Plans for new restaurants at Will Rogers and Topanga state beaches have taken a step forward with Board of Supervisors approval of the proposal.
The county's Department of Beaches and Harbors operates both beaches for the state and would collect the rent. The next step is a public hearing Nov. 14 before the state Park and Recreation Commission in Marina del Rey.
The proposal has been criticized by residents' groups in Pacific Palisades and Malibu concerned about traffic on Pacific Coast Highway.
The county position is that the restaurants will not add a significant amount of traffic to the road and will help offset an annual $7.2-million beach operating deficit. The restaurants also will attract new visitors to the beaches, said Larry Charness, the county department's chief of planning.
The Will Rogers restaurant would take up 5,000 square feet at Pacific Coast Highway and Temescal Canyon Road. The Topanga restaurant would take up 7,500 square feet at PCH and Topanga Canyon Boulevard.