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Venice Beach Zip Line Proposal Poised to Move Forward

The city's Bureau of Engineering approves a zip line proposal for Venice Beach and there's a Friday deadline to appeal before it moves to the California Coastal Commission.

The city's Bureau of Engineering has approved a coastal development permit for the proposed 600-foot long zip line ride planned for Venice Beach and the public has until the end of the business day Friday to appeal before it moves to the California Coastal Commission.

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.

In a notice of decision, the Department of Public Works' Bureau of Engineering said a permit will be issued provided no appeal has been filed with the office of the City Engineer by a 5 p.m. deadline Friday. A notice of permit issuance will be sent to the California Coastal Commission, which has the authority to issue a coastal development permit.

The city's filing of a notice of permit issuance with the California Coastal Commission triggers a 20-working day period in which an appeal can be made to or by the commission.

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.

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl attended the July 2 public hearing and said he supports the project, partly because ride operators will share part of the revenue to pay for bathroom cleanups and trash maintenance on Venice Beach.

The city said 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.

The zip line's 50-foot tall launch tower would be located across the boardwalk from the red-and-white awning of the Sidewalk Cafe, with the landing tower located west of 17th Avenue just north of the basketball courts. Ride operators expect to have three tandem zip lines with riders being given a bracelet with designated ride times to prevent long lines. The ride would operate from 11 a.m. until dark and would employ about 20 people.

In addition to the ride, several live performances would be conducted throughout the three-month period and classes for children also were planned.

The Venice Neighborhood Council in May voted 8-6 with three abstentions in favor of the proposal with 15 conditions attached. Those conditions included a pledge that two-thirds of gross revenues be spent on Venice Beach for maintenance and enhanced services and that the attraction be dismantled at the end of the trial period.

Rosendahl previously said he hopes the permit application would be in front of the California Coastal Commission at its August meeting in Santa Cruz and the zip line attraction open in time for Labor Day.

catman July 13, 2012 at 12:58 AM
This proposal should be voted down merely on the fact that it's a Canadian company who is going to build the thing. Nothing against Canada at all but wake up and smell the coffee people. Our country is dying because we're outsourcing everything, even stupid rides. The time has come to start doing business with our own countrymen, not foreign entities who take our money and invest it in their own country. Tell these Canadians to take a hike.
Another WorldView July 13, 2012 at 10:42 AM
I love you catman - but don't hate on them just for being Canadian. Canadians are (North) Americans too. Blame the lack of vision and intiative, of our local entrepreneurial-class. At least it's not that British Ferris Wheel. It's low-tech and quick to disassemble, human powered and quiet - if a bit pricey on a per-ride basis. In any event, they'll probably put some local kids to work, which can't hurt the economy - and you've got to imagine that the City made sure to get their cut out of the thing, in advance. Maybe now, we'll get another shower down at the pier - to replace the one that broke over-a-month-ago. When it goes belly-up, you can smile and be glad that we 'took' those canucks, but good.
Alicia July 13, 2012 at 06:35 PM
The Greenheart mission is very unique. We set out to do this project to have a positive affect on the local community. I am a long time Venice resident and an aerial acrobat. My neighbors would see me rehearsing in my back yard and ask when are you going to go set up at the beach. I remember when I first moved to Venice and the boardwalk was covered performers and slowly through the years I watched the performers become replaced with drug addicts and runaways. It was our hope that we could build the zipline and use the profits to create a circus arts school that would offer free classes to under privileged youth in the area. These are kids that would not other wise get a chance to learn such things. We then wanted to allow these kids the opportunity to put on a show, showcasing their hard work for their community. We wanted to give them something to be proud of and we wanted to give the community a reason to come together. We are continually reconfiguring our program trying to meet the changing needs and timing of permit availability. It is our goal to create something positive that touches the hearts of the local community and helps to generate money to keep our beaches clean. I believe we can come together and we can find solutions as a community to help uplift our community. I also hope that we can not only create a model that works for Venice but one that will work for other community's in similar situations.
Another WorldView July 13, 2012 at 08:03 PM
I'm fairly certain that Venice has always had it's fair share of "drug addicts and runaways" - between Jim Morrison, Jack Kerouac in 50's and 60's - all the way up to Perry Farrell in the 80's and 90's. What scared away all the performers was that ridiculous lottery system, as many of the performers were itinerant - "transient"(s), and commercial vending taking up all the spaces.
Alicia July 13, 2012 at 09:50 PM
I agree with that :)

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