Redondo Beach Harbor Commission Votes to Continue Temporary Use Permits for SUP Instruction, Rental

The temporary use permit process was started in 2018 for stand-up paddleboard instruction and equipment rental businesses without brick-and-mortar facilities in King Harbor as an effort to bridge the gap until the city was able to resume leasing commercial space.

REDONDO BEACH— The city of Redondo Beach will continue to allow temporary use permits for stand-up paddleboard instruction and rentals in King Harbor this summer. The Harbor Commission voted unanimously at its May 10 meeting to direct staff to continue the temporary use permit process this summer season with a limit of three permits and agreed they would revisit it again next year.

The temporary permit system was approved in May 2018 by the City Council and was intended to allow stand-up paddleboard instruction and equipment rental businesses to operate in King Harbor without brick-and-mortar offices until the city was able to resume leasing commercial space, which was limited due to on-going litigation.

The Harbor Commission had recommended the temporary use permit because a number of businesses were using both on-site and online reservation systems to book customers for instructional classes and delivery of rental equipment to King Harbor without any contractual or permitting authority from the city. All commercial ventures within the city’s waterfront require some form of regulatory or contractual relationship with the city that requires, among other things, that the businesses carry insurance, provide indemnification, and pay rental fees to the city.

The temporary use permit set forth similar requirements, including a permit fee of $1,000 per month.

Leasing, along with revitalization planning, has now resumed in the harbor and staff sought input from the Harbor Commission on the continued use of the temporary use permit process for SUPs ahead of the summer season. Stephen Proud, Redondo Beach’s director of waterfront and economic development, noted asking the operators to move into a brick-and-mortar location for this summer may be a challenge due to the impacts of COVID-19.

Commissioner Roger Carlson said he thought it made sense to keep the temporary permit for this summer season as revitalization plans will likely bring construction and changes to King Harbor.

“We really shouldn’t change it this year until we look at what we’re doing in Moonstone Park and the rest of the amenities because that could really impact this and unfortunately really hurt these SUP businesses,” said Carlson at the meeting.

The city has generally issued two permits per season but Proud said there continues to be businesses operating without a permit and on-going enforcement of the permit process remains a challenge.

“I’d hate to stop the permitting process and still have the shops not getting permits still doing what they’re doing, so you kind of hate to punish the one guy getting the permit,” said Carlson.

Proud said staff has also received several complaints from members of the public over the past few seasons about operators, both permitted and unpermitted, storing their equipment on the ramp and hand launch dock creating access issues for other users.

Commissioner Matthew Kilroy suggested possibly offering these temporary permit holders a trailer to use as a storage facility for an additional fee to resolve the issue.

With the wheels back in motion to redevelop the harbor area, Proud said the Commission could discuss the idea of storage trailers in future planning of public amenities in the harbor.

“Maybe we continue with the permit process and as we take up this public amenities dialogue as the year progresses, maybe that’s something important that we can cover,” said Proud.

Proud said since there wasn’t any significant issue that warranted it going to the City Council, he would take the Harbor Commission’s direction.

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