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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

LUPC is the One and On a Roll

At the Avalon Room, Cafe Gratitude. Left to right are: Ramsey Daham, Todd Darling, Chair Robin Rudisill, Kathleen Rawson, Maury Ruano, Mehrnoosh Mojallali, and Gabriel Ruspini.

At Beyond Baroque. Left to right are: Todd Darling, Mark Kleiman, Co-Chair Robert Aronson, Chair Robin Rudisill, Maury Ruano, and Gabriel Ruspini. It takes two photos to show them all.

Elections are coming and the most important committees for the Venice Neighborhood Council is the Land Use and Planning Committee or more locally referred to as LUPC (Lou-Peck).

The Chair position, held by Robin Rudisill for the last two years, will be on the ballot again. So far, three people have thrown their hats in the ring for this position. The individual members, who make up the LUP committee, will be selected by the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) members after the election.

Robin Rudisill, when she first took over, changed the Wednesday meet at the Oakwood Recreation Center from Wednesdays to Tuesdays and then later to Mondays — first and last of the month. Where she changed it was the fun part — it was the mystery involved with “where.” Sometimes one did not know until appearing at the appointed place only to find out it was to be somewhere else.

This article was written some time ago and waited to be published until a decent photo of all the members could be obtained. A good photo never happened and it is almost time for a new group to replace this group. So it is time to get to it.

LUPC is still on a roll …

Yes, LUPC it on a roll … literally they are mobile … one never knows where they will be next … it is a mystery that is solved sometimes just before the meet.

Frankly, if you aren’t intrigued by the cases that Land Use and Planning Committee (LUPC) has, you might consider the meeting places. One has to admit the surroundings, the meeting places, are always different and challenging.

Many times the meets were at Foursquare church on Rialto, before that 512 Rose, next to Café Gratitude in the Avalon Room. Before that it was at the Whaler, Washington at Ocean Front Walk, south side. Meet before that was at the Terrace Restaurant, Washington at Ocean Front Walk, north side. It has been in the theater at the old Venice jail, Beyond Baroque

Follow the Breadcrumbs
Sometimes one doesn’t know until hours before but there are always direction notes that breadcrumb one to the site.

All these places still beat the continuous bouncing of the basketballs and the yelling of the kids at Oakwood Recreation Center, not to mention the closing doors.

Theater at Beyond Baroque was okay but cold. Lighting was challenging for the board. The Terrace restaurant has its own sound and that was of the kitchen or yelling sports fans during events. Whaler had the sound of happy customers, and this time, the added treat of samples from the kitchen being munched and discussed. People were stacked in the Whaler main floor but that didn’t stop them from coming and going, commenting, and munching.

LUPC, frankly to say the least, is never a dull moment. One can count on at least two opinions—each opposing the other.

Chair Robin Rudisill conducts the meet with total attention to those addressing a project and to the details of it. Might be likened to a three-ringed circus in the background, when people in audience get talking. And then there is always a sharp, well-deserved “quiet” from Rudisill.

Most Important VNC Committee
But all kidding aside this is where people from the neighborhood look at projects aimed for building in Venice. This is the most important committee that the Venice Neighborhood Council has. It helps shape Venice, what it will look like tomorrow.

The LUPC committee consists of attorneys, architects, business people, builders. They are all volunteers who devote their time to help address and balance the quaintness and, yet sophistication, of Venice. They apply to and are individually selected by vote of Venice Neighborhood Council members to serve a two-year term. The selection occurs after the general election and a chair is elected.

Each Member Gets a Case
Each member is assigned a case and that person gathers all the facts pertaining to the project. This means interfacing with the City Planning department, collecting pertinent documents and sometimes documents that have been archived, talking with the architect/builder, setting up and/or just attending a neighborhood meet about the project. Everything pertaining to the project, the LUPC member should know. He presents the project to LUPC and VNC, and later, presents results to the City, This is a daunting task one has to admit.

LUPC Recommends
LUPC is not a final yes or no to a project. It is a recommendation of approval or disapproval and sometimes with conditions, qualifications that then go to the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC). The VNC hears the case and can accept, not accept, or change the LUPC recommendation or portion thereof. The VNC then recommends approval or disapproval with its own criteria. After that it goes to the City with the recommendation from Venice Neighborhood Council, LUPC. The City agrees or doesn’t agree with the VNC.

Yes, the City does its own thing, but by the time the case gets to the City, the project is tempered by the members of LUPC and later honed by the members of the Venice Neighborhood Council.

These are talented, professionals who have a day job. Each of these members warrants a separate interview.

Robin Rudisill, Chair
Robert Aronson, Vice Chair
Mehrnoosh Mojallali
Kathleen Rawson
Ramsey Daham
Maury Ruano
Todd Darling
Mark Kleiman
Gabriel Ruspini

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