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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Beach Curfew Support Letters–Hoffman, Ryavec

These are letters from two community leaders in support of the 12- to 5-am Venice Beach Residential Area (VBRA) curfew written to City officials and to Captain Brian Johnson, Los Angeles Pacific Division.

Following are the letter from Mark Ryavec, president of Venice Stakeholders Association and Jack Hoffman, former president of Venice Action Committee and who lives in vicinity of curfew area.

From Mark Ryavec
The Venice Stakeholders Association strongly supports maintaining the City’s 12- to 5-am curfew for the Venice Beach Recreation Area (VBRA).

Enforcement of the curfew has brought the first serious relief to long suffering residents who live on the Ocean Front Walk and on the nearby walk streets. Until it was enforced residents lost many nights of sleep to loud music, screaming campers and drugged-out meth addicts yelling just to yell.

The curfew has also noticeably reduced crime during the curfew hours in the
area by removing those who would engage in theft, destruction of public
property, and vandalism.

We have consulted with legal counsel and do not believe that a Coastal
Development Permit (CDP) is necessary for the curfew to be in effect. The
curfew is an exercise of the City’s inherent police powers, which are expressly exempt from Coastal Act requirement for a CDP.

While the curfew does limit access to water, so does a line of police tape that is placed across entry points to the Boardwalk in emergency situations or around sites in the VRBA when a crime has been committed. The curfew is simply a proactive version of police tape designed to prevent crime, vandalism and the violation of quality of life ordinances that protect residents. No CDP is required for any of these exercises of police power to protect citizens and property.

Jack Hoffman
I strongly support the curfew on Venice Beach.

Preserving the public interest for beach access cannot be greater than the life
threatening risk the public faces on our beaches at night. This is not an exaggeration
to make a point. It is a point that needs to be made clear.

Venice provides more visitor-serving access to the beach than any other community of its size, and most-larger communities, on the west coast. We are doing more than our fair share. Hosting legions of visitors comes at a high cost to our residents but we are generous hosts to the city, county, state and the world and bear the daily consequences of their invasion with grace. Even so we don’t need more problems while we try to arrest the current ones.

We have gangs roaming the area day and night, real gangs. We had a homeless man beaten to death and buried in the sand by a roaming band of teenagers one night. People are robbed, stabbed and shot at a higher rate in Venice than in most or any other beach community in the State. The beach is the largest unlit area in Venice and it is impossible to patrol without reducing badly needed services to protect our community’s well-lit streets.

If the State Coastal Commission votes to ban the curfew, then the State should
provide nighttime patrols to make them safe for the public to visit – otherwise the
public whose rights have been “protected” will be at great risk.

If the State Coastal Commission bans the curfew, it will only be a matter of time
before questions will be asked as to why no consideration of the obvious was given.

Those questions will come too late. A proven answer is already at work.

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