Monday, February 18, 2019

The Facts about Marina del Rey Toyota's Parking Lot Project

BWW News Desk
July 15, 2018

It is impossible to reply directly to all of the false statements circulating on the Internet concerning the Parking Lot Project which is solely for inventory storage and employee parking. It is not for public parking.

Here are the facts:    


The property is 50 feet wide and 1,817 feet long, adjacent to the 90 Freeway, south of Mindanao Avenue. It has a stormwater drainage ditch running the length of the property which carries storm water to the east.

It is not part of any wetland area. It has never been part of a wetland area. It is a strip of property next to a freeway with a stormwater drainage ditch created by Caltrans when it built the freeway. The Ballona Wetland Area is located southeast of the property. The California Fish and Wildlife Department has determined that the ditch is a flowing stream subject to its jurisdiction. Marina del Rey Toyota has reached an agreement with both the Los Angeles Public Works Department and Fish and Game.

Marina del Rey Toyota will replace the ditch with a 48-inch underground concrete culvert which will greatly improve storm drainage for the entire area. Marina del Rey Toyota will also pay mitigation to Fish and Wildlife for eliminating a flowing stream.


There are 100 largely unmaintained trees along the property line with the adjacent Villa Marina condominium development, some on Villa Marina’s side, some on Marina del Rey Toyota's side and some straddling the property line. There is also an old 4-foot high concrete block wall with large gaps on Villa Marina’s property. Seven Homeowner Associations within Villa Marina are adjacent to Marina del Rey Toyota’s property. Normally, Marina del Rey Toyota would simply install a 6-foot high chain link fence on its side of the property, the maximum allowed without a variance.

The Coastal Development Permit (CDP) gives permission for a 9-foot, 3-inch wall, three feet higher than the maximum. Marina del Rey Toyota cannot build the wall without the cooperation of the seven Homeowner Associations whose property abuts the project property because some of the work has to be done on their property.

In order to build the 9-foot, 3-inch wall, Marina del Rey Toyota has offered (1) to remove the 100 existing trees and the old block wall; (2) to repair damage the root systems have done to the asphalt portions of their driveway adjacent to the property line; (3) to build a 9-foot, 3-inch slump stone masonry wall on its property, (4) to plant approximately 225 14-foot high trees on the Villa Marina side of the wall and (5) to install a drip irrigation system for the new trees.

However, Marina del Rey Toyota cannot build the wall and do the other things it has proposed without the agreement of the seven Homeowner Associations to allow the required work to be done on their property. Six Homeowner Associations have indicated a willingness to accept Marina del Rey Toyota’s offer. One has not. Marina del Rey Toyota has offered to do all of the above for the six Homeowner Associations and leave the existing trees and 4-foot block wall on the seventh Association’s property intact, a 250-foot gap, 14% of the total length of the wall.


Extensive reports and studies were involved in the process leading to the issuance of the CDP. In addition to Fish and Game and Public Works, an approval was obtained from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.

It was determined by the LADOT that the project “would not create any significant traffic impacts.” The Los Angeles Police Department has spoken in support of the project, stating that the project would improve the safety of the Villa Marina area which has been plagued with homeless people entering through gaps in the block wall and burglarizing units. One intruder was killed by a Villa Marina resident.


The project provides for some Marina del Rey Toyota employee parking so that fewer employees will need to park on the public streets in the Villa Marina area, where parking is a challenge. For years, Villa Marina residents, and contractors employed by them, have used Marina del Rey Toyota’s property as a dumping ground for trash - construction debris, sofas, a refrigerator, you name it. Marina del Rey Toyota has had to repeatedly clean up the trash. What Marina del Rey Toyota has offered to do, as described above, greatly increases the cost of the project. The offer was made with the interests of the Villa Marina residents in mind. The project improves the area.    

Norris J. Bishton, Jr.
President and Owner
Marina del Rey Toyota


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