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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Two More Triangle Residents Speak Out About Thatcher Yard – Keep Yard for City Use or Build R-1 Homes


Note: Both Judy Wyuda and Steve Freedman are 40-year Triangle residents and worked on the Oxford Triangle Neighborhood Study

By Judy Wyuda and Steve Freedman
The City owned Thatcher Yard was operated in the heart of the Oxford Triangle for decades, since well before most of our homes were built. The City was a good neighbor. Workers at the Yard were always very respectful of our residential streets and neighborhood. Even at full capacity, the Yard was only open about 50 hours per week. It was closed every night, weekends, and holidays. No new neighbor would be locked and silent for all but a standard workday business week.

In 1988 the Oxford Triangle residents worked on the Oxford Triangle Neighborhood Study as part of the Venice Neighborhood Study Presentation Workshop. The studies were sponsored by the Council Office and City Planning and gave the community an opportunity to contribute to Development Standards and the Local Coastal Program for Venice. The Oxford Triangle Neighborhood Study was completed and presented on November 5, 1988. In Section 1, on Page 10, Item 16 which concerns the City Owned Lots, the Study states under Zoning preferences that ‘The City Maintenance Yard and other City owned lots must remain R1′ if the City decided to abandon operations at the site.

In 2010, the City of Los Angeles held a series of public meetings to advise the community of its plans for the Thatcher Yard and take public input. The goal was to demolish the existing structures and replace them with new structures which would allow the City to resume maintenance operations from the site. It was our understanding that those plans were postponed for financial reasons.

If the City doesn’t plan to resume operations at that location in the near future, we believe that it should keep Thatcher Yard for future maintenance use for several reasons. Given Westside property values, it’s very unlikely that the City could ever acquire additional Westside property and if it could, it’s also unlikely that it could get such property rezoned for maintenance purposes. The City will always need to perform all categories of maintenance in all areas of the City. As such, it’s important that it retain all property already zoned for such use.

If the City is determined to never use that site again, there are other important considerations. Because Thatcher Yard is so close to Marina del Rey, it is very valuable property. But the proposal that it should be sold and redeveloped at this time because it’s too valuable to keep makes little sense as land this close to the water will certainly continue to increase in value. It would be shortsighted to sell it now for housing purposes.

The industrial property at the south end of the Oxford Triangle was rezoned C4-OX-2D in the 1980s to allow high-density residential development. About 1800 units of condominiums and apartments in 6 such developments have been built on that property since that time. As a result, the density in the Oxford Triangle has increased times 5.

If the City truly chooses to abandon the Thatcher Yard permanently, the Oxford Triangle residents, as stated in the 1988 Neighborhood Study, want the yard to be zoned R1 and redeveloped with single-family homes that are compatible with the existing scale and character of the Oxford Triangle R1 neighborhood to buffer us from the dense development to the south.

Comments (2)

  1. Angela McGregor

    Thank you for speaking up. Nothing denser than R1 for the Maintenance Yard, once it is decommissioned.

  2. More development for higher income earners is not the answer. We need more low income housing in Venice and housing for the homeless. This can be done in Venice and the city should purchase other developments with plenty of green space to teach the homeless and low income about sustainable living, how to live independently, and even about how to grow your own food. Venice Residents who would love this idea should write to your local council person now and support it totally. Lets stand united and make Venice the homeless helper of the world.

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