A United Kingdom-based Ferris wheel operator will present their plans for a temporary, 200-foot observation wheel on Venice Beach at the next board meeting of the Venice Neighborhood Council.
Great City Attractions plans to seek a three-year permit to install a $12 million Great Observation Wheel on Windward Plaza near the Venice Beach skatepark. The Ferris wheel operator earlier this month outlined its plans at a community meeting in Venice and received a lukewarm response from residents who mostly voiced concerns over parking.
The Venice Neighborhood Council on Tuesday night assigned the Great Observation Wheel project to an ad hoc visitor impact committee that will be overseen by board member Amanda Seward.
The Venice Stakeholders Association sent a letter dated March 14 to the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks urging the city to conduct a full environmental impact report on the proposal.
“The parking, traffic and scenic impacts of the Ferris Wheel installation are highly problematic for our neighborhood,” said Mark Ryavec, president of the Venice Stakeholders Association, in a statement. “Oddly, the firm proposing the Wheel has offered no mitigation.”
The group's attorney, John Henning, in the letter compared the proposed wheel to the equivalent of "placing a very large 320-seat restaurant onto the Venice boardwalk." A restaurant that size would be required to provide 80 parking spaces under the Venice Local Coastal Specific Plan, which is the city's land-use ordinance that governs development in Venice.
In urging for a full environmental impact report, the letter also said the 15-story Ferris wheel would be three times taller than existing structures on the boardwalk and would directly block views of the ocean. The letter featured a simulation of the Ferris wheel on Venice Beach using Google Earth to show its scale and size.
The next Venice Neighborhood Council meeting will take place April 17 in the auditorium of Westminster Avenue Elementary School, 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice.