Obagi makes good on Artesia campaign promise

Zein Obagi is the newly elected Redondo Beach District 4 City Councilmember. Photo courtesy of the Obagi campaign

by Dan Blackburn

Newly elected Redondo Beach District 4 City Councilman Zein Obagi Jr. made good on his campaign promise to spur progress on the Artesia and Aviation Corridors Area Plan (AACAP) by voting to approve two AACP contracts during his first city council meeting Tuesday night.

The agreements with Rincon Consultants Inc. total $137,556, and will pay for preparation of documents for an environmental review of zoning and parking issues in the corridors area, and for recommended revisions to current parking regulations.

The contracts extend through January 2022; the environmental review should be completed in five months.

Council member Nils  Nehrenheim voted against the contract award, saying he thought competitive bids for the work should have been sought.

“I would rather see bids on these. I don’t feel comfortable with this large amount of money,” he said.

Brandy Forbes, the city’s community development director, told the council that the  city had worked with the Rincon consultants previously, and moving ahead with the no-bid process “will make things move along a lot faster.”

City Manager Joe Hoefgen said the contracts could be put out to bid if the council so desired.

Fellow member Todd Loewenstein agreed with Nehrenheim about the lack of a bid process, he said, but in the end he joined the majority in voting for the contract awards.

One objective of the studies is to determine how much “organic land growth” can occur in the area before “different parking strategies” or additional parking supplies are needed, according to a staff report to the council.

Environmental impacts of the project may be exacerbated by design guidelines, alterations to signage, improvements to pedestrian and biking infrastructure, and the creation of new public spaces, the council was told.

“Policies for administering a district parking strategy, such as a framework for evaluating the need and implementation of a future parking supply… would be summarized by the study,” the staff report noted.

In other action, the council:

–Welcomed newly-elected member Zein Obagi Jr., who bested incumbent John Gran for the District 4 seat. Reelected Mayor Bill Brand, council members Nehrenheim and Loewenstein, and City Attorney Mike Webb were sworn into office for four-year terms;

— Heard a report from Hoefgen and several staff members updating the status of the city’s local emergency pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic. ER



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Written by: Dan Blackburn

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