Alamitos Bay Beach Preservation Group Criticizes City Hall's Process re MTV "Beach House"
(May 17, 2004) -- The Alamitos Bay Beach Preservation Group has sent a letter to LB City Hall criticizing its handling of a permit application for production of MTV's "Beach House," a nationally telecast summer series that could tape its 2004 programs from the Belmont Shore beachfront within weeks.
In a letter to David Ashman, Manager of City Hall's Office of Special Events and Filming -- cc'd to LB Mayor Beverly O'Neill, Vice Mayor Frank Colonna, City Manager Jerry Miller & LBPD Chief Anthony Batts -- the president of the Alamitos Bay Beach Preservation Group (ABBPG), Marie Edmunds, states in pertinent part:
[T]his letter is being sent to express our concerns for the upcoming MTV Event...The ABBPG takes the following position without having had the benefit of reading this permit...
The ABBPD does not endorse this event taking place; what we want to do is make the best of a bad situation. Safety and traffic control are huge concerns. We expect that traffic control will be put in place and be enforced...
...The City is well aware of the parking problems that the Peninsula has. We expect that you will restrict access to only Peninsula residents and guests on the days May 31-June 4 and that this check point will be sent up at 54th Place and Ocean Blvd. and strictly enforced.
Although you advise that alcohol will not be allowed on the set, we expect that if anyone is suspected of being under the influence, they immediately be removed from the area.
Please be advised that the ABBPD will look to the City and all other groups responsible for promoting or controlling this event to compensate Peninsula residents for any and all damages caused by holding this event in our neighborhood.
In conclusion, we do not feel that the planning of this event was done in an above-ground manner with the Peninsula residents and that we actually were handed a "fait accompli." We feel this event will impact our neighborhood more negatively than positively. In the future, if an event that will affect the lives of so many residents on the Peninsula is being considered, we should have a voice in the planning and decision.
LBReport.com was the first LB media outlet to report plans by the nationally telecast MTV program to originate the Belmont Shore beachfront, a publicity coup that could showcase LB as a cool summer location for millions of demographically desirable viewers.
LBReport.com also reported that a number of area residents impacted by the production are extremely displeased at not being told early on about these plans by City Hall, then getting misinformation from someone else. The latter point has been tacitly acknowledged by City Hall...which says it wasn't to blame and has taken steps to send Belmont Shore and Peninsula residents accurate information via a letter dated May 11. The letters began arriving in residents' mailboxes on May 14...and a copy was obtained by LBReport.com.
LBReport.com separately learned of the Alamitos Bay Beach Preservation Group's correspondence and requested a copy from the group.
On May 14, Mr. Ashman told LBReport.com that a permit had not yet been issued, a few items remained to be resolved and the permit might be finalized by May 17. A May 17 inquiry to Mr. Ashman's office did not produce a response by the end of the business day.
In previous years, MTV's "Beach House" has originated from San Diego's Mission Beach and elegant areas of Malibu, CA and Long Island, NY among other venues.
Related coverage: First on LBReport.com: MTV's 2004 "Beach House" -- Major Nat'l Summer TV Series -- Planning To Originate From Belmont Shore Beachfront Within Weeks; Initial Info Snafu Leaves Some Shore Residents Fuming