David Mendez

Council resolution sends Redondo’s Measure C to Coastal Commission

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A CenterCal rendering of Seaside Lagoon in the proposed Waterfront Redondo project. Measure C is intended to ultimately block CenterCal’s proposed redevelopment plans. Image courtesy CenterCal.

by David Mendez

The Redondo Beach City Council has passed a resolution to send the language of Measure C to the California Coastal Commission, ending a months-long quagmire of bureaucracy spiked by vocal complaints by the measure’s supporters.

Redondo Beach’s outside legal counsel, John Wellner, noted that this has been an issue since April 11, when the City Council removed an item from that day’s meeting agenda that would have drafted and sent this same resolution.

The resolution was stalled when requests by activists from both Rescue Our Waterfront, Measure C’s proponent organization, and CenterCal Development, proponents of the Waterfront: Redondo Beach development project, requested the City drop the item.

Their reasoning was that the measure, which changes harbor-area zoning in a manner that would largely kill CenterCal’s project, was written in such a way that it would not require Coastal Commission certification to become effective. Their argument was that the City needed only to tell the Coastal Commission that it was passed, sending the measure text and certified election results in an envelope for their records.

Both City Attorney Michael Webb and Mayor Bill Brand disagreed. Brand cited his discussions with Coastal Commission staff, while Webb — and later Wellner — noted that the language of the state’s Coastal Act is “straightforward,” noting that “any proposed amendment to a local coastal plan shall be transmitted to the California Coastal Commission.”

But, in an effort to follow the will of some very loud constituents, Webb stuffed six envelopes each with a copy of the measure’s text and election results, and sent them to Commission members amid the April 11 meeting.

Weeks later, during the May 6 meeting, the City re-agendized the resolution following Brand’s note that the mail drop “accomplished nothing.”

Last night, activist Jim Light noted that he didn’t just request that the City perform the mail drop, but that they “enact Measure C and enforce it.”

It’s Light’s assertion that the City has the legal right to enforce Measure C locally, based on legal precedents.

Rescue Our Waterfront co-founder Martin Holmes, after remarking that the City is taking action 77 days after the Measure C’s passage on the March 7 election, requested that the City also make changes to the resolution. His suggestion would have had the City request that the Coastal Commission hear Measure C prior to planned appeals against the CenterCal project. Its approval would then likely kill CenterCal’s existing Waterfront plan outright.

Some residents noted that much of public comment seemed to be a rehashing of the debate over Measure C. A number of Waterfront project supporters were in the audience, wearing Waterfront-branded shirts. Those shirts were distributed outside of council chambers by CenterCal staff. However, a representative from CenterCal stated that no one was paid to speak on their behalf save for their attorney.

Following over an hour of public comment, Council moved quickly to pass the resolution. The only hitch seemed to be Councilman Todd Loewenstein’s desire to pull a section of the resolution suggesting that Measure C would only take effect after Coastal Commission approval. However, his motion to remove the section failed.

The original resolution was passed in a 4-1 vote, with Loewenstein dissenting. ER

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