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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Comments–25 July 2013

Arnold S of Abbot Kinney area …

Ref: the last Land Use and Planning Committee meeting. Arnold said print it as written or don’t print it.

I attended the meeting of the LUPC this past week.  It was satisfied with

three of the four members who showed up.  It was hard to hear what they all
were saying in that room, with the boys and girls outside pounding their
basketballs into the ground as hard as they might, doors to the outside
flung open akimbo; and the sound into our ears.  After all, they’re just
kids!  Teenagers!

I was glad to see Silviane and Carolyn there, to see David
Hertz who is a very classy architect and community person, and doing a lot
of work for clients in Venice (lots of significant projects) and for
community (‘character and scale group’ – one year mandate from VNC).

I was immediately struck by a glaring failure of the community
empowerment ‘tendency’ in local politics.  You know I fled this after many
wasted (qualified here) years.

While people were still talking about splitting the difference on
projects proposed, there was STILL no enforcement mechanism available which
was adequate to COMPEL developers to honor their words and pledges.

This puts an undue burden on neighbors, most likely to feel the immediate
negative impact of the violations by owners or developers of a permit which
was granted by the VNC.

So in summation:  And in Imitation of an old Russian Proverb.

1.  Without Enforcement, One Can’t Get On.  [without a ‘sign’ one can’t get on.]

Political People should not expect that neighbors enforce permits.
The VNC should enforce the permits it sanctions.  If it wants to defer to
the City:  As an interim measure, the VNC could:

Cause the LUPC to put on line a user friendly web site, by street address,
which contains all the Venice permits from the time that the VNC started
issuing approvals for permits and the sites— so people can look up when
they think there may be some violation, and there they can find THE F…..in
CONDITIONS. The site should contain a link to the City of LA permit on its
specific web site.

Try giving some of the discretionary money you get from the city to satisfy
regular neighbors as opposed to other ‘needy’ social groupings, whatever
you call them or they call themselves.

2.   Grandfathering of Parking: Hocus Pocus or Real?
classic post-modern intellectual’s dilemma]

All the commercial projects have this as an imbedded factor which invariable
benefits the developers and owners but which harms the adjacent residents.

Please ask the VNC to ask the LUPC to cause to publish an explanation of
what is grandfathered parking:  When was it instituted by the City of Los
Angeles.  When did Los Angeles apply this ordinance to Venice, and what
does it do, that is how does it determine how decision makers determine how
many phantom parking spaces they credit to a new development.  Time Out.
[again: I have to say that this reminds me of Gogol’s Dead Souls, wherein
Chichikov seeks to make money by trading in ‘dead souls’, i.e. government
issued death certificates.  I swear, it’s there.

Back to Grandfathering:

It is very confusing to me, and I believe to everyone else, just as to
how the developers can claim that they are so parking rich that they don’t
have to provide ENOUGH [the optimum word -notice I didn’t say LEGAL]
parking for their proposed new uses.  Talking to you and others after the
meeting I realized that all of us thought we were being film-flamed and
hood-winked. Publish the ordinance and make it available at all LUPC
meetings as a free handout. Each member of the LUPC needs to be able to
explain it in clear English.

We have a real budding crisis on Abbot Kinney and on both sides of it in
the residential areas. We listened to three significant commercial projects
for A. K. that evening.  Perhaps a budding crisis on Rose as well. And according to The Beachhead, it’s now visiting itself on Lincoln where edgier
more recent businesses or commercial interests are using the same strategy
as the promoters of First Fridays did to begin their launch of what
continues unabated on AK.

The owners of the commercial properties don’t care about the residential
neighborhood property owners or residents or renters, while the business
people also don’t care and just want to encourage development, move forward,
and get rich in the sun.   OH, I know they do give back.

But when you ask them —-Can’t you put some scrubbers onto your
restaurant kitchens so you don’t pollute the ocean air so you can get rich
and we don’t gag on your fumes, —-Oh no.  That just costs too much money.
Tell you what.  I will pledge to donate $100 a month, or $1,200 per year to
the Westminster School to give back to the community.  Enough.  Really.  Oh,
the local polls love to fall in line —and ‘fall for that’!

Can’t you provide more parking? On No. Not That.  How about a reasonable
amount into a slush or poll fund.  We will be happy to do that.  We assume
there will be no credible enforcement down the line.

Makes you really sick.

The Hell with That.

1)  How about $100 per month or $1,200 per year on all commercial parcels
and businesses into an enforcement procedure administered by the VNC to
compel out of compliance businesses to explain their conduct before the
neighbors or risk having the VNC file a complaint with the City.

2) How about a one-year moratorium on all  new development projects on both
sides of Rose, Abbot Kinney, Lincoln, and Washington Blvd until a new set of
relevant guidelines to development of commercial properties is worked out by
the community. Parking, Trash, Delivery, Parking, Enforcement, Traffic
Circulation, all of these have to be worked out anew.

Or, — Mark My Words Here–The ‘mountain’ of trash will claim us, before
the Real Tsunami. Or before!–Our own Pastrami or Fat Belly.

I saw your frustration and exasperation. I saw the frustration of the
Electric Ave neighbors across from the proposed new hotel.  I saw the dismay
of Carolyn Rios and Silvia, both former members of the VNC Board.  I saw
the dismay and weariness of John Reed.  I saw Jim Murez, non-pulsed but
getting grayer and ‘weirder’. I heard the announcement of the resignation of
yet another LUPC member.  I heard myself ranting and screaming to those
present, en lieu of calm discourse.  It is not their fault. It’s not our

It’s the fault of the VNC Board.  They refuse to take the political
decisions that are necessary.  They refuse to engage the issues. They claim
their hands are tied.

I went home and was sick in bed the entire next day.

But what we all know is that:  This is not working in the interests of
the residents. It is working in the interests of speculators, commercial
land holders, and business interests whose primary function is to all get
rich, which is fine mind you, but not if they at the same time cause to
literally trickle their waste product down onto the feet, at the doorstep,
and into that small but wonderful breath of fresh air destined for their
innocent and  just-minding-their-own- business neighbors.

Reta M of Update …

If I were a billboard, I would not want to be in Broide’s or Hathway’s jurisdiction or line of sight.

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