Lina Shanklin has lived in Marina Del Rey for 33 years. She just recently moved to the Mariner Village Apartments. Out on her balcony she tells me "We come here because this is like.. an urban paradise."
It's an urban paradise not just because of the water and boats, but also the wildlife. For Lina, there's a certain peace about the area. Especially as she watches great blue herons nesting in a tree high above her apartment.
She and others in the neighborhood are worried about the big birds and their own futures if the county's plans to renovate the marina causes big changes in their apartment complex. And, there are changes ahead.
LA County Supervisor Don Knabe is spearheading the move the create a 'new' Marina Del Rey. Says Knabe, "We have an asset out there that's over 40 years old. It's been in front of sand and salt and sea … I call it the crown jewel of Los Angeles County and it needs polishing."
Knabe says that in the marina buildings are aging. There is much disrepair. Tourism numbers are down. And, building operators who lease from the County will need to pay for changes and remodeling. They don't own the land under their properties. LA County owns the land. Knabe "We own the property and how we get the owners to open it up is they have to present a plan to the planning commission and the Board of Supervisors.
The Supervisor adds "It's not just for the local residents there. But, this is a public marina for public purposes." His vision includes new boat slips near the Mariners Village Apartments where there are none now. And, a new public 'boardwalk' or promenade the stretches the length of the Marina and includes an area by Mariners Village that currently has a private gated walkway.
Meanwhile, Lina Shanklin worries about the herons! "And, what I know about the herons is if you disturb them and there's too much going on they will just leave."
Knabe says the County is a long time for turning the first shovel of dirt. They are much that needs to be done before a Board of Supervisors vote on any plan.
Knabe says "There have been no approvals, no development or redevelopment proposals of that particular property. It has to go through environmental reviews, planning reviews. The whole process. And that will take up to 18 months before anything happens."
Wednesday night at 6:30pm the County planners will hold a community meeting at Burton Chase Park in the community building.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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