Marina del Rey cityhood backers have failed to gather enough signatures to force the county to consider setting an incorporation election for the 1,700-acre community but they have 15 more days to do so.
Marina del Rey Cityhood Inc. fell 127 signatures short of the 1,378 needed to force the Los Angeles County Local Agency Formation Commission to study incorporation.
An official in the cityhood group said the shortfall was not disappointing. "Obviously we would have liked to get it the first time," said Stuart Simon, a board member for the cityhood group. "But 127 names is insignificant and we'll pick them up within the time allotted."
The group received a routine extention to Feb. 3 to obtain the additional signatures, according to Michi Takahashi of the county commission. If the added signatures are validated, the commission will conduct a public hearing and then vote on the cityhood proposal three months later.
The Board of Supervisors must place incorporation on the ballot if the commission approves the plan and if more than 50% of the 5,515 registered voters do not file written protests.
Marina del Rey tenants said more than a year ago that they hoped to form their own city so they could impose a rent control law to replace the expiring county ordinance. They said they also hoped local control would help reduce crime and stop high-rise development.
They collected 300 more signatures than needed, but 429 were thrown out by the county registrar's office. A quarter of those were duplicates and the rest belonged to people who live outside the marina or who are not registered to vote.
"We will have people out collecting more signatures as soon as we get formal notification, and I expect that will be on Monday," Simon said.
He said cityhood backers had been distracted from collecting signatures by other battles with opponents, including a proposed bill in the state Legislature that would have killed the cityhood effort. The bill was eventually approved in amended form that allows cityhood proponents to proceed unchecked as long as their petitions are certified before Feb. 15.
The state law gives the Board of Supervisors special power to kill the cityhood drive if the petitions are certified after that date. Three of the five supervisors have said they would vote against incorporation.