Culver City Observer -

By Letters 

Dear Editor

 

October 29, 2015

Steven J. Rose

Dear Mr. Publisher,

I read with interest your comments on the 4545 Sepulveda Blvd. project, known by many as the former ice rink. First, let me say that I'm writing to you as a 68-year resident of Culver City and a former two term member of the Culver City Council and not representing my employer.

Back in 1961 the Culver City Planning Commission allowed the original proposed owners of the ice rink building to use the rear portion of the lot as parking in a R-1 Zone (residential) for the length of time that an ice rink was in use on the property. This type of exemption from zoning laws is now not allowed in the State of California.

The ice rink operated for over 50 years at the same location under different ownership and management as the property ownership remains in the same family for well over a half century. Toward the end of its operation, I do not know if the owner of the ice rink business attempted to sell the business or not. I'm aware that the original lease had expired after some 40 plus years and the ice rink business received an extension at an adjusted rental rate.

I believe that it is a private issue on the negotiations between the owners of the property and the ice rink business ownership. I have never heard of any business entity that was willing to step up to invest in the equipment and maintenance of the rink itself, I do know that members of the City Council attempted to invite one or more businesses to invest in the business, unsuccessfully. With that being said, the ownership of the property had reached out to another recreational usage, a rock climbing business.

During the public hearings and threats of lawsuits, recalls, etc., the rock climbing organization being sensitive to public perception decided not to enter into a lease with the property owners to open another recreational use at the property. Now enter Harbor Freight Tools!

It is not Harbor Freight Tools that needs a zone change to bring the property into compliance with the General Plan of the City of Culver City; it's the old ice rink building that will be allowed to survive as a well maintained building under a different use. If the City Council denies the zone change it will have a land lock residential zoned property with a vacant detracting building on Sepulveda Blvd leading to blight in the area for the surrounding residences and businesses.

Preserving the past is important, while allowing today's needs to be served by the public. Creative reuses are happening throughout Culver City, the Hayden Tract, The Helms Bakery Building, The Washington Building, and all of downtown would have never happened without creative reuse of old buildings for today's needs.

Respectfully,

Steven J. Rose

68 year resident

ssssteve.rose@gmail.com

 

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