Plans for Wilmington Youth Sailing Center Released

Byline: Taylor Hill

Plans for Wilmington Youth Sailing Center Released

WILMINGTON — The Los Angeles City Harbor Department released a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) for public review Aug. 1, showing plans for a youth sailing and aquatics center in Wilmington.

The center is planned to be developed on the old boat storage lot of the former Colonial Yacht Anchorage. The Harbor Department has allocated $3.1 million in funding for the 6,650-square-foot sailing center and 100-foot-long dock, to be used by local and inner-city youth sailing programs.

The project has emerged out of the Wilmington Community Aesthetic Mitigation Projects, which were implemented to increase public access to the water and offset the loss of recreational resources due to the expansion of the China Shipping Terminal in Wilmington.

Wilmington-based Pacific Unicomm Corp. responded to the Port of Los Angeles’ Request for Proposals to operate the Wilmington Youth Sailing and Aquatics Center as a nonprofit center.

According to the report, the center will be used for classroom instruction and on-the-water sailing exercises.

Pacific Unicomm Corp. said it will be working to provide an opportunity for local and inner-city youths to develop life skills through sailing exercises, safe boating courses and exposure to career opportunities at the port. The project will reach 1,000 youths per year, with students coming from the Wilmington area and surrounding areas.

The project will remove 14 slips previously owned by Colonial Yacht Anchorage and replace them with the 100-foot dock. A 12- by 40-foot gangway/launch ramp would be constructed from the shore to the primary boat dock that would allow students to transport boats from the storage facility to the primary dock.

The sailing center facility will include on-site parking, utilities, security fencing, lighting and landscaping on the property.             Planned to be in operation by 2014, the facility still requires agency approval from Los Angeles Building and Safety Department before the design can begin. Other agencies that will need to  approve the plans and specifications include the Bureau of Engineering, Department of Planning, Cultural Affairs and Fire Department.

According to port spokesman Phillip Sanfield, Pacific Unicomm will work with a collaboration of community agencies such as the Boys and Girls Club, YMCA and Teen Center and partner with them to educate youth on proper sailing skills, safe boating and exposure to career opportunities. The targeted age groups are 8 to 18 years of age.

The report can be viewed online at portoflosangeles.org, and the public can comment on the project until Aug. 31.             Comments can be sent by email to ceqacomments@portla.org or by mail to: Christopher Cannon, City of Los Angeles Harbor Department, Environmental Management Division; 425 S. Palos Verdes Street, San Pedro, CA 90731.

For more information, call the harbor department’s environmental management division at (310) 732-3675.

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