By Angela Mcgregor
The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting of the Venice Neighborhood Council Board featured a motion to remove Erin Darling, a Community Officer from the Board, given that he had not attended a meeting for five consecutive months and, according to Board rules, non-attendance for four months in a row would justify removal by 3/4s of the Board’s officers. However, Mr. Darling, who was not present, had submitted a letter of resignation prior to the meeting, citing his heavy workload as a public defender as the reason for his inability to serve on the Board. As a result, there is an opening on the VNC Board. Anyone interested in serving should contact the VNC Board via their recently renovated website: http://www.venicenc.org.
A variety of LUPC consent calendar items were passed, including a motion to allow Simon’s Markets (on Lincoln near Superba and on Rose Avenue) to sell single servings of craft beer under 32 ounces and over $3.00 per item (an amendment to their liquor license passed unanimously by the LUPC committee). One LUPC item — new construction of a single-family home at 3011 Ocean Front Walk, which would replace 5 units of multi-family housing — was postponed to a future meeting pending proper Mello Act procedures.
A “statement of principles” — Reduce Return Rehouse — adopted by the Homeless Committee — was approved unanimously by the Board. This motion would focus the VNC’s activities regarding the homeless on “REDUCE the number of new homeless people coming to or becoming homeless in Venice/RETURN those willing and able to go home (a number Homeless Committee Chair Will Hawkins stated was around 30% of those on the streets of Venice and RE-HOUSE with priority (elderly, families, single mothers, veterans, teens and the mentally ill).
The “Oxford Triangle Resolution” was brought forward by George Francisco on behalf of the Neighborhood Committee, who had passed it 7-0-2. The motion resolved to ask Councilman Mike Bonin and Mayor Eric Garcetti to “honor the request of Oxford Triangle residents and the recommendations of the 1988 Oxford Triangle Neighborhood Study to either rebuild maintenance facilities on the property known as Thatcher Yard…or to rezone the property to R-1-1 status to complement and protect the Scale and Character of the adjoining single-family residential neighborhood and then sell the property to a developer who intends to redevelop the site in a manner consistent with existing Oxford Triangle single-family homes.”
Oxford Triangle resident Steve Freedman, who had authored the original motion, spoke in favor of it, citing the recommendations in the Oxford Neighborhood Study Plan. Two other Triangle residents also spoke in favor. Two other Venetians spoke against the measure, citing prior LUPC decisions that did not take mass, character and scale into account. VNC Board member Matt Royce expressed concerns over new, R-1 (single-family) zoning in any part of Venice, given mounting concerns over dwindling housing supply, increasing demand and the resulting affordability crisis. To that end, he proposed an amendment to the motion to substitute the phrase “R-1-1 status” to “multi-family status”. This amendment passed, and the Board then passed the amended motion.
The next VNC Board meeting will be held 21 March at 7pm.