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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

City Council Approves VCH/Hollywood Community Housing/Moss to Explore Housing Options for Venice Median

Venice parking lot

 

Venice Parking

The Venice Median Parking Lot was approved by the City Council last week to “explore options for affordable and permanent supportive housing.”

There are two properties the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) designated as surplus properties in Venice eligible for “affordable housing” development. One is the Venice Median Parking Lot and the other is the Thatcher Yard. Thatcher Yard has yet to go thru the City Council.

The Venice Median property is 122,171 square feet and is zoned Open Space and has been used as a parking lot.  The Request for Qualifications/Proposal stated that it would be rezoned to R-3 and eligible for two 35 percent density bonuses, which means that the property could accommodate 260 units, if rezoned to R-3.  This rezoning will require a change to the General Plan.

Note: The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, which is on the March ballot, if passed, would stop “spot-rezoning” for two years even if project is for affordable housing.

By Becky Dennison, executive director of Venice Community Housing (VCH)

Note:  In addition to the following announcement, Dennison has announced that she wants to start engaging the community to explore developing the property between North and South Venice Blvd and between Pacific and Dell Ave, known as the Venice Median Parking Lot.  She has sent this information to several groups to schedule meetings for community input.

Venice Community Housing (VCH) is proud and excited to share that we, and our development team partners at Hollywood Community Housing Corporation and Eric Owen Moss Architects, were approved on December 14th by the City Council to explore options for affordable and permanent supportive housing on the city-owned parking lots between North and South Venice Boulevard, bounded by Dell and Pacific Avenues.

City’s program requires that the site be used for housing development with appropriate services onsite and that all current public parking be maintained.  However, any final development proposal can also include uses beyond housing and parking, and VCH and our partners will engage the community broadly to reach our goal of developing a project proposal that addresses our housing crisis, meets multiple needs and contributes positively to surrounding neighborhoods and Venice as a whole.

No specific development plan has been approved at this time. The City Council approval of our development team for this site provides the opportunity for us to complete an initial stage of community engagement and return to the City with a detailed development proposal.  The development proposal will then need to be formalized with the City, and subsequently follow all required public approval processes within the Neighborhood Council, City Council, Coastal Commission, and potentially other public bodies.

VCH and our partners will announce opportunities for community input, engagement, and feedback to inform and create a project proposal by Monday, December 19th.   We plan to announce an initial 90-day community engagement plan online and through our growing email list, but also expect the plan to expand throughout those 90 days as we receive more ideas and feedback. 

Our process will include community meetings, Venice Neighborhood Council meetings, door-knocking and flyering in all immediately surrounding neighborhoods, tours of existing permanent supportive and affordable housing, tours of the architecture work of Eric Owen Moss, a dedicated email address to receive input and share periodic results, presentations/discussions at existing local organizations’ meetings, as well as other activities. 

We are very open to all ideas about how best to ensure broad community input.  Each part of the community engagement process will be publicized in advance and the results will be well documented and shared.   If we are able to enter into a development agreement with the City after the initial process, we are then committed to further community engagement throughout the entire development period, to focus on design elements, traffic, impacts of construction, and other issues of interest or concern.

Until the dedicated email address for the Venice-Dell site is activated, please feel free to reach out with questions or other input to Becky Dennison, VCH’s Executive Director, at: bdennison@vchcorp.org.

 

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