Daily Press Editor

Waterfront public safety agencies will receive new facilities soon after the Coastal Commission approved a rehabilitation project for the combined public safety center in Marina Del Rey.

According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, the facility is made up of two components, a shared land-based facility utilized by the Department of Beaches and Harbors, the Sheriff’s Department for the Marina Del Rey Sheriff Station, and a waterside dock utilized by the Lifeguard Division of the Fire Department, and the Sheriff Department’s Harbor Patrol Unit and storage. The Lifeguard Division maintains an existing houseboat within one of the existing boat slips. The Harbor Patrol Unit maintains patrol vessels and equipment storage space.

The proposal calls for removal of a 10,500 sq. ft. dock, including 28 concrete piles, three gangways and platforms, and a boat hoist. The replacement will include a 14,800 sq. ft. dock with 41 concrete piles, three 15-ft. high buildings on the dock (2,100 sq. ft., and 1,291 sq. ft. 24-hr emergency response operations centers and 510 sq. ft. equipment enclosure), two new gangways, a ‘pumpout’ station and fuel station with utility upgrades, and an ongoing maintenance plan.

The dock was first built in the late 1960s for what was then the Harbor Patrol (later absorbed as part of the Sheriff’s Department in 1984). According to Coastal Commission application, use of the facility has grown significantly since the Sheriff’s Department took over the facility. Public safety operations as the dock have a substantially increased scope of jurisdiction and require far more interagency coordination. In addition, age, heavy storms, and rain have deteriorated the current floating dock system to a point where the docks are unstable. LADWP said the current facilities do not support current operational needs of the station or the Harbor Patrol Unit.

“The proposed project will allow the Departments to better serve the Public, by replacing and improving an existing structure which will provide centralized services for a quicker response to the community and help by promoting active and healthy lifestyles for users of the recreational areas,” said Public Information Officer Vanessa Martinez.

“If approved, the boats that are currently located there will be temporarily moved during construction. Arrangements are being made to temporarily accommodate the County Fire boats at the Burton Chase Park guest docks. The Harbor Patrol will use the LASD boat shop on Fiji Way, the small DBH dock at Dock 52, and the MDR Sheriff’s Station, as temporary facilities. Overflow vessels and impound vessels will be dry-docked, if necessary.”

The public safety project is not related to any other project in the Marina but the Marina is in the midst of significant revitalization. Many of the public docks are undergoing repair, there are several new apartment buildings under construction, the popular Mother’s Beach reopened in 2017 after a remodel, the tidal basin was rebuilt recently and construction is underway on a new waterfront Trader Joe’s.

The project is currently in the County approval process and staff said they anticipated being heard by County Board of Supervisors in February.

Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...

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