Public Comment - BOS Meeting June 4, 2008

Published Mar 15, 2011

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Honorable Supervisors,

Congratulations Supervisor Knabe on your reelection. Hopefully, this term will be about meaningful change to the current development plans for Marina del Rey.

I want to bring to your attention that Doug Ring’s Marina Two Holdings is in breach of its Lease with the County on Parcel 15/Bar Harbor Apartments because they have not met its construction deadlines. The Lease states that meeting these deadlines was a material inducement for the County to have entered into the lease and they would not have entered otherwise. Additionally, the lease states that the County will strictly enforce these lease provisions. I have brought this issue to Beaches & Harbors and to the Small Craft Harbor Commission two times. I am told there is no breach, but with no explanation, even though the lease is quite clear. I asked to be shown how I might be wrong. But I get no answers except it is complicated Mr. Barish. I am a CPA and have Big 4 Accounting experience in fraud investigation and lease auditing. I understand what is going on.

Why am I raising this issue? Because Doug Ring’s Esprit I, part of MdR’s Phase I development, has been a disaster for Marina del Rey. Half the basin and mole road has been out of commission for over 8 years. The new buildings are rumored to be sinking and/or cracking and most people think the buildings themselves are unsightly, poorly designed behemoths. So now we should give him more time to build another 4-5 of these buildings?

That leads me to the broader picture of Marina del Rey. Why do Marina residents, County residents and tourists love the Marina? Because of open space, recreation and wonderful views. When you drive down Admiralty Way and come to Mothers Beach, you see what MdR is all about. You are welcomed with a beautiful view of Mothers Beach, the quaint sail boats, picnic tables, beach volleyball, kids playing in the sand and students learning to surf or Kayak. BUT, when this Board is through with its plans for the Marina, all the tourists will see when they round the corner onto Via Marina are two five story Marriot Residence Inns and a tiny glimpse through the view corridor of the magic that was Marina del Rey.

This next phase of more of the wrong development for the Marina includes building an unsustainable luxury haven for wealthy boat owners and apartment dwellers. When this Board is finished with its plans for the Marina, the low, moderate and middle class residents will no longer exist in the Marina, save for a few senior citizens lucky enough to get one of the limited very low income apartments. But let’s look at the Marina now. The apartment buildings catering to the wealthy have empty apartments and are giving away free rent. Meanwhile, the moderately priced complexes, like Bar Harbor, are 100% occupied.

So my question to you Supervisors is this: are you going to do something about the wrong development of Marina del Rey? I know some of you talk about more responsible development, refurbishing instead of tearing down, and even tempering the control that developers seem to have. If we work together, we can create a Marina for the next generation that we can all be proud of.

 

David Barish
Marina del Rey resident

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