned wells of: Edgar Brown #1, Burks #2, Burks#3, Morrison #1, Dow #7, #9 & #10, and Ohio #5, #6 & #11. The Public has requested information on the permits on the abandoned wells and evidence for the mitigation of these severe environmental impacts. The City of Los Angeles has not provided the information as of the date of this comment.
2. Traffic Problems
There will be severe traffic issues with the partial closure of Via Marina Ave. The County of Los Angeles has asserted through Court pleadings that the traffic study conducted for this project by the City of LA was severely flawed. The City of LA failed to provide any information to contest the allegations in Court or in the public process that followed for the Coastal Development Permit on the project.
3. Public Participation Minimized
The Public was provided two “informational meetings” which the City of LA officials and their consultants refused to answer questions in an open forum. The attending public was required to ask questions privately to the numerous department officials that were scattered throughout the meeting hall. At the CDP Public Hearing on January 21, 2015, the public speakers were severely limited to 2 minutes to speak and there were only 19 speaker cards (38 minutes total public speaking time for a 2 hour Public Hearing). 6 of the first 19 public speakers could not be heard because the microphone was not turned on.
4. Important Information Withheld
The City of Los Angeles knowingly and willfully withheld important information from the public regarding this project. The project was the subject of a long litigation process involving alleged CEQA violations that went to the California Supreme Court and the public had the right to know the details and outcomes of the Court rulings. A summary of the Court rulings should have been included in each staff report created for the project and reports generated to the public prior to their comments. Members of the public requested information from the City of LA regarding the lawsuits but those records were never provided.
Next steps. The City cannot go forward with the Via Marina route without the approval of the County Department of Regional Planning and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors’ approval as the route encroaches on County territory. The final step will be approval by the California Coastal Commission.
What you can do: Send an email expressing your concerns to:
Richard J Bruckner, Director, Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Anita Gutierrez, Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning <email@example.com>
Sheila Kuehl firstname.lastname@example.org [Sheila Kuehl is our representative (33rd District) on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors]
Mike Bonin, Councilmember, City of Los Angeles Council District 11 <email@example.com>
Debbie Dyner Harris, District Director. City of Los Angeles Council District 11 <firstname.lastname@example.org>