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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Planning to Hear Vacation of Abbot Kinney Corner with Impassioned Comments by Robin Murez

Northwest corner of Abbot Kinney and Venice Blvd. Land in question is in front and goes to side borders. It is where the rocks and palm trees are.

Vacation of corner and front piece of land, totaling 5133 sq ft, at 1656 Abbot Kinney Blvd, northwest corner of Abbot Kinney and Venice Blvd., will be heard by planning hearing officer Thursday, 22 October at 9:30 am, Los Angeles City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, Room 1050, LA 90012.

Comments may be mailed to Los Angeles City Planning Department, Division of Land Section, 200 N. Spring Street, Room 720, LA 90012; attention Joey Vasquez or comments can be emailed to Joey Vasquez at Joey.Vasquez@lacity.org. Reference ENV-2015-2716-MND and DIR-2015-2813-CDP.

If you have any questions you may contact Kevin Golden at 213-978-1352. or email Kevin.Golden@lacity.org.

By Robin Murez

Note: Robin is out of town but sent this note to Venetians explaining how important this corner is to all those who live here.

This is our most prominent intersection in Venice: the palm tree corners of Venice Blvd at Abbot Kinney. We cannot let them go. They are planted with beautiful, mature palm trees, that provide open space, room to breathe, to enjoy the light and air of Venice Beach. They are used for banners to announce neighborhood events, they indicate where Abbot Kinney and Venice Boulevard intersect. They beautify and create a sense of community, and make Venice safer and more enjoyably liveable.

In City Planning terms, these are the obvious reasons why boulevards need setbacks, and green spaces.

We fought this exact same battle years ago and won. Then, the City bureaucrats held a hearing and ignored strong local sentiment to keep the space. They had voted to give it away. Jim Murez went to bat with construction and engineering documents and tenacity and got the California Coastal Commission to overrule the City. Phew!

It’s an unreasonably common scenario: that the City doesn’t care about Venice and will give it away for most anything, UNLESS WE fight to keep what is our public land.

Our City Councilperson should be fighting this battle, adamantly, on behalf of his constituents!!! MIKE BONIN, WE NEED YOU TO STOP THE CITY FROM IRREVOCABLY DESTROYING THE INTEGRITY OF VENICE, PLEASE. Don’t let the bureaucrats destroy our town.

When Venice Boulevard was redesigned, about 20 years ago, it was done with a vision, (basic for City Planners around the world, but which L.A. seems to forget in Venice). Venice Boulevard was to be “Los Angeles’ Gateway to the Sea.” Both sides of Venice Boulevard were given large set-backs and the center divider was to be beautifully landscaped.

The center divider, which includes Centennial Park and the Venice Library, was planted, and trees were planted along the set-backs, but the balance of the landscaping has yet to be completed. The City mysteriously “lost” the money… but it CAN BE FOUND!!! Venice Boulevard was, and is, to be a beautiful grand boulevard, just as San Vicente is to the north. (And do not confuse homeless encampment issues with needing open spaces – with intelligent design we can have a beautiful, clean, and livable community).

State and City officials and numerous neighbors were involved in the design and engineering of Venice Boulevard. Jim Murez and Andy Lipkis (Treepeople creator) were instrumental in getting all of the trees planted, including the palms along Abbot Kinney Boulevard. I wouldn’t want to imagine Venice without the trees, the landscaping, and the open space which can, and must, still be planted.

If this corner, or any of the corners of that intersection of Abbot Kinney at Venice Blvd, or any of the set-backs along the full length from Lincoln to the beach are “given away.” we can never get them back and NEVER hope to have our beautiful grand boulevard.

If they are retained, WE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!! If not today, then with the efforts and funds of the City and/or private donors (there might be some floating around Venice, no? #civicpride), VENICE BOULEVARD CAN BE THE BEAUTIFUL GRAND BOULEVARD, that it was planned to be.

As an example of how this can happen at the drop of a hat, notice how beautifully the Venice Blvd median is now planted in Mar Vista. That recently happened because: (1) the City had not “given away” the land and (2) the City magically came up with an initiative to beautify some streets. That’s all we need!!!!

What people love most about Venice is the ocean, the air, the light, the breezes, it’s walk-ability, bike-ablity, skate-ability, the openness, safety and scale of our neighborhood. Some love the beach; some love AK Blvd – this is precisely the intersection that announces both!

Giving or selling our public land, particularly prominently located public land, cannot be allowed to occur. The City bureaucrats can be shortsighted. At a time when so much private land is being overbuilt – VENICE NEEDS TO RETAIN ITS PUBLIC OPEN SPACES.

WRITE COUNCILPERSON MIKE BONIN, and whomever is hearing this case. DEMAND that our quality of life not be thrown away forever.

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