Los Angeles 11th District Councilmember Mike Bonin, who represents part of Los Angeles' Westside, submitted a motion for the city to explore the possibility of providing tiny homes or safe camping at several locations, including one in Marina del Rey harbor.
MARINA DEL REY— Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin has introduced a motion that would ask the city to explore an option for a temporary housing site in the county-owned parking lot at Fisherman’s Village in Marina del Rey harbor.
Bonin submitted the motion on March 31. It calls for the City Council to instruct the city administrative officer to evaluate and identify funding for temporary sites for single-occupancy tiny homes or safe camping at the county-owned parking lot at Fisherman’s Village in Marina del Rey as well as parking lots at Will Rogers State Beach in Pacific Palisades and Dockweiler Beach in Playa del Rey, and the RV park at Dockweiler Beach.
“People are living and dying on our streets,” wrote Bonin in an April 13 tweet. “All over the city, people are demanding urgent action. That means we need a broad menu of solutions — projects, programs, policies — and we need to put them in place all over the city, including the Westside.”
The proposal has garnered strong vocal opposition, including an online petition on change.org started by a Los Angeles area resident. The issue was addressed by several public speakers at the April 14 Small Craft Harbor Commission meeting. Some were worried about the proximity to the public boat launch ramp.
“This is probably one of the largest, if not the largest public boating access launch ramp in Los Angeles County and to create any kind of impact on the tremendous use it gets would be a real shame,” said one commenter.
Commenters were also concerned about boat security in the neighboring marinas, the lack of access to assistance services in the marina area and inconsistency with surrounding uses.
“Fisherman’s Village has the restaurants, that’s where you pick up the dining, cruises and sailing and the boat rentals, so it’s a tourist attraction,” said Janet Zaldua, the Chief Executive Officer of the Marina del Rey Convention & Visitors Bureau, in a phone interview.
She said this area is made up of primarily visitor-serving businesses, some of which are concerned this type of temporary housing site would detract from visitors to the area.
“We want to see a solution to this and something that’s done to help the homeless people but without hurting other businesses, the tourism and hospitality industry has suffered enormously, catastrophic losses during COVID,” said Zaldua.
Small Craft Harbor Commission Vice Chair David Lumian also expressed he was concerned about the proposal.
“I’m very concerned about Councilman Bonin’s, my councilman, my friend, Mike Bonin’s comments as well and think we should invite him, his staff, to come to a future meeting and let us know what exactly their proposal is and see if they have rethought that in face of some of the opposition,” said Lumian at the meeting.
Councilmember Bonin’s office did not respond to an email and phone call requesting an interview. On April 13, Bonin wrote on Twitter every councilmember needs to find locations in the districts they represent to address the homelessness crisis.
“None of the locations we’ve identified are ideal, and I’m always open to other suggestions,” said the Twitter post. “But we’ve looked long and hard. There or no ideal places on the Westside, but that doesn’t reduce the need or urgency to act.”
As of press time, the Los Angeles City Council had not yet voted on the motion.