Proposed dry boat storage building in Marina del Rey met with local opposition.
MARINA DEL REY — To build or to not build a 345-slip dry dock boat storage above federal waters in Marina del Rey: that was the question at the heart of a public meeting held at Burton Chace Park Community Center on May 10.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is proposing to build a new on-water structure – called Boat Central – to support a new boat dock system and dry stack storage. It would be an overwater structure with 755 feet of cueing docks. The applicant is Thomas Hogan of MDR Boat Central LLP; the company is based in Newport Beach.
Plans also call for a County Sheriff’s maintenance facility, customer lounge, restroom area, 134-space parking lot, public promenade and park, according to a California Coastal Commission staff report issued to commissioners in 2015.
Boat Central, in all, would occupy about 11,600 square feet, or a little more than one-quarter acre, of United States waters in Marina del Rey and extend 97 feet seaward on one side. The dry boat storage would be built where a public parking lot currently exists and, according to the Army Corps of Engineers, “would not impact any eelgrass because none was found nor is expected onsite.”
“The developer said the project would be integral to expanding boating opportunities, that it provided the most efficient means to boat access, would offer additional waterside facilities, reduce boat maintenance costs and increase access to the water,” said Greg Fuderer, a public affairs specialist with the Army Corps of Engineers.
Fuderer added the developer said a dry storage “is environmentally superior and has a reduced over-water footprint.”
About 50 people attended the May 10 meeting, with 20 members of the public expressing opposition to the project and only the developer advocating in favor of Boat Central.
Jon Nahhas, a local boating advocate, sent out video, roughly 2 minutes long, in a mass email on May 9, asking people to attend the May 10 hearing and oppose the project.
The video explained Boat Central would be a “total loss to the public” by eliminating free parking and coastal access, increasing the costs of recreational boating, causing environmental harm, disrupting views of the water and creating “a dangerous situation for boating traffic and launching.”
Text at the end of the video labeled Boat Central as a “luxury valet automated boat launch facility on … public recreational lands.” The text continued the use of land and water where Boat Central would be built is for “cycling, fishing and boating.”
Marina del Rey boater Hans Etter said the local community and county officials have long been at odds on the proposed Boat Central project.
“Our community does not want it there,” Etter said. “We have opposed it for a long time but the county and the developer keep pushing for it.”
A website advocating against “over development” in Marina del Rey stated Boat Central, if built, would impact water quality, boat launch ramp operations and view corridors.