Plan Approved To Stop Smoking at State Beaches and ParksThe State Senate approved a plan last week to make California the first in the nation to ban smoking at state parks and beaches to protect the marine environment and reduce fire danger statewide.“From Day One, this measure has been built on two pillars: education and prevention,” Sen. Jenny Oropeza, D-Long Beach, said about Senate Bill 4’s call to establish a fine of up to $100 for smoking at a state park or beach. “Our effort is not one of punishment. Rather, it’s a means toward a safer and cleaner California.”The US Environmental Protection Agency has determined cigarette butts to be the most frequently found marine debris item in the United States. Smoking-related debris poses a persistent and serious threat to marine life and beachgoers over California’s 1,100 miles of coastline. Ingestion of cigarette waste by marine animals interferes with their ability to eat and digest food. According to the Ocean Conservancy, in 2003 smoking-related items (in the form of cigarette filters, cigar tips, tobacco packaging, and cigarette lighters) accounted for 38 percent of all debris items found on beaches in the United States.More than 100 local governments statewide have already imposed smoking bans, including bans in local parks, beaches and piers in Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Malibu, Newport Beach, San Clemente, Santa Monica, Seal Beach and Solana Beach. Oropeza represents the nearly 1 million residents of the 28th Senate District, which hugs much of California’s coast from Venice to Long Beach.* * * *Land Use & Planning Committee to Consider Six-Story Building Proposed for Lincoln and VeniceThe Land Use and Planning Committee (LUPC) of the Venice Neighborhood Council will consider a proposal to construct a new building at 1020 Venice Boulevard on the site of the former Shell Station, at the SW Corner of Lincoln and Venice. LUPC will take public comments and recommend action on the proposed 65 foot tall building planned for the 14,600 sq ft parcel. Because the lot is currently zoned for a 35 foot height limit, the applicant is seeking a zoning change from “Commercial” (C) to “multiple dwelling… not to exceed 6 stories.With residential units, retail space, basements, garage space, and / or underground parking, the building is currently proposed to have two levels below ground and six levels above ground. The project includes affordable housing units on site, and an energy efficient design that maximizes the use of solar panels on the building’s roof and upper exterior. All Venice residents are invited to comment on the project. A detailed agenda will be posted on the internet at www.VeniceNC.org and at posting places in the community.
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