Byline: Ambrosia Brody
MARINA DEL REY — The ongoing “Visioning Process” for the future of Marina del Rey continues to proceed, with residents, boaters and other stakeholders providing their thoughts on the latest topic related to the future of the harbor: mobility in the marina.
Approximately 32 people attended a focus group held July 17, where they talked about mobility both in and around the marina. Attendees divided into groups, where they looked at aerial photos of the marina and discussed “wayfinding” (how you find your way around the marina), “circulation” (the best way to get around the marina) and the promenade.
“We are getting validation of what’s important to them, and we know where to focus our efforts,” said Gina Natoli, supervising regional planner for the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning.
The meeting is one of many tools being used in the county’s Visioning Process, being led by the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning to help create a vision for the next 20 years for Marina del Rey.
“I think the Visioning Process is going well,” Natoli said. “We have had a couple of very good community meetings, where folks have gotten down to giving us some excellent information.”
Attendees discussed whether the promenade should be wider, be a multi-use walkway for walkers and bicyclists, or have seating areas. They also pondered how people should be directed to and from different locations in the marina — and how to improve pedestrian access.
Boaters also provided their insight to mobility restrictions in the harbor. Many recommended signs facing toward the water indicating where dinghy docks are located and directing vessels to the harbormaster building.
“Make it more accessible and easier to find dinghy docks — and show how to get there, for people to see when they come into the harbor — were a lot of the comments,” Natoli said.
The meeting was only one of the many workshops held to allow residents, visitors and stakeholders to provide input on the future of Marina del Rey, to help shape its future design.
Respondents can also provide comments on envisionmdr.com, a website forum hosted by Los Angeles County. The “virtual town hall” is a stage for the public to discuss their vision for Marina del Rey, post potential solutions to problems and ask questions.
Staff members have received plenty of helpful feedback, Natoli said. “People would like to see more recreation and more amenities, like restaurants and places to walk, and places to sit,” she said. “They’d also like to see a better connection to the water — and these are things that we thought we would like to look into doing, so it is great that the community is telling us this is what they would like to see.”
Community planning events, workshops and focus group meetings will be held throughout the process.
The Visioning Process is an update of the Marina del Rey’s Local Coastal Plan. Regional planners are gathering input from the community on how they envision the city 20 years from now. Recommendations for an updated plan will be submitted to the California Coastal Commission by January 2015 and to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors by September 2014.
The Visioning Plan will be ready for comment in October.
The next topic up for discussion is figuring out what organizations don’t utilize the marina, and why.