Culver City Observer -

 
 

Councilmembers Weissman and Sahli-Wells On the Ice Rink

 

January 30, 2014

Culver City Councilmember Andrew Weissman

Numerous people have spoken passionately about the Culver City Ice Arena, and we want to thank everyone who has taken the time to email, write or speak to us. It's clear that this issue is important to the community in Culver City and beyond. Most of the comments have expressed an ardent desire to keep ice-skating in Culver City. We share that desire. Our friends, our neighbors and our own families enjoy the Ice Arena, too.

We would like to share some background information, so that the community may better understand this important issue, and the city's role in it.

The ice rink nearly closed four years ago. At the time, councilmembers were actively involved in this issue. The ice rink's lease was expiring and the property owner was asking for rent closer to market value. Recognizing the value of the Culver City Ice Arena to the community, the city worked with the owner, operator, and had discussions with a third party interested in operating the rink. In the end, the owner extended Culver City Ice Arena's lease with significantly higher rent.

Recently, when the "For Lease" sign was posted on the building, councilmembers again reached out to the owner, the ice rink's operator, and the third party previously interested in taking charge of the rink. The city has made numerous attempts to facilitate an agreement to keep the ice rink open.

At the same time, another company was interested in the property for a different use. Because the property is privately owned, Culver City has no influence, direct or otherwise, over their negotiations. Our role is one of encouraging and maintaining lines of communication between the parties and providing information that might enable them to negotiate a mutually beneficial agreement.

When we're asked to "Save the Rink" we can answer in all sincerity that we've tried in the past, and we've continued these efforts to date. The powers of the city are defined by law – we cannot force the owner into an unwanted lease any more than we can make the operator pay more than is affordable, nor can we take on the cost – at taxpayers' expense – to subsidize the rink.

Culver City Councilmember Meghan Sahli-Wells

On Monday, 1/27, the City Council will discuss the environmental impacts of the rink as it is currently being operated, and the mitigation measures needed to make the property and surrounding environment safe. We will also explore the historical significance of the building. This discussion will address many of the concerns raised by residents and fans of the rink. However, these considerations will not change the underlying fact that a private company – no matter how much we love it - cannot afford a major rent increase on a private piece of property.

Public participation is, as always, encouraged. The meeting will take place at City Hall, 9770 Culver Blvd. Culver City 90232, 7pm and the link to the agenda item for Monday night is:

http://www.culvercity.org/sirepub/pubmtgframe.aspx?meetid=932&doctype=Agenda

Sincerely,

Meghan Sahli-Wells

Andrew N. Weissman

Councilmembers, City of Culver City

 

Reader Comments

1 — 5 of 7

Curioius writes:

http://culvercitycrossroads.com/2014/01/30/can-the-city-save-the-rink-zoning-may-be-the-trump-card/ Forgot to add that property owner and proposed new lessee should have done their due diligence and if they did would have known about Use Variance.

Curious writes:

http://blogs.kcrw.com/dna/might-culver-ice-arena-get-a-reprieve-new-document-adds-unexpected-twist Glad that looks like was right that City does have some power/say. These 2 councilmembers should be given chance to make a new statement.

Interesting writes:

Entity Name: PLANET GRANITE LOS ANGELES LLC Entity Number: 201335710645 Date Filed: 12/23/2013 Status: ACTIVE Jurisdiction: CALIFORNIA Entity Address: 924 MASON ST Entity City, State, Zip: SAN FRANCISCO CA 94129 Agent for Service of Process: PARSONS SMITH Agent Address: 924 MASON ST Agent City, State, Zip: SAN FRANCISCO CA 94129 Check out name and when incorporated. Also, a business does not typically use an owner as registered agent.

sgtsturms writes:

So very nice to know that the 2 of you really want the rink to close. and end the dreams of so many people. You could have just said that in the first place so now we know who to vote out next elections! EVERY choice has a consiquence. I hope you'll be very happy when the doors are locked,and you have a party with the head of PG that you got rid of those skating zealots

Imagine writes:

http://frozenroyalty.net/2014/01/27/profit-was-not-the-primary-goal-for-la-kings-now-dashed-plans-for-culver-city-ice-arena/ Imagine how AEG could renovate the rink and increase revenues to CC.