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The city of Venice Beach wants to add a 720-foot-long zip line to the land of body builders, bathers and skateboarders. Residents, concerned the beach addition would bring more noise than fun, gathered at a public hearing Monday to debate the three-month pilot project. Ted Chen reports from Venice Beach for the NBC4 News at 5p.m. on July 2, 2012.
A 720-foot-long zip line could soon be constructed at Venice Beach, where some residents are concerned the screams that inevitably accompany a zoom down the zip line could disrupt their community.
They voiced their displeasure at a public hearing Monday, where the proposal was granted an initial approval.
“It's a city beach," said resident Ira Koslow. "This is for the residents to come here and enjoy, which they have done, and now they're trying to change it."
The proposed zip line, if approved by the California Coastal Commission, would be constructed on a three-month trial basis and would run 750 feet alongside Ocean Front Walk. There would be two to four lines, with a 50-foot-tall launch tower across from the Sidewalk Cafe and a 24-foot-high landing tower located at 17th Street.
"Every day seeing flying bodies, and it's natural human behavior to scream when you're on a zip line," said Gail Rogers, who's lived in Venice for more than 40 years.
L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl is behind the zipline project and he has trying to convince Venice residents it would be a fun addition.
"A zipline is a very simple thing," Rosendahl said. "You can get on it and fly like a bird, you can have a moment of joy, and you can appreciate Venice Beach from a different angle."
The attraction would bring in badly needed revenue to pay for restroom cleaning and trash pickup at the beach, he said. He's hoping it will open by Labor Day.
On Tuesday, Jim Doty of the city's Bureau of Engineering said that the project had been approved at the city level. Now the city's Department of Recreation and Parks must ask for state Coastal Commission approval.
If approved on a trial basis, it would cost $20 per 40-second ride and be open from 11 a.m. until dusk.