Residents try to sink plan for marina expansion

January 28, 1996|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

A planned marina expansion in Pasadena is making waves among residents, who say the project would bring more cars and boats, cause additional traffic tie-ups and wreak havoc with aquatic life.

"This is the worst possible place they could've chose to put ramps," Brantley Marshall said of Pleasure Marine Center's proposal to build five ramps on 10 acres of waterfront northwest of the marina. "We're not going to stand still for this."

The owners of the marina in the 1700 block of Poplar Ridge Road also want to add 10 other boat slips and a parking lot big enough for 140 cars and boat trailers, said Ed Sealing, general manager. The ramps would be built on Main Creek less than a mile west of Bodkin Point.

Residents of the 300-home Poplar Ridge community are concerned about the possible influx of cars and boat trailers onto narrow, two-lane roads such as Poplar Ridge and Bellhaven.

"Boat trailers take some manipulation," said Mr. Marshall, president of Poplar Ridge Improvement Association. "Right now, can live with the traffic here."

John Miles, who also lives in Poplar Ridge, said residents know that early morning and late afternoon are the peak hours for boaters.

"I know that I have to do something either in the late morning, and I know I have to be back in the early afternoon or else I won't be coming back until 8:30 at night," said Mr. Miles, who has lived about a mile west of the marina for seven years.

"It's frustrating to know that this is my home where I live and I have to deal with this."

Mr. Sealing disputed that the boat ramps would promote traffic jams.

"We have to be careful not to convince ourselves that 140 boats will show up every day," he said. "I conceive maybe one-third or one-half that number."

Residents across the creek in Forest Glen worry about the impact the ramps would have on animals and vegetation that depend on Main Creek.

Andy Brizzolara, president of Forest Glen Improvement Association, fears that aquatic life would be destroyed.

"It's a direct attack on the environment," said Mr. Brizzolara, who has lived in Forest Glen for six years. "There will be more trash and more litter from the boats."

Mr. Brizzolara also noted a letter from Richard Ayella, chief of the Tidal Wetlands Division of the state Department of the Environment. The letter said the ramp site was too shallow for boats and would destroy a "valuable habitat" for yellow perch.

"The fish are coming back, the birds are back, and the grasses are starting to grow again," Mr. Brizzolara said. "The creek has had all it can handle."

Mr. Sealing said the marina, which has been at its current location for six years, is just as committed to preserving wildlife as the residents are.

Mr. Marshall and Mr. Brizzolara said more boat ramps are needed, but the county should provide them -- at sites such as Downs Park and Fort Smallwood Park.

Mr. Sealing agrees. But he said the county process would take years to complete because of funding and feasibility requirements.

"It would be nice if they could get it done, but it's going to take them years to do that," Mr. Sealing said.

"From a privatization view, all we need is permission. We have the funds, we have the availability, and we have the desire."

Mr. Sealing said the plan calls for cooperation between the marina and the communities.

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