February 13, 2014
At the February 10 Culver City Council meeting, the council made clear that it intends to proceed with the decommissioning of the ice at the Culver Ice Arena as quickly as possible, due the city’s stated liability concerns arising from the safety inspection it ordered by outside experts.
Prior to the discovery of the 1962 code variance document limiting the use of the property to an ice rink, the public safety issue enabled the council to take a safe position that did not cast them as the bad guys in this drama.
However, this document now forces them to take a stand, as the fate of the site as a rink now rests plainly in their hands: the Culver Ice Arena property cannot be used by Planet Granite or any other non-rink lessee unless the city grants a zone change.
The voters of Culver City will be watching closely and council members will not be able to dodge the question: which way would each vote on a zone change request for the Ice Arena property, if such a request is made?
I hope it never comes to that point—that Planet Granite will have the good sense to pull out of their lease now, and that the Kings or some other rink operator can lease the site, hopefully with the Takahashis still running the skating school.
But if this mess drags on, as seems likely, they will all have to clearly state their positions before the upcoming council election.