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Venice Beach Zip Line Appeal Hearing Moved to August

The Board of Public Works will hear an appeal of the city's approval of a permit for a temporary zip line on Venice Beach next month.

The hearing to consider an appeal of the city's approval for a permit to install a temporary zip line ride on Venice Beach has been postponed until next month.

The city's Board of Public Works will hear the appeal filed by Venice resident Gail Rogers on Aug. 10 at 9:30 a.m. in City Hall.

The hearing had been scheduled for Friday, but the new date was announced via email by Board of Public Works president Andrea Alarcon, according to a release by the office of Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl.

The city's Bureau of Engineering earlier this month approved a coastal development permit for the 600-foot long zip line and Rogers appealed the decision.

The Bureau of Engineering in a staff report (see attached) recommended that the Board of Public Works deny the appeal. If the appeal is denied, the proposal would move forward to the California Coastal Commission, which has final say on issuing a coastal develpment permit.

The staff report rejected Rogers' contention that the zip line would compromise views of the beach and was out of character. Staffers noted the Caifornia Coastal Commission recently approved a Santa Monica project for a beach park play area that included the partial hull of a clipper ship with shade sails ranging from 13- to 21-feet in height. The Coastal Commission found that views through the park were already limited by 28 existing palm trees. The zip line's north tower would be located near a cluster of palm trees and the ride would not alter the scenic and visual qualities of Venice Beach, the report said.

It also said that the appeal's assertion that aerial shows planned for the attraction would violate noise ordinances had no bearing since the city's Department of Recreation and Parks and the Los Angeles Police Department would enforce noise rules. The staff report said mitigation efforts would be installed to address parking and traffic concerns and that a height limit argument didn't apply since the zip line would be located outside the Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan.

Lastly, it countered Rogers' claim that the zip line would be out of character for Venice Beach by stating that the Department of Recreation and Parks has "the authority to establish the character and use of the City's parks."

The coastal development permit was approved without additional conditions the day after a July 2 public hearing on the proposal was held at the Venice Public Library. Canadian-based Greenheart Conservation Company and the city's Department of Recreation and Parks are pursuing the permit for a three-month trial period.

The city's Parks and Recreation Department is mandated to self-generate $30 to $40 million of its annual $185 million budget and Venice Beach, which attracts roughly 16 million visitors a year, has become a draw for private ride operators willing to split revenue with the city. The zip line proposal has been under consideration since May, after an earlier proposal to erect a giant Ferris wheel on Venice Beach this summer was met with strong criticism from the community.

Initial plans called for the zip line ride and its educational component for at-risk youths to be up and running this summer. Rosendahl, who supports the project, previously said he hopes the permit application would be in front of the California Coastal Commission at its August 8-10 meeting in Santa Cruz and the zip line attraction open in time for Labor Day.

The zip line, which can be assembled in 72 hours, would be about 600-feet long and would cost $20 for an approximately 40-second ride. The permit calls for a three-month pilot program.

Ride operators and the city have pleged to share part of the revenue from the proposed project for bathroom cleanups and trash maintenance on Venice Beach.

Cid Young August 02, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Line up...all you testosterone Zippers!

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