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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Metro is City and Can Develop Their Property, Revised

Note: If you have been following the story, first the Council Office said property was County, but it is City, and Metro has the right to develop their own property.
Council office answers the question posed by the Update regarding changing Metro Bus Depot in Venice at Sunset to affordable housing and usurping the Surplus Requirement.

David Graham-Caso, communications director and policy advisor for Councilman Mike Bonin, answered that joint development is nothing new for Metro and one can see a full page of their website dedicated to the joint development process and current projects here: https://www.metro.net/projects/joint_dev_pgm

The Communications Director Graham-Caso wrote that the Metro does not have to follow the City requirements for surplus property because it can enter into joint development. The following is his explanation.

Regarding your question about the bus yard – the site did not get declared “surplus property” and offered to other governmental agencies or auctioned off to the highest bidder because Metro decided instead to enter into a joint development process for the site. This means Metro retains ownership of the property, allowing Metro to set the terms for the process and the terms for how they wish to see the property used. This is good for the neighborhood for a few reasons.

First, because of the high value of the land, it is unlikely another government agency would be able to afford the site, which means it was very likely that it would have been auctioned off for commercial development to the highest bidder. This would have resulted in a lot of traffic and not a lot of affordable housing.

Instead of allowing the site to go to the highest bidder, Mike’s proposal (which was approved unanimously by the Metro Board on Thursday), means that Metro will be involved in the development of the site, and Metro’s policy of community-driven development will allow thorough neighborhood involvement as the development proceeds.

Also, the development must be consistent with Metro’s policy for affordable housing, which says that at least 35% of the housing units in Metro’s total portfolio must be affordable to people earning 60% of the area median income. (Note that 35% is a minimum – it could be much more than that).

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