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.