Ice Rink Doomed
Commissioners Ignore Pleas From Residents
October 29, 2015
By Stephen Hadland
When the Culver City Ice Arena closed last year residents showed up in force at city council meetings looking for a way to save a valuable recreation facility for families in Culver City and the entire Westside.
City Council members wrung their hands and gnashed their teeth but in the end did nothing and took none of the suggestions to save the rink. Now with a year gone by, the original entitlements requiring the property be used for an ice rink have expired.
It appears the rink will now go out with a whimper. Last week the Culver City Planning Commission unanimously approved the rezone of the former Culver City Ice Arena so Harbor Tool, a retail tool/Home Improvement store could occupy the building.
Harbor Tool plans to occupy the largest part of the building while leasing out the balance of the facility.
While speakers were divided on approving the use of the property as a tool store the written comments submitted to the commission unanimously pointed out the reasons the facility should remain an ice rink as an import family resource.
Culver City resident Kerri Glickman expressed the feelings of the community best with her comments, "I cannot begin to express how disappointed I am in our city regarding the ice rink. I am completely opposed to the redefining of this property to allow an out of town owner to put in a tool store (there is one right down the street). The rink is an iconic part of the history of our city and we are fast losing that uniqueness."
Meanwhile a core group of rink/ice skating supporters have continued with efforts to make sure another ice arena is built in Santa Monica.
This committee is called Bring Back The Ice and spearheaded by Dr. Steve Weinberg. Dr. Weinberg has launched a petition to support this project. He also was present at the planning commission meeting and gave an impassioned plea to the commission to deny the application.
"After several exploratory measures that have fallen by the wayside, we believe we have a real chance to bring the powers-that-be together and build an ice and field complex on the property where the Santa Monica Civic stands," said Weinberg, who encourages the Los Angeles skating community and AYSO soccer leagues to sign the petition.
Weinberg explains that adding a soccer field on top of the ice arena facility is in consideration of the large number of local soccer leagues who were promised a new athletic field at this location for over 10 years by the City of Santa Monica.
The deadline to submit the petition to the Santa Monica City Council is November 8.
Meanwhile back in Culver City after the pleas of the residents falling on deaf ears at the planning commission the city council will have the final opportunity to put the last nail in the ice rink's coffin when they approve or deny the new zoning requirements.