By Marie Hammond
Councilman Mike Bonin has proposed legislation to reform and strengthen the Mello Act, the local law that protects affordable housing in the coastal zone, making it harder for developers to reduce or eliminate affordable housing in Venice.
UPDATE: Legislation proposed. City Departments working on draft ordinance.”
For those interested in any proposed revisions to the Mello Act affecting Venice, follow City Council file CF 15-0129 at https://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/. Legislation may also include regulations on existing rent control apartments.
“Builders building more than 10 units have to provide, or use to have to provide, 10 or 20 percent of their units depending on low income or low-low income,” said Reta Moser. “Sometimes on-site would be designated. Sometimes it wouldn’t be designated, and sometimes even if it were, builders would put them wherever and not always in Venice or not always in coastal zone.
“A condo mixed-use site in area built over 20 units and two were required for Mello and contractor was further required to build off-site units within coastal zone of CD11 which is not easy. Years later, Liz Wright and I received letters from Planning stating that builder couldn’t build replacement units in CD11 and therefore was exempt. Mello loophole or planning mistake? They were going to forgive Mello requirement totally! We both showed letters to Challis Macpherson, who was chair of Land Use and Planning for Venice Neighborhood Council and adamant about Mello. Sorry, don’t know what happened. At the time most builders, could do Mello off-site and not necessarily in coastal zone. So Mike is probably taking care of those types of loopholes.”