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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Wrede Critiques the Numbers–”Venice Has A Massive Homeless Infrastructure, An Intensive Concentration of Homeless Services; There Should be a Moratorium”

Venetian Chris Wrede critiques the number of and the square footage of the homeless properties from Councilman Mike Bonin’s council district and compares figures to other council district contributions and then lists the council districts that have not contributed. Wrede also notes  other inequities in the Venice picture.

Now Wrede owns the statistics and whips  out statements in quotable form, such as:

“The density of the Venice developments really is a big deal –putting a building or two in a large area is one thing, but cramming everything Bonin has planned into a 3-square-mile footprint really changes the way people live …

“I can’t think of a single community, outside of Skid Row, with such a massive homeless infrastructure and with such an intense concentration of homeless services …

“We should not be forced to live in a state-sponsored homeless encampment. Nobody should. Venice wants to help fight homelessness, but this is obviously unfair. A moratorium should be imposed on all permanent facilities until a comprehensive, balanced citywide plan is in place.”

Note:  Venice, with a population of 40,885, and the City of Los Angeles, with a population of 3,884,000, represents 1 percent of the LA City population  … and yet …

 By Christopher Wrede

  • Venice is the only neighborhood in all of Los Angeles in which more than one city-owned lot has been earmarked for housing projects, and in 10 out of 15 council districts no city lots have been selected for housing projects at all.
  • Moreover, the Venice Median and Thatcher Yard lots — which sit less than a mile from one another and measure about 220,000 square feet — represent 40% of the total space selected for homeless housing citywide, and 80% of the space Bonin has volunteered for homeless housing in his council district, CD11.
  • By contrast, Venice accounts for approximately 3% of LA’s total homeless population and less than 35% of the homeless population in CD11.
  • Finally, the notion that 12 lots have been identified for homeless housing is a convenient fiction fabricated to divert attention from the fact that the City Council’s Homelessness Plan — and Bonin’s Homelessness Plan, in particular — is mostly about turning Venice into a permanent dormitory for SoCal’s homeless (with three housing projects (including the MTA Lot), 24/7 toilets and showers for our burgeoning beachfront encampment, permanent storage, mobile showers, designated overnight parking with toilet facilities, and counseling services in a 3-square-mile area..


Earlier this year , 12 City lots were listed in five Council Districts (CD). CD1 Gilbert Cedilla, 5 sites, CD7 Vacant, 1 site, CD 8 Marqueece Harris-Dawson, 1 site, CD11 Mike Bonin, 4 sites, and CD15 Joe Buscaino, 1 site. Of the four sites in CD11, two were in Venice, the Thatcher Maintenance Yard in the Oxford Triangle and the parking lot on Venice median, between Pacific Ave. and Dell Ave.

Note that 5 lots of the 12 are one big contiguous group so most consider the number 12 to really be 8.

According to a May 31, 2016 memorandum from the City Administrative Officer to the City Council, the City has identified 8 sites — representing a total of 540,723 square feet – for homeless housing projects.

4 of those 8 sites, accounting for 50 percent of the total square footage currently tagged for development, are in Bonin’s district. No other councilperson has identified more than one site for development, and 10 of LA’s 15 councilpersons have not identified any sites at all. In other words, Bonin has, to date, volunteered as much space for housing – both by number of lots and by square footage (to say nothing of dollar value) – as the other 14 councilpersons combined.

Of the 4 lots Bonin is currently aspiring to develop in CD11, one small lot, measuring 19,507 sq. ft., is in Westchester; another small lot, measuring 32,642 sq. ft., is in West LA; and two large lots (one at Thatcher Yard and the other on the Venice Median), measuring a total of 216,064 sq. ft., are in Venice. No city lots have been tagged for housing projects anywhere else in District 11 – including the Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Playa Vista and Mar Vista.

  • This means that Venice is the only neighborhood in all of Los Angeles where housing projects are being planned for more than one non-contiguous City lot and that Venice alone accounts for 40% of the square footage earmarked for housing projects citywide, even though it accounts for approximately 3% of LA’s total homeless population. It also means that Venice alone accounts for 80% of the total square footage Bonin has earmarked for development in CD11, even though it accounts for considerably less than half of CD11’s homeless population.
  • Similarly, Venice accounts for 30% of the affordable housing units currently in existence or in development in CD11, even though it only accounts for 15% of the total CD11 population. 80 of the housing units the VCHC provides for the homeless are in Venice, compared to about 120 units in the rest of CD11.
  • And Venice accounts for a grossly disproportionate share of the social services available to the homeless in CD11 through organizations like VCH, OFW Homeless Storage, SPY – Safe Place for Youth, The Teen Project, St. Joseph’s (at two locations), and Venice Family Clinic (at two locations), as well as various food programs. To my knowledge, there are only two major service providers in CD11 outside of Venice – Upward Bound House and the PATH outpost in West LA.
  • In addition to housing projects on the Venice Median and Thatcher Yardt, which are a mere mile apart from one another, I understand Bonin is working with the County on an affordable housing development just a mile north of the Venice Median lot on Main Street. As the recent controversy involving the copulating / smoking rabbits at Westminster Elementary underscores, he is also working (in violation of a standing court order) to install a storage facility at Westminster Senior Center. In addition to that, he is intent on providing 24/7 shower and toilet facilities for the world famous beachfront encampment that now extends from Windward Circle to the southern border of Santa Monica (and appears to have replaced the Boardwalk itself as Southern California’s Number 1 destination for out-of-state visitors.) And he has made it clear that Venice will be ground zero for various and sundry experiments in mobile showers, overnight parking and counseling services.
  • Given Venice’s condensed 3-square-mile footprint, this means that if Bonin gets his way, the vast majority of Venetians will find themselves living in close proximity to at least one housing project or service center, and a large number of us will find ourselves within a mile or less of all five of the permanent facilities Bonin is fixing to install in Venice, with Thatcher Yard to the South, the fully plumbed permanent beach encampment to the West, the Westminster Storage Facility and MTA lot to the north, and Bonin’s coup de grace, the Venice median monstrosity, smack dab in the middle.


Comments (6)

  1. Anonymous

    This is what is planned for the Palisades:

  2. Bruce

    Excellent analysis, thank you Chris. The RFP’s for the homeless sites were due a month ago – why haven’t the details been released to the public?

  3. Stewart Oscars

    I will be calling Bonin at his Downtown office, 213-473-7011 snd Westchester office, 310-568-8772 tomorrow and asking to talk to him about this unfair degradation of Venice and if these ideas are so great, why he is not sharing them with his neighborhood.

    • Anonymous

      Bonin is not listening to anyone and doesn’t care about our Venice Community. He has his agenda and he’s up for office again and supported by the rest of the West side communities neighborhoods where he is actually improving versus destroying like our Venice community, our safe home and our children’s neighborhood environment! Not sure what anyone calling his office will do. We just need to create our own independent city, that is the one and only way to overcome this dictatorship!

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