Community outreach

I was sorry to hear of the negative impacts on local businesses and residents due to the Teen Choice Awards event last weekend in Hermosa Beach. From the sounds of it, there wasn’t enough community outreach in advance to prepare the town or the local businesses for it. It made me think of the Beachlife Festival last spring, and how proactive its organizers were in preparing the community for it. I’m still basking in the glow of the fun had that weekend. If there’s another Teen Choice Awards event in Hermosa Beach, the organizers would do well to connect with Allen Sanford of Beachlife to find out how best to prepare and involve the community. A great event happens when its been planned well in advance, and all bases are covered. Sanford and his team spoke to the RB city council on many occasions, went to the small district meetings, had a user-friendly and regularly updated website, sponsored local informational events where they listened to the residents, and teamed with local businesses to make Beachlife Festival a big success. That’s how it’s done.

—Lara Duke, Redondo Beach

Coastal Commission permit

Teen Choice Awards planning and implementation was disastrous. Hermosa City officials should be ashamed of rushing this through without regard to beach and coastal access. They should’ve known how to make this work for everyone.

The California Coastal Commission (CCC) states the city should have and failed to apply for the required permit under the Coastal Act. CCC never got return calls when contacting city officials several times after hearing rumors. Had they obtained a permit, CCC would’ve ensured the event stuck to a plan that minimized impacts to businesses, public property, beach access and minimized solid walls blocking views, parking, and traffic.

Although I informed local media, articles focused only on poor businesses that suffered. There’s much more to this story.

While many rightfully claim non-beach events like this should’ve been where it historically has – in a private venue not a public beach – there was no reason why it had to take over so much public property.

It’s no secret, Hermosa has a poor record of following the Brown Act. Apparently they had been planning this behind closed doors long before it was made public. Choice Awards tried and failed to get a venue from other beach cities that have jurisdiction over their own Local Coastal Plans.

If this is an example of how Hermosa will be selling our beach out if the CCC approves giving Hermosa its own Coastal Plan – look out for what’s to come!! And remember to rally for the alley! (www.facebook.com/SaveHermosaPlaza)

—Dean Francois, Hermosa Beach

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