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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Developers/Architects Meet with Venetians to Discuss the Venice Median Project


Comments By Angela McGregor

There was a large turnout for this meeting, and residents arrived expecting to be able to ask questions and give feedback to the developers, as well as be given some idea of what was to be built. However, the developers — VCHC, HCH, Eric Moss — all insisted there is no plan, even though the documents soliciting proposals for this development (as presented to the crowd by Darryl Dufay) clearly stated that, in order to enter into their agreement to develop the project, they needed to submit at least some idea of what they were proposing to do.

Public discourse was effectively shut down by the way the meeting was organized: Tables were set up around the room labeled “public safety”, “density”, “parking” and so forth and attendees were advised to go to them and scribble their concerns/suggestions on swaths of butcher paper. No one was notified in advance that it would be done this way and so no one came prepared to offer this type of input. I asked two questions of one of the table monitors:

1) You say the comments given on these sheets will be taken into consideration in the planning of this development. If that’s the case, how will they be weighted? What if someone simply doesn’t want another homeless housing development in Venice? Will they be given equal consideration?

2) Why wasn’t the concept of this project first brought before the VNC’s LUPC committee and the VNC, the way any other project being developed in Venice is?

He had no answers for either, but did scribble my questions onto the butcher paper.

Linda Lucks (VCHC representative/former VNC President) later approached me and let me know that there would be “many meetings like this” at which the community would “come together” to design an acceptable project based upon community input. After this, the proposal would go before the LUPC, the VNC, get an EIR, and a Coastal Development Permit. She said this would take “years”.

She also confirmed that all residents of this development will come through the Coordinated Entry System. This means that Venice’s Homeless will not be given priority in being housed in this building, and in fact, we may actually be “importing” chronically homeless and disabled individuals from all over Los Angeles to reside in it.

Comments (5)

  1. Kris Dahlin

    I attended the Beyond Baroque meeting discussing this.

    We the people of LA voted for $4.7billion to help our homeless situation. Then my first introduction into the process is this meeting.
    There they said that our city is going to “give away” properties owned, not by the councilmen or mayor – This is property owned by we the people!

    No matter the cause, how could our representatives have the audacity let alone the right to give away our property.

    And this after we voted in 2 elections to tax ourselves $4,700,000,000 to help our homeless!

    We agreed to this so we would not have to cut our current priorities such as our police or our firemen or other quality of life expenditures.

    Please do not embarrass the supporters of these two measures by cavalierly squandering our good will and dollars!

    We do not need to reward the homeless with beach front property in Malibu Colony or Venice Beach. Nor should we house them on Rodeo Drive, Century City, or on our few golf courses.

    Apparently you do need to hire a real business person to explain how to get the best bang for OUR bucks!

    And don’t do a knee jerk condescending response that we are being NIMBY! We voted $4.7 billion dollars. That shows that we care!

    Thanks in advance.

    Kris Dahlin (One of 16 direct relatives living in Venice, starting in 1955.)

  2. Linda Lucks

    Thanks everyone for following the progress of meetings to learn about the City owned property at Pacific-Dell-Pacific Median Strip.
    To clarify Angela’s comments, what I said was that the number of people ultimately receiving (PSH) permanent supportive housing on the site will be selected from those eligible through the County’s new Coordinated Entry System from the Westside’s SPA 5 area. I did not mean to imply that all future residents will come from that specific population because the final mix of ingredients including various levels of affordable housing is not yet determined. That’s why your interest and input is important.
    I urge everyone to carefully read Becky Dennison’s explanation also posted on this Update and do sign up to stay informed, involved and to get notified about future meetings by sending an email to: Venicepacificdell@vchorp.org

    The best information is what you personally learn, not hearsay. You may wish to host a small gathering at your home as quite a few are doing if large meetings are not your cup of tea. You may also want to take a tour of VCH’s 15 apartment buildings in Venice, Del Rey and Mar Vista. A tour is a also planned of the amazing buildings designed by architect Erin Owen Moss in Culver City. To find out more about the programs also offered by VCH, please log onto the website:www.vchcorp.org

  3. VeniceMom

    Ode to Bonin: “Liar liar pants on fire.”
    As progressive, open-minded, ethical, and an advocate for the homeless and his constituents as Bonin professes to be, he’s nothing more than a hypocritical Trump type in liberal sheep’s clothing. I shall offer a little proof:
    In July 2016 Bonin’s Newsletter stated: “a few of the properties we are evaluating are on the Westside, include:
    - Thatcher Yard (Venice)
    - Dell and Pacific Lot (Venice)
    - Old West LA Animal Shelter (West LA)
    - Old Fire Station 5 (Westchester)

    Mayor Garcetti and I have asked the City Administrative Officer to begin a public process to best determine how to utilize the property. Should we offer a long-term lease to a developer who builds a mix of housing and other neighborhood amenities on site? Should we sell it to the highest-bidder and build affordable housing elsewhere? Should we do something different? In the coming months, the City will be holding public meetings in your community and distributing public surveys to get your feedback. We will also be creating an advisory panel of local residents to help consider and vet ideas for the property.” Bahahahahaha Bonin. Sounds good but no cigar. If you weren’t the typical slime ball, back door, donation hungry politician, I’d actually take offense that you think we Venetians are as ignorant as you make us out to be. I think the better answer is that your dictatorial style of leadership in Venice renders you apathetic to us because we’re not the big money contributors as your constituents in Brentwood, Del Rey, Mar Vista, Marina del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, West LA and Westchester. As you well know, as does the VCH, the community surrounding the Venice Median received no public surveys, there were no public meetings in our community, except a meeting where you dictated what you were going to do and ignored every speaker who disagreed with you. And what happened to the advisory panel of local residents to consider and vet ideas for the property? Missed that one. Contrary to what Bonin promised, he “dictated” what HE decided would happen to the Venice Median, without given any consideration to what the residents wanted, and to quote the Honorable Dictator Bonin, “Under no circumstances will any units be sold at market value. ALL the units will be for permanent housing for the chronically homeless” (i.e, the most severe mentally ill and substance abusers who can’t take care of themselves will be housed a block away from families without any input from the families). We would actually be more open to Bonin’s plans if his sneaky little hands weren’t into the deep pockets of the developers and his decisions weren’t made based on his wealthier contributors desires. Funny how he added Old West LA Animal to the properties he was considering selling in 2016 when he passed a motion to take it off the market in 2014. I suppose a Harvard graduate can have a lapse of memory once in a while and doesn’t necessary have to be great at mathematics. Speaking of mathematics, at the rate he’s going, spending $500,000 – $750,000 per homeless person in a high rent residential area, using top developers (who are contributing plenty to his campaign) and a high end, well-known architect who, I’m sure the severely mentally ill and serious substance abusers will greatly appreciate as they are getting their much needed services, while thousands of homeless (including a majority who are homeless in Venice) are glancing up at the $750,000 housing units wondering if they are ever going to receive housing and treatment in their life time. If anyone is interested, you can read what Bonin proposed for the animal shelter here, and you will note the lack of affordable or permanent housing: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2014/14-1633_mot_12-02-14.pdf. And let’s not forget our good neighbors in the Pacific Palisades. Of course their desires come before Bonin’s “dedication” to the homeless. Here’s another Bonin proposal taking property off the market for homeless in Pacific Palisades: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2016/16-0492_mot_05-03-2016.pdf. Oh, and let’s not forget Firestation 62: http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2016/16-0492_mot_05-03-2016.pdf or Firestation No. 5 in which he said in his newsletter: “After taking into consideration the location of the site, community input, and analysis from developers who would be in charge of working with the community to prepare a proposal for consideration, the City Administrative Officer today released his recommendation for the former Fire Station 5 to be sold to a developer, with the proceeds of the sale going into the affordable housing trust fund, which is used to build affordable housing throughout Los Angeles.” The community surrounding the Venice Median received none of such consideration and we are still being left in the dark as to what you’ve pre-determined for our area without our input, except maybe what color we want the unit wall to be. How about Bonin BS Blue?!

  4. Lee

    Most poorly run meeting I have ever attended. Could not hear a word the speakers were saying. I talked to one woman, possibly from the Hollywood Homeless housing group, she was either evasive or didn’t know enough to answer basic questions about this development. Didn’t know when they planned to go through zoning change, but seemed convinced they wouldn’t need to follow the Venice Specific plan.
    Does anyone have a tally on how many low income apartment units are in Venice? Seems to me Venice has a higher percentage than many other areas, now they want to force more down our throats.

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