Bring more tourists, not traffic to Channel Islands
Re: Online petition challenges Channel Islands Harbor redevelopment (May 6 issue). What we need is more restaurants that serve diverse food (Mexican, seafood, burgers, etc for the tourists). Maybe Greek/French/Italian like it seems to work for Ventura Harbor. What we do not need is more cars and residents clogging up the intersection. It is already crowded, as others have noted, and is the only way out for Silver Strand residents. We are a tsunami danger zone (not that I think it will ever happen), but it is important that we can leave. Also the base employees/harbor traffic has clogged up the intersection at certain busy times of day, and the working people of these proposed apartments would add to the congestion. It has been way too long since Fisherman’s Wharf served as a community destination, but it could. Bring in some good food, and the people will come. A chain restaurant for an anchor perhaps, then local providers for a boutique experience? An Eggs n Things for brunches, a candlelit dinner house?
Boat Central project requires revisions
Re: Army Corps of Engineers continues to vet Boat Central project (May 20 issue). The location of this boat rack type business could easily be in one of the other waterside locations. The tight impact to the launch ramp and the Sheriff boats is a big issue that the Corps of Engineers must address. The smaller gap and lack of turning radius is a serious issue. Flow of traffic out of the marina is the Corps of Engineers domain. They need to really think through the activity of the boats. With a boat tied to the end of the launch ramp and tied to the side of the new proposed docks there will be scarcely room for the Sheriff boat to get out. Least of all if there are wind issues or a emergency.
As a long time boater in MdR I like the idea of more facilities for small boaters to get into and out of Marina del Rey. But the economy of the community has changed. Few have room in their driveway for a boat. And if you keep your small boat in the new Boat Central rack you cannot make a change and launch at the location closest to the fishing or play you are craving. And once you place your boat in the rack … then what do you do with the trailer? MdR has lost its small boat service location at SeaMark to a new Trader Joes. And the other service vendor Regency Boats who used to pick up small boats at the launch ramp is moving away for cheaper rents. How will small boaters keep access to Marina del Rey? I’m not sure. But with the scare of moving the launch ramp and now here with this big boxy boathouse to crowd the end of the channel it will be less and less welcoming.
I look at the plans. I wonder where the autos with trailers attached will park. I think the loss of the vital last free parking of MdR now used to take people out on whale watching tours or affordable fishing trips on the New Del Mar and the Betty-O will be a terrible loss. That last free parking in the marina is serving a vital key in helping people affordably reach the Santa Monica Bay and the Ocean.
Keith Lambert, MDRAnglers.com
Time to ‘rethink’ Boat Central project
Re: Army Corps of Engineers continues to vet Boat Central project (May 20 issue). This highly controversial project has been languishing for over 13 years since it was first proposed and is still years from happening. MdR has changed dramatically over this time and sufficient boater demand for this type of facility no longer exists; especially in light of the tremendous number of vacant wet slips of the same size in the Marina. Boat Central is not economically viable and sets a dangerous precedence for building a 100-foot structure out over the harbor. The real issue to consider is not whether it will fail, but what will the County do with this hulking monstrosity once it does fail? It’s time to re-think this project and use this land for improved public boater access based upon current boater needs and requirements.
Gregory F. Schem
Boat Central may impact fishing
Re: Army Corps of Engineers continues to vet Boat Central project (May 20 issue). I am a recreational boat owner operator and wish to strongly object to another example of the greedy developers telling boaters what they need or that which is good for them. I can understand the need to upgrade harbor facilities, but why is it necessary to redesign the purpose of a federally constructed public marina to promote a ridiculous commercial project? The current proposal of a stacked storage and its benefit to fisherman/ boaters is a convenient way to avoid keeping small boat slips. This stack concept is going to have hours of operation that conflicts with fishing in general where being able to fish in gray light won’t be possible unless your vessel is ordered a day prior to use. Many small boats particularly center console type lack a V berth so those types limit most to non-overnight trips. Sometimes bait availability is an issue so being early to the bait dock is paramount to many who lack bait catching knowledge. But I think one of the biggest objections is the lines that we would be sitting in waiting for our turn to get our boats. This is a proposal that belongs in the garbage and I thoroughly oppose it.
*Comments edited for brevity and clarity.