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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Comments — 24 October 2016

Yolanda Gonzalez


On Saturday, October 22, there will be a Valley Town Hall meeting  to discuss the City’s lack of planning, its failure to update the General Plan and the 37 Community Plans, runaway development that is destroying our neighborhoods and quality of life, increased congestion, “spot” zoning, “up zoning,” campaign funding real estate developers and speculators, and the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative and how it will return power to our communities.

Joan Smith

In case no one else noticed, Mark Ryavec left off a number in Mike Bonin’s phone #– when suggesting residents call Bonin’s office.  The last “1” is missing from 213-473-7011.

Comment:  That was fault of Update’s copying and pasting.  Thank you for catching such.

Adam Firestone

These politicians don’t realize that incentivizing homelessness only creates more homelessness.    The more they fund programs, the more the homelessness grows to fill the program. 

Denver is awash in homeless. 


John Betz

And the other false assumption that Bonin is operating on, is his apparent belief that if we build storage and housing for the homeless in Venice, then the problems on our streets will be mitigated.  That is the continuous nonsensical message from his staff (see Bazley’s message below).   But that reasoning ignores the fact that most of the homeless in Venice are not from Venice – they migrated here – some from other parts of SOCAL but MANY from other parts of the country.  And more will follow.  if is a fact: homeless people and transients migrate to service hubs.  More have already flowed here in the past month in anticipation of the yet-to-be-opened services.  If we build storage, it will fill up, more transients will flow to Venice, and the situation on the streets will be the same (don’t believe Bonin’s claim about a zone of enforcement for one minute.  It is complete BS.  If it were true, then they could maintain a clear zone around the Bin in downtown LA, but they don’t because they can’t).  Same is true for housing.  

Like Chris says, we all know we need to address this problem.  But we need to address it Citywide and with an even and proportionate approach.  If we build the vast majority of services in Venice, like water flowing downhill, the majority of the problem will continue flow.

Darryl Dufay

After eight years of tremendous growth, Airbnb is beginning to feel the legal reactions to its business model.  A list of concerned cities, world-wide, is discussed in this article.



Judy Goldman


Darryl DuFay

Note:  Steve Lopez wrote an article regarding Venice and Bonin’s homeless plan.  DuFay has a few facts, which were eliminated, to add to the article.

This is DuFay’s response.

Thank you for your informative and wide ranging article on homelessness in Venice.  I am engaged with my Venice neighbors on Mike’s proposals.  I would like to comment on two of the sites in your article. 

Westminister Senior Citizens Center to be used for storing homeless persons’ belongings.

1.  The Center is located in a two acre City Park directly across the street from Westminster Elementary school with 400 students.

2.  Homeless in RVs and campers already park on the street between the Park and the school.

3.  There is a homeless encampment next to the street.

4.  The Center will have 140 – 60 gallon bins, which are not large enough for tents or heaps of belongings.   

5.   Chrysalis Enterprises, which operates the 1,500 storage container facility in Skid Row, called the BIN, has been selected by Mike to operate this facility.  Their facility is surrounded with an homeless encampment, which is kept at a distance by a very high fence.  Chrysalis has said they would not provide security outside of the Center building.

6.   The Park land is open, there is nothing that will legally prevent the homeless encampment now at the edges of the Park to become a permanent encampment in the Park.   The  tents and heaps of belongings will just move there.  Based on other encampments in Venice, it is assured.

7.   An alternative proposal for mobile storage vehicles, which was in fact suggested by the City of Los Angeles, has been made by the surrounding neighbors through their organization, “Venice Kids Count.”  This is action, not complacency. Mike said he would think about the mobile plan.

Venice Blvd. between Pacific Ave. and Ocean Ave. on the median strip Parking Lot.

1.  Mike’s proposes to use twelve of the median strip city lots here to build homeless housing.  The proposal sent by CAO Miguel Santana to contractors and developers stated that 260 units could be built on the 122,000 square feet.  That could mean up to five hundred people.   After Mike saw the figures he said he disagreed with the number of units, but didn’t have the CAO send a disclaimer.

2.  There has much discussion about this proposal and its location.  Indeed it is prime real estate about three hundred feet from the beach.  But, the focus has not been to have no homeless housing, it was how could this very valuable land, estimated as high as $90,000,000, be used to multiply the units of housing that could be built in another location.  There is never enough money.  What is available should be put to the highest and best use.

Finally, I would suggest that “everything” is the answer to the question “what to do about it.”  To do it equally in all fifteen council district.  And, to do it without creating a “bigger magnet.”

Thank you for the opportunity to respond,

Jon Nahhas of Boating Coalition

LA County uses spin to try and get controversial project passed that nobody wants.  An automated boat valet project for the wealthy and will help put another nail in the coffin for recreational boating in Marina del Rey gets a boost from government staff report distorting the facts.

Link to Staff Report: http://file.lacounty.gov/SDSInter/bos/supdocs/108120.pdf

“On March 15, 2007, Boat Central’s preliminary design concept was heard by the DCB. The item was continued to the May 31, 2007, meeting, where the DCB, in its advisory capacity, unanimously rejected the design. Since DCB’s recommendation, at that stage, was only advisory and non-binding, Boat Central decided to seek review from the Department of Regional Planning. On April 24, 2013, the RPC reviewed and approved the Coastal Development Permit and related entitlements.”

Fact Check – 4 Pinocchio’s >>>> – The Design Control Board had the purview of ensuring that the lucrative projects proposed in Marina del Rey were in compliance with the California Coastal Act.  While the design was part of their responsibilities, the project was rejected because it violated several statutes of the CCA, including its precedent in building over water by 92 feet. While Boat Central may have requested that LA County seek the Department of Regional Planning’s review, it was LA County that went to the Coastal Commission to revoke the citizen’s power of the citizen oversight committee (DCB) in order for the developer to bypass the regulatory denial.

“At its special meeting of September 21, 2016, the Small Craft Harbor Commission voted 2 to 1 in favor of endorsing the recommendations to approve the Option and the new Lease for Parcel 52 in the form attached. Since three votes were needed to endorse the recommendation, there was no endorsement by the Small Craft Harbor Commission. County Counsel has approved the Option and Lease as to form.”

Fact – Check – 3 Pinocchio’s >>> – The Small Craft Harbor Commission failed to pass the project because the only boater on the panel (which has always been a problem with the Harbor Commission) felt that it was bad for boating.  One of the other commissioners erroneously felt that Boat Central was going to be more affordable than wet slips – his reasoning for openly stating he was in favor of the project, and when he found otherwise by Developer, mysteriously backed out of his position of affordability and supported the project just the same.  Notice Gary Jones’ spin using the word “endorsement” instead of saying that the project failed to pass the citizen oversight commission.  Of note, there was a commissioner that was absent that had consistently made his feelings known that the project was bad.

Kip Pardue 

As I am sure many of you are aware, this past week the LA Times had two articles on Councilman Bonin’s plans for Venice.  As usual, the articles simply scratch the surface of the Bonin’s “plan” and rely almost entirely on advocates’ opinions.

Here are links to the articles.  I encourage all to read and comment if you feel so inclined.  I am not sure that anyone actually reads those comments but having a digital record of opinion is never a terrible thing.



The titles of the articles are incredibly prescient.  I have very little faith in the LA Times and this furthers my assessment.

The second of the two articles focuses more on Bonin the politician.  As other neighbors have pointed out, the title of the article changed…From “In Venice,home of the homeless, councilman is determined to push his plan despite opposition,” to the VERY different, “This Venice councilman, once on the verge of homelessness, is trying to help – but he’s getting heat from all sides.”  I find it incredible that we are just now hearing about Bonin’s brush with homelessness.  He has been in office for nearly 4 years and never once mentioned this to my knowledge.

Many of us have had meetings with Mike – some private, some public – and never has he mentioned this.  He has never spoken about the services he may or may not have used to keep from being homeless.  He has never publicly thanked organizations similar to those who may have helped him. He has also just recently started revealing he used meth publicly – maybe it’s a coincidence that many Venice locals have been shouting about how meth has “changed” the homeless in Venice, but likely not.

I don’t deny that Bonin has been through tough times and certainly agree his recovery is miraculous. I do, however, question his being “on the verge of homelessness” yet never once mentioning this during his campaign or while in office.

He never even brought it up when he was unveiling his “Venice Forward” plan.  Clearly, Bonin is using this new narrative for both sympathy and anecdotal evidence that everyone in Venice is exactly like HIM (I will remind you that he is Harvard educated, has seemingly had employment for his entire adult life, and has a supportive family) and if they only had the right “fix” they could be model citizens as well.  But the fact is, that’s just not true.  It’s not true that Bonin received the services he is pushing and it’s not true that anyone and everyone will accept these services (which he is proposing exclusively in Venice). Obviously, services are needed and useful, but this new picture shows why Bonin is pushing unilaterally for them in Venice.

We also recently learned that the completely-behind-closed-doors decisions about the Venice lots will be made public in mid-November (though the deadline for submission was early October).  This is another example of Bonin’s very slippery intentions.  He is obviously waiting until AFTER the election – the election with Prop HHH on the ballot.  I think Bonin realizes that making his plan for Venice more public BEFORE the election would hurt his cause.  No way the residents of Los Angeles would approve HHH if they knew about housing just yards from the beach.  In Bonin’s mind, If the plans remain enigmatic, HHH might have a chance.

That is the core reason to vote against HHH – there are ZERO plans attached to it.  It will simply give money and authority to build anywhere with no services attached and no plan in place.  SO PLEASE, VOTE NO ON HHH THIS NOVEMBER.  Do further research and come to your own conclusions, but know that Mike Bonin NEEDS this to unleash his plan in its entirety.  Bonin and the city could raise nearly a tenth of the budget of HHH ($100m of a $1.2B/10 years) by selling the two Venice lots alone….but he can’t have that information out to the general public.

I know for a fact that Bonin’s office has received plans that include dynamic ideas for the Venice Median Lot.  Ideas and plans that are inclusive of residents, homeless, artists, professionals, work-force.  Ideas that could unify Venice and not rely on tax payer dollars.  He is not entertaining those ideas. He continues to dismiss our input, our thoughts, and our feelings.  Venice bears the burden of Bonin’s story.  And all the while, Bonin is manipulating the rest of Los Angeles with this new narrative – to the tune of $1.2 BILLION.

Darryl Dufay

Title of Steve Lopez column got “amazingly” changed.  I guess it only takes a phone call.

The original: Column In Venice, home to the homeless, councilman is determined to push his plan despite opposition

The metamorphosis: Column This Venice councilman, once on the verge of homelessness, is trying to help — but he’s getting heat from all sides

Comment (1)

  1. Anonymous

    Hi, To add to Darryl Dufay’s post about the LA Times article:
    In case you didn’t notice or were unaware, the title of the article by Steve Lopez got “amazingly” changed. I guess it only takes a phone call or an e-mail from the CD11 office to spin things “right.” The original:
    Column In Venice, home to the homeless, councilman is determined to push his plan despite opposition
    The changed headline:
    Column – This Venice councilman, once on the verge of homelessness, is trying to help — but he’s getting heat from all sides.

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