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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Rose Ave Apartments Passes LUPC 7 to 2


The controversial Rose Ave project passed the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) Land Use and Planning Community (LUPC) 7 to 2 Tuesday night. Next step is the Venice Neighborhood Council meet, Monday, 17 September.

The Oakwood Recreation Center was standing room only as an emotionally charged crowd waited for their turn of 45 seconds to speak. Matt Royce, chair of LUPC, made the statement that it was the largest crowd he had ever had.

Becky Dennison, director of Venice Community Housing (VCH), did a presentation with John Lonnel, consultant, assisting with questions.

Height and parking seemed to be the main objections to the project. Height for the project is 43 feet and the Venice Specific Plan calls for 25 to 30, depending on the roof structure. Parking is not in compliance with the Venice Specific Plan either. Parking provides for 15 places on site and seven on whole Foods parking lot based on an agreement with Whole Foods which is located across the street. There will be 2750 square feet of commercial and 35 apartments. Also there was some controversy over having/not having a loading zone. The four story building consists of three stories of residential and a ground floor of commercial.

Most of the comments consisted of “we need housing” and testimonies of how “housing changed my life.”

Both Jim Murez and John Reed members of the VNC board and former members of LUPC talked about the parking and height of the building as precedent setting features. John Reed, an architect, said that first of all the parking covenant states that it has to be signed by the owner of the property and Whole Foods is not the owner, nor was Safeway the owner. That would leave 15 spaces for 2750 square feet of commercial and 35 residential units. The video talks of side yard and front setbacks, no windows in front and more as well as the height and lack of parking.

Comments (14)

  1. Venice

    We will sue till this madness stops.

  2. reta

    I thought you were Taylor Bazley and was surprised at one of the comments made because I thought you worked for Bonin. Sorry, didn’t know. Thanks for clarifying such.

  3. Linda Lucks

    Hi Reta: your article and it headline imply that the project was controversial when only 3 people in a standing room only crowd spoke against VCH’s proposal: Jim Murez, John Reed and Marie Hammond. Every other speaker of an 40 or so who spoke and others who submitted cards in favor but chose not to speak, all identified as mostly longtime Venice residents, except one man who said he is from Mar Vista. The objectors to extra height didn’t seem to appreciate the value of providing open space inside for residents to interact vs creating yet another big box on Rose with no community space. I’ve rarely seen a less controversial project in Venice and I’ve seen a lot.
    Much of the overwhelming written and spoken support comes from residents and businesses near the VCH offices on Rose for the last 20 years. That says a lot about how VCH is known and perceived by its neighbors on and around Rose.

    • reta

      Very controversial on the street. Was surprised of the few who weren’t from VCH. But I remember two of the three stating that they had nothing against affordable housing … it was the venice specific plan precedents they were talking about.

    • Lee

      How many hours did you spend calling supporters to get them there to fill the room?

    • Venice

      We are not fooled by your stand in shills

    • Anonymous

      Up to your old tricks of misrepresenting the truth again Ms. Lucks. The surrounding neighborhood has been buzzing with contempt since the first proposals were published. Fill the room with supporters gleaned from “client” lists and supporters, and have the meeting at a place with little parking. This has been going on since this exact neighborhood began to stand up against the negative changes that St Joseph Center brought to the Rose Ave area when they went into the multi-million dollar homeless “business.” When it is all over, YOU and Councilman Bonin will have the distinction of being two people who can be identified as “people who ruined Venice.” Welcoming transient strangers, while forcing the residents to live with your “visions” or “move to Orange County.” You must be quite proud.

  4. Nick Antonicello

    Its a stacked deck and a rigged game. Becky Dennison seems to have more influence and importance then those of us who live here. Venice is a dumping ground for her fantasy projects that will destroy Venice and increase crime to make some ridiculous political point that the homeless must stay in Venice no matter what. Elections have consequences and those who voted for this are not listening to the people. You answer to the residents, not the Venice Housing Corporation or Mike Bonin.

  5. Taylor

    A couple corrections: many people mentioned the height and parking. John Reed was one of two people to argue that the height and parking made it something the board should reject. Many, many people argued that the height and parking requirements should be waived for this project.

    Also, the time allotted to John was 1:30, twice as long as the other speakers–he was expressly allowed two time slots, which no other speakers were given. Almost everybody was interrupted before finishing, as they only had 45 seconds to speak.

    • reta

      Thanks Taylor. I didn’t realize John was given 1.30 minutes. He and Jim Murez discussed the height and parking. Height and parking do not coincide with our Venice Specific Plan. Yes, these points are valid for rejection; they set a precedent … and for whom to come? The process has only begun maybe zoning won’t care about the parking or planning the height.

      Other people, expressing the thoughts that these requirements should be waved, does not make it right, doesn’t make it legal. These same people would be first in line to complain if it were next door to them.

      Please understand that I am not speaking for or against this project. I am presenting facts.

      • Taylor

        Thanks for the reply, @Reta. I just want to point out that while speakers arguing that height restrictions should be waived doesn’t make it legal, the City waiving the restrictions *does* make it legal. That’s the whole point of a waiver and all these hearings and committee meetings and eventually neighborhood council meetings and City of LA meetings. These guys are trudging through this whole bureaucratic process precisely because this is what the law requires if you want those extra seven feet on your building.

        I totally understand that some people don’t think that this project deserves to get those extra seven feet, and that giving them this extra seven feet could set a precedent that other supportive housing projects should also get an extra seven feet. Personally, I think that’s a great precedent to set, but I understand that some people feel far more strongly about shadows and sight-lines than I do, even to the point where they think that shadows and sight-lines and precedents are more important than housing the homeless. We can’t all agree on priorities, I suppose.

        I appreciate that you want to just presenting facts, Reta, but you’re definitely letting your opinion slip in, and I think you’d be more persuasive and informative if you just owned it. When you say “These same people would be first in line to complain if it were next door to them” you’re clearly presenting your opinion, because this isn’t a verifiable fact. That’s totally a valid opinion to have, and it might even be the correct one, but own it!

        • reta

          Understand what you are saying. What people are not understanding, and what I am trying to explain without prejudice, is that the precedents made here may affect the building that is built next door to them. John Reed, who is an architect, explained that the extra floor was not necessary to get the same accomplished.

          You obviously want this built no matter the precedents it sets. You work for the council office and should be without favor.

        • reta

          and thank you for calling me out whether right or wrong. I have my opinions for sure. And I have been wrong.

          But, when it comes to the press, to the news, I try very, very hard to say it like it is or was, I should say. I hope the previous reply explains the statement about the consequences of a precedent.

          • Taylor

            Just to clarify–I am not the Taylor that works for Bonin. I’m a different Taylor (it’s a common name, I know), who lives on Pacific.

            I also do want to say that I sincerely appreciate you’re efforts to keep all the neighbors up to date on the goings on around the ‘hood, even if we disagree here and there. Keep it up 🙂

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