Tuesday, August 13, 2013

POLA Master Plan Gets Wide-Ranging Update

The Los Angeles Harbor Commission has approved a new master plan that the Port of LA says is the first comprehensive update of its development policies and procedures since its original plan took effect more than 30 years ago.

“The updated port master plan is a new roadmap for a new era,” Harbor Commission President Cindy Miscikowski said. “It ensures the most efficient, beneficial and responsible use of this vital asset for our city and our nation.”

The plan sets forth development policies for the port to promote commerce, navigation, fisheries, recreation and environmental protection and provides for the port to adapt to changing technology, cargo trends, regulations and competition from other US and foreign seaports.

Specifically, the updated plan:
 • Reduces the number of planning areas from nine to five: San Pedro, West Basin/Wilmington, Terminal Island, Fish Harbor and Waterways.
 • Clarifies the planning process and, in alignment with today’s practices and goals, specifies a single land use designation for the most parcels within the Port district.
 • Simplifies the process for issuing coastal permits by reducing the number of permit types to two from three, and delegates the authority to approve permits for the minor land and/or water use changes to the Executive Director. Major land and water use developments will continue to require a public hearing and approval by the Board of Harbor Commissioners.
 • Updates the Port’s Risk Management Plan for assessing the potential risks related to the storage and transfer of crude oil and petroleum products. The development process for the updated Port Master Plan began more than 18 months ago and included input from industry, tenants, labor, governmental agencies, the community and other stakeholders. Like its predecessor, the new plan’s subject to certification by the California Coastal Commission.

“This comprehensive update,” port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, said, “reflects our evolution, growth and priorities going forward.”