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AVALON, Calif. – The City of Avalon is currently working to strengthen and repair the under-structure of the Cabrillo Transportation Center and then conduct a design competition for a new above-structure facility there. The City Council is being asked to award design work for the under-structure repairs at its meeting of January 17, 2017.
As City government and the community evaluate options for the above-structure at the Mole, a proposal was made by the Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce to further examine a six-year-old proposal to determine the feasibility study of a berthing facility at the Mole for cruise ships. No commitment to build such a facility has been approved nor agreed to by the City Council.
At its meeting of June 21, 2016, the City Council directed the following actions be taken in regard to the idea:
From the direction provided by the City Council it is clear that the City Council and community need more information about the idea to determine if it is financially feasible, technically possible, and whether it is acceptable to the people of Avalon. It is important that whatever is done at the Cabrillo Transportation Center (i.e. Mole) be wise, safe, and does not divert from the historical character of Avalon. How would a berthing facility and disembarkation of passengers directly onto the Mole impact traffic, cross-channel service, and other current activities there?
A work plan for the next steps will be devised by City management and presented to the City Council and community for comment and consideration. Tour ships annually bring many visitors to Avalon annually, and their passenger's interest in Avalon is appreciated. City officials with input from the community need to decide if a berthing facility is a good solution for Avalon.
California Coastal Commission staff has indicated their interest in meeting with City staff to discuss their perspective on our transportation center planning project in advance of it beginning, and their insight and suggestions will be of great value as the City moves forward.
David Jinkens, M.P.A.
Avalon is situated on the easterly portion of Catalina Island, 22 miles south/southwest of the Los Angeles Harbor breakwater. Avalon is a little over 2 2/3 square miles in size. The island itself is 76 square miles in area, 85% of which is in a conservancy area to be maintained in its natural state in perpetuity. The picturesque and leisurely seaport village of Avalon has a permanent population of around 3,500, with an annual visitor count of close to one million. The Island’s primary industry is tourism.
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