by Daniela Segura,
Keeping Seaside Lagoon open year-round and connecting it to the ocean, and widening the international boardwalk were among top priorities, Redondo Beach residents said this week during a virtual community meeting to discuss plans for King Harbor public facilities did.
The meeting, which attracted some 120 people, marked an initial step in a long process to revitalize the port – and was also the first time the public had to provide input since 2017.
That year, voters passed a measure that blocked a developer, limited waterfront access and sparked a series of lawsuits, effectively stopping any revitalization efforts.
But those efforts are slowly resuming. In August, the City Council signed a one-year agreement with Los Angeles landscape architecture firm SWA Group to design the King Harbor Amenities Plan for a maximum of $242,872, according to a staff report.
The King Harbor Public Amenities Plan aims to create a framework, said Stephen Proud, Redondo’s now-former waterfront and economic development director; Pride retired at the end of the week. In turn, the framework aims to ensure that the right facilities are included in the right location in the city, Proud said.
“We won’t be as part of this planning effort,” he said, “making a really detailed plan that gets us very deep into one of these special features.”
The virtual meeting, during which participants could only interact with the hosts and not see anyone else’s input, was the first step in that process.
The 120 or so people who attended the meeting – a fraction of Redondo’s overall population, underscoring the need for further community outreach – answered a 24-question survey that found Seaside Lagoon, Moonstone Park, an arm/small boat launch, The focus was on sport fishing. Pier, international boardwalk, and a public boat launch and canoe dock.
According to the survey results, participants in the Wednesday, December 15 meeting, which lasted an hour and a half, were mostly residents of Redondo Beach, who visit King Harbor daily or several times per week.
In Moonstone Park, according to survey results, residents want a clean area with benches, picnic areas and restrooms.
For Seaside Lagoon, some respondents said they would like the facility to be open year-round. Others also called for updating the popular summer attraction, opening the facility to the ocean, and hosting more events there.
Participants also said they would like to see a clean and updated international boardwalk with wider walkways and greater access.
After the survey, SWA representatives Gerdo Aquino and Jeremy Klemick spent approximately 20 minutes answering questions.
Some participants asked about budgets and implementation plans, although the nascent process has a long way to go before such details are available.
The King Harbor public facilities plan will, in fact, consist of several phases and include two more meetings to obtain public input before the proposal is submitted to the city council for approval over the summer, Proud said.
Proud said a small group made up of port commission representatives, city staff and community stakeholders has been tasked with working on the plan with the SWA.
The firm’s CEO Aquino said SWA would eventually provide the city with a blueprint that includes image boards, renderings and concept stories.
“We would think of inspiration in terms of design based on the history of the area, the history of the city and the waterfront,” Aquino said, “and build on that DNA as inspiration for the design just kind of build it up Keep it local.”
Port, Aquino added at the end of the meeting, “just wants to be the best version of myself.”
To participate in the King Harbor Facilities Planning Survey — available for another three weeks, Klemick said — go to khamenitiesplan.com.