Can the City Save the Rink? Zoning May Be the Trump Card

From City Manager John Nachbar —

Jan. 29, 2014 the City of Culver City notified the Property Owner and Planet Granite, the New Lessee of the property, of the following:

The City of Culver City has been evaluating information relating to the proposed change of use by Planet Granite of the Culver City Ice Arena. At the urging of the City Council, city staff continued its comprehensive, top to bottom records search regarding the Culver City Ice Arena property. As a result of the effort, late Monday evening the search disclosed the original document in an archival file that authorized the current use of the property for an ice rink and parking.
That document is a Use Variance granted in 1960, which permitted the ice rink and related parking to extend onto residentially zoned property. The Use Variance is expressly limited to the ice rink use, and does not allow other commercial uses, without further City approvals.

Therefore, given Planet Granite’s plans to utilize the existing ice rink building and surface parking for a new use, a discretionary approval process would be required. Specifically, a zone change would be needed in order to accommodate the proposed use. A zone change would require review and recommendation by the Planning Commission and ultimate approval by the City Council at a public hearing. Since the zone change is a discretionary approval, it is also subject to environmental review pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act.

www.culvercitysymphony.org

2 Comments

  1. Finally, a movement on this issue that is based on the welfare of the community and not purely on the profit-potential for the owner and lessee!

  2. I’m thankful to the City Council for pressing until they found the original zoning document for this site. It’s up to the landlord and Planet Granite to decide if they want to request a zoning change. If they do so, I hope our City Council members side along the sentiments of the thousands of who have pleaded to them that now IT IS IN THEIR POWER to keep this property zoned an ice rink. There are so many uncertainties about timing of the Feb.15 closure and if a new operator can step in. But for the first time since we learned the news about the closing of the rink, I feel real hope that we have a fighting chance to save it. We have to keep up our unity and perhaps the landlord and a new rink operator can come together to reach a deal if Planet Granite can’t build. I feel all things are possible we just need to keep rallying and let our voices be heard that we want to Save the Ice Rink.

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