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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Planters, Pisani and Postponement of SB50 Endorsement at January VNC Meeting

By Angela McGregor

The first Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) board meeting of the year opened with an announcement from VNC Parliamentarian Ivan Spiegel that the first date to file for candidacy in the  2 June  VNC election — in which all Board members will be replaced or re-elected — is February 17th. As was the case last year, the VNC is planning to hold a mixer on that date (the last one was held at the Canal Club) to sign up candidates. The Board also approved $1350 for election candidate recruitment meetings.

The Board also voted to approve the expenditure of $600 from the outreach budget to purchase two (out of a total of 34) planters to line the parkway along 7th Avenue, behind Whole Foods, in order to discourage encampments. The motion is contingent on the applicant’s acquisition of a permit to install the planters (seen and discussed here: https://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/venice-planters-controversy/).

The discussion of the demolition and conversion of 2308 Pisani Place, currently a 6-unit rental building, into a six unit condominium building, featured two of the building’s long-term, current tenants speaking on behalf of the applicant, Steve Meepos. Mr. Meepos has set aside two apartments in the building at below-market prices and provided financing so that these two residents, who have lived in Venice for over 25 years, will have the opportunity to purchase their apartments. Two amendments — to remove the rooftop structures from the new development and add an additional parking space — passed, and the amended item was approved.

Motion 11B called for the VNC Board to send a letter in support of SB50 to the Los Angeles City Council. SB50, discussed here: https://www.kqed.org/news/11709817/its-sb-827-take-2-wiener-introduces-revamped-bill-to-require-more-housing-near-transit.  It would take away City input regarding new developments near transit and job-rich zones. Land Use and Planning chair (LUPC) Matt Royce, whose committee had passed the motion unanimously, stated that failure to support this bill was an indication of “the status quo,” in particular would drive development farther and farther from the city center, with its negative impacts on the environment.

Several stakeholders rose in opposition to the measure, pointing out it’s vagueness and that it could, if interpreted a certain way, mandate buildings up to 8 stories along Venice Blvd. Board member Jim Murez requested the motion be postponed one month in order to allow the VNC Board to specifically research SB50’s impacts on Venice, citing the lack of clarity as to whether or not the bill would apply in the coastal zone. The measure to postpone passed, and the motion will be take up again at the February 19th meeting of the VNC Board.

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