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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

LA Planning Commission Passes PSH Ordinance 14 December; Venice Median and Thatcher Yard not Applicable

People lined up to speak on PSH Ordinance at City Hall

By Angela McGregor

The Los Angeles City Planning Commission passed the Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Ordinance December 14th.

There were upwards of 90 public speakers both in favor of and opposed to the Ordinance. Members of both the Oxford Triangle Association and Venice Vision were present to express their opposition to the measure. Most of those favoring the measure spoke in favor of Permanent Supportive Housing generally. Speakers included Becky Dennison, from Venice Community Housing Corporation, who stated that the Ordinance would not apply to either the Venice & Dell Project or the Thatcher Yard Project; Linda Lucks, who introduced herself as a former President of the Venice Neighborhood Council and stated her approval of the ordinance; two representatives of the League of Women Voters, who demanded that PSH be built “as soon as possible”.

Comments of those opposed to the measure generally pointed out that thorough CEQA review and public input with regard to density and parking (which this ordinance would limit or eliminate) are essential to good public planning and the long term success of any development.

Because there were so many speakers present, the Planning Commission waived the use of speaker cards and instead went with a first-come, first-serve format, giving each speaker 1 minute. Public Commentary lasted almost two hours.

Planning Staff then spoke in rebuttal to the comments. They stated that 72 percent of public comments favored the ordinance, and made no mention of the written comments that had been submitted, which according to the Staff Report numbered in the hundreds and were overwhelmingly opposed to the measure. In response to the many Venice residents who spoke against the measure, Planning Staff stated that neither of the projects could “utilize the PSH Ordinance” in order to increase density or eliminate parking.

The Planning Commission’s questions and comments to staff primarily focussed on whether or not, under the ordinance, projects could be even more dense — 450 sf units as opposed to 500 sf. They also praised the staff for what they felt was a “careful” and “well thought out” ordinance, which they ultimately approved.

The ordinance will now go to the City Council for final approval.


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