At the public meeting on the Venice canals rehabilitation project (Times, Dec. 13), an objection was raised to the city's plan to construct a public boat launch facility for the canals and to rezone the canal waterways to "Ocean Submerged Land."
Councilwoman Ruth Galanter responded that the purpose of the rezoning is to prohibit any construction on the submerged portion of the canals. This response, which must have reassured the canal residents, was a complete fabrication. On Page 78 of the city's proposed Venice Coastal Land Use Plan it states, in part, that the purpose of the new zone is to provide "for other uses which would benefit the public and the city." There is nothing in the city Zoning Code to prohibit underwater construction under the proposed zone change.
Galanter also stated words to the effect that it is difficult for her to imagine how a public boat launch facility would be installed in the canals. A schematic diagram of the facility's location is found in Figure 7, Appendix G of the Addendum to the city's Supplemental Environmental Impact Report, and there are numerous references to it throughout the city's environmental documents.
There is no requirement that public access to the canals be satisfied by allowing the public in by boat. The tranquility of the canals and the waterfowl habitat will be lost if this idea is not rejected.
If the canals are not to become a tourist trap, the residents should organize and fight back, quickly.