by Daniella Segura, contributing writer
For the first time in four years, the town of Redondo Beach is asking for community input on the decades-old waterfront debate.
Only this time, instead of tackling a massive $ 400 million revitalization project, the city is doing it piece by piece, with a focus on recreational uses in King Harbor.
Redondo Beach, calling the step-by-step project The King Harbor Amenities Plan, will virtually collate community feedback on Wednesday, December 15 at 6:30 p.m.
This is the first public contribution on waterfront issues since voters passed a measure in 2017 that blocked a developer, limited uses of the waterfront and spawned a series of lawsuits.
Mayor Bill Brand said he involved the public early in the planning process and was determined to implement what the majority of residents want.
“This is a great opportunity for the public to have their say on what they would like to see and where,” Brand said. “It doesn’t mean that some changes can’t be made, but that’s where we start. “
According to City Waterfront and Economic Development Director Stephen Proud, the goal of the King Harbor Amenities Plan is to place recreation areas, such as Seaside Lagoon and Sport Fishing Pier, at the forefront of harbor revitalization. .
“The idea is to look at all the different components that are recreation or visitor oriented, related to the waterfront, and start putting together a comprehensive framework,” said Proud.
It’s been nearly a decade since Redondo Beach launched its most recent waterfront revitalization campaign. In 2013, the city voted to approve the EIR with commercial developer CenterCal Properties.
However, the $ 400 million waterfront renovation plan was rejected when voters in Redondo Beach passed Measure C in 2017, limiting development of the city’s waterfront. In addition, the city council canceled its rental agreement with CenterCal.
In response, Redondo Beach Waterfront LLC, a subsidiary of CenterCal Properties, sued the city, claiming $ 15 million in damages. The business developer claims that the city broke its contract by canceling the rental agreement. The case is due for trial in August 2022, according to Los Angeles County Court records.
Wayne Craig, a native of Redondo Beach and president of Rescue Our Waterfront, said focusing future waterfront development on recreational uses is the right thing to do.
“In fact, we put amenities first,” Craig said. “The last time we did this, we had a developer come in, slam into their development, and they were going shoehorn into the amenities around them.”
The nonprofit ROW, formed in 2015, is dedicated to preserving King Harbor as a recreation area. The group played a decisive role in the adoption of measure C in 2017.
Some of the recreational facilities that will be addressed in the new plan include the sport fishing pier, seaside lagoon, Moonstone Park and the International Boardwalk, according to Proud. The plan will also include details on the construction of a public boat launch and a canoe dock.
The main difference in the planning process this time around, said Proud, is that the city is looking to create a holistic waterfront experience.
“In the past we’ve done individual planning for some rooms, but we’ve never really taken a holistic approach to look at all the different amenities and how they relate to each other,” said Proud.
Proud said the King Harbor development plan also improves the pedestrian experience.
“So one of the goals of the plan is to hopefully tie all of these pieces together and ultimately create some kind of experience that gets you from point A to point B more cohesively than it does. exists today, ”Proud said.
This includes creating a framework that connects Mole C to Horseshoe Pier, Proud said.
Currently, there are no prices for individual projects, Proud said. Instead, the city will assess each and ultimately determine the costs.
And, according to Proud, there isn’t a specific funding source. Rather, projects would be funded from several sources, some of which are part of the city’s regular capital improvement program.
The city is also seeking external funding sources, Proud said.
For example, in July, the state gave Redondo Beach $ 10 million as a special allocation to renovate the Seaside Lagoon. The popular attraction would require an additional $ 10 million to lock it up for year-round use, Brand said at the time.
Craig said he looks forward to getting as much public feedback as possible at the community planning meetings.
“This time around we now have a seat at the table which will allow the public to have a say in the future of their port,” said Craig. “And it’s gonna be a good future.”
King Harbor Community Facilities Planning Meeting to be Held virtually via Zoom on Wednesday December 15th 6.30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
There will be at least two additional community planning meetings, as well as additional community outreach, according to Proud.
For more information on King Harbor’s amenities plan, visit: khamenitiesplan.com.