Rules For Development in Playa del Rey
Most communities in the Coastal Zone have a LCP (local coastal program). Playa del Rey is one of the few coastal communities that does not. So, we rely on our General Plan, Regional Guidelines, the Del Rey Lagoon Plan and the Coastal Act to guide us.
These plans were designed to harmonize with one another and the Coastal Act. The Coastal Commission has the final say.
With no LCP any development in the Coastal Zone must first go through the Los Angeles Planning Department and once through goes to the Coastal Commission for final approval. This is called dual jurisdiction. The Coastal Commission has the authority to deny a project and/or approve with conditional changes.
The most important component of the Coastal Act when developing in a coastal community is Chapter 3. Chapter 3 is very clear on the Commission's priorities and states:
State of California
PUBLIC RESOURCES CODE Section 30251
30251. The scenic and visual qualities of coastal areas shall be considered and protected as a resource of public importance. Permitted development shall be sited and designed to protect views to and along the ocean and scenic coastal areas, to minimize the alteration of natural land forms, to be visually compatible with the character of surrounding areas, and, where feasible, to restore and enhance visual quality in visually degraded areas. New development in highly scenic areas such as those designated in the California Coastline Preservation and Recreation Plan prepared by the Department of Parks and Recreation and by local government shall be subordinate to the character of its setting.
Here the Coastal Act tells us that scenic views are to be protected, development must be visually compatible with the character of surrounding areas and development shall be subordinate to the character of its setting.
The Coastal Act protects the character of our community.
When the Del Rey Lagoon Plan was adopted the properties in the plan area were up-zoned to 45’ because that was a height category available in the then existing zoning code. When the plan was adopted to reduce the development opportunity to exactly fit the needs of the community, the needs were determined to be 37 feet maximum.
In the Planning Department's Director's Determination from March 16, 2018 it acknowledges that 37’ is the correct height for Playa del Rey. Somehow then 11 feet was added to the plan.
Is that legal?
In a landmark, precedent-setting case, Kalnel Gardens vs. City of Los Angeles, it was determined that when applying a standard that is required to protect the scale and character of a community in the coastal zone the Coastal Act trumps SB1818.
The Kalnel Gardens decision affirms that local zoning is subservient to the Coastal Act.
Oh, and by the way...
Parking to Coastal standards is different than parking to city standards and in the Coastal Zone the Coastal standards must be met.
Coastal Parking Standards:
2 parking spaces per dwelling unit.
1 guest parking space per every four units.
Any existing public and visitor parking that is removed must be replaced.
Legado is proposing 123 parking spaces for:
72 units x 2: 144 required
1 guest unit per every for dwelling units: 18 required.
In order to park per Coastal Act standards Legado must provide a minimum of 162 spaces for residences alone.
This does not take into account the retail parking or the replacement parking for the spaces they will be taking on Pacific Avenue, nor from the alley that Jungle residents have used as overflow parking for generations.
Legado’s proposed development cannot park itself and does not comply with the Coastal Act standards. Our hope is that Legado will realize they need to adhere to the long-standing wishes, and in fact democratically determined mandate of the residents and stakeholders of Playa Del Rey. If you agree please click here to sign our petition.