‘Heart of the city’

‘Heart of the city’ plan skips a beat

by Jason Dietrich

It might take a little longer for to Redondo residents to be able to search for best sellers and sip frappachinos in their own waterfront downtown. Difficulty getting data from a local government agency has set the timetable back about two months for the city’s ambitious plan to remake the marina area into the "Heart of the City."

Staff originally hoped to present the plan to the City Council in by late autumn, but they’re pushing that date back to mid-January, said City Manager Lou Garcia.

"We had some slippage in the schedule but now it looks a bit more realistic. We could probably use the extra time to zero in on some of the other issues," Garcia said.

Since the first draft of the "Heart of the City" specific plan was released in April, city staff have been working on a sweeping report on possible impacts of the project that promises to reshape the harbor area into a bustling village core. But missing data from the Southern California Association of Governments on traffic modeling has set back the process.

City staff now plan on completing the draft report on Aug. 2. A 45-day comment period will follow, during which the city is obliged to respond to all questions or comments in writing. A joint harbor commission/planning commission meeting on the plan and the report is scheduled for Nov. 15, followed by a city council meeting on the subject Jan. 15, 2002. If all goes according to plan, the project should be submitted to the California Coastal Commission for approval by Feb. 8, 2002.

Community meetings, which were a part of the plan’s design phase, have not been scheduled for response to the Environmental Impact Report, Garcia said, but would depend on the amount of controversy generated by the report.

"There will clearly be some conflict over the EIR, since there are people that are in direct opposition to each other. Its one of those things where you see how it’s going and depending on how many and what kind of different comments we get we’ll deal with them," Garcia said. ER