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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Encampment Update — 23 November

Good news is that the 90 Freeway median is still unpopulated.  Only debris left.  Lake is still clean and clear as is Carter. Couple areas have gotten worse. One area is surprisingly better– Venice Blvd (Farmer’s Market area). Two areas have been added–Canal and Hampton.

Harrison has about three to four campers with tents up, bikes chained and no ADA capability.

Venice Blvd around where the Farmer’s Market is on Fridays had only one group and that was on Ocean between North and South Venice Blvd.  One wonders if the City is ready to install a beautification project.  Venice has consistently, until just recently, been one of the worst encampments.  It looks beautiful compared with how it has looked.

South Venice Blvd, west of Dell is not ADA compliant.

Penman Park on the west side of the golf course has a sanitation problem. The first two photos are just debris. The third photo shows the encampments.



Staples-Lincoln Hardware has grown since last week. Neither side is ADA compliant.


Added this week is the canal area. This is a pollution, contamination situation. Very difficult to photograph. This is the Venice median between North and South Venice Blvd, just east of Pacific. The canal extends to North Venice Blvd and there is a parking lot access road. Photos are taken from the road above the canal. Orange thing at bottom of photo is a tent.


Hampton between Marine and Rose was also added. This is supposed to be taken care of by St. Joseph Center. The place is not ADA compliant.

VNC Board Approves 720 Rose and Bridge Housing Feasibility Study

By Angela McGregor

Tuesday night’s Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) meeting was packed with dozens of supporters of the Venice Community Housing  (VCH) permanent supportive housing project at 720 Rose Avenue. Most were wearing identical black t-shirts declaring their support for Bridge, Affordable and PSH and many were holding a long-stemmed red rose. Over 70 of them offered public commentary, loudly applauding one another as they did so.

The project as proposed is considerably larger in mass and scale than the Venice Specific plan allows. It is 45 feet tall and includes only 17 onsite and seven offsite parking spaces for 35 residents (including one on-site manager) plus 1850 square feet of commercial for seven VCH staff members. In their presentation (seen here: http://www.vchcorp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Rose-Ave-Powerpoint-8-30-18Part1.pdf), the applicants stated that it’s their belief that state law, in the form of Assembly Bill 744, supersedes the Venice Coastal Specific Plan, although it’s not a “fate accompli” and the project will require many more approvals (including Coastal Commission) going forward.

The four story complex, which features a center courtyard in lieu of air conditioning, is 45 feet tall, or roughly 20 feet taller than would otherwise be allowed by the Venice Specific Plan. The developer said they have provided step-back on the roof to bring the front of the building in compliance with the VSP limit. Of the 34 residents, 50 percent would be for chronically homeless and 50 percent for homeless transition-aged youth. All units would be earmarked for supportive housing and two full time social services staff members would have offices onsite. The project is designed by Santa Monica architects, Brooks + Scarpa.

Proponents of the project, many of whom were from Safe Place for Youth, cited the crushing need for youth housing in the area and stated that some of their clients were working in Venice businesses while still sleeping on the streets.

Others pointed out that there has been no new, affordable housing development in Venice in over 20 years despite widespread gentrification. (Del Rey on Beach is one new one that VCH claims for Venice. It was stated that VCH manages 16 buildings, 226 units.) Still others offered a more political view which devalued density and parking concerns in light of what they termed a “humanitarian crisis”.

Those directly involved with the project insisted that the state has ruled that local zoning restrictions on parking are unnecessary for PSH developments, since the residents simply do not own cars.

The Venice residents who spoke against the project were no less impassioned (although greatly outnumbered). They pointed out that VCH has yet to meet with neighbors and present a proposal that would meet VSP requirements and allay their concerns about insufficient parking, and that a project this out of scale with the surrounding neighborhood would set a precedent for future, oversized development.

Board comment on the project focused on the need for such dense, affordable housing in Venice in order to preserve the community’s diversity, as well as to address the obvious, growing homelessness crisis. Board members also voiced concerns about the scale of the project, in light of how strictly they have enforced the VSP for other types of development. In the end, the motion to approve the project passed, 9-4-1.

In the other LUPC item of the night, the Board voted to approve Jim Murez’s suggested feasibility study for Bridge Housing at other other potential sites in CD11 as the City  analyses  the MTA Lot for such a project.

Murez’s PowerPoint presentation (seen here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/11i5x7RCh6124DsJdeObZwbCPeeMARxiz) pointed out a number of LUPC concerns with the MTA Lot project as described on the city’s website (seen here: https://11thdistrict.com/a-bridge-home/venice-faq/), including the lack of kitchen space in the plans and implying the delivery of over 400 meals a day with parking for just seven vehicles), the lack of laundry space for residents, and the lack of office space for onsite staff.

The alternative sites presented — the West LA Municipal Center, the Westchester Municipal Center, Daniel Freeman Hospital and the LAPD  Training Center and Operations Center — all include such facilities and could be permanent

Another VNC Board member — Steve Livigni — has resigned from the Board, leaving two vacancies to be filled at the December meeting. Application forms can be found on the VNC’s website. The entire Board will be replaced in an election in June, and anyone interested in running for the Board can file an application to do so this February.

The next meeting of the VNC Board will be Tuesday, December 18th.

Encampment Update — 16 November

Lake is still clear and clean.  Harding is not a problem with its planters in place. Penmar is still the same except the one tent was lowered.  Encampment west of golf course had little if any change.  Harrison had one person sleeping across the sidewalk.  Carter had one person and then none but left the street on both sides filthy.

One knows the police are monitoring these areas and doing what they can.

Staples seems to be the same.  The hardware store appears to have the same amount and they are totally disobeying the ADA rule.  The Staples side is growing.  The pot planters do not seem to be deterring anyone.  The police were there one day this week, talking to the people, checking bike registrations.

Venice Blvd.  North side was cleaned and completely cleared.  That was Wednesday. Across the street was the debris to be removed.  Repopulation has occurred, not to same extent on North side.  They are now using Ocean between North and South Venice Blvd and there is a couple of people on South Venice. As was reported last week, Taylor Bazley said the council office was working on a beautification program for area surrounding the Farmer’s Market. Encampments on South Venice, west of Dell, seem to keep their places in ADA compliance.

North Venice Blvd, looking west. How clean it is … was.

Debris removed from North Venice.

Such Filth — Ocean Front Walk and One Side Street

First two pictures were taken Friday morning before Sanitation department cleanup. The trash cans were not completely filled so one would think people would clean up after themselves.

The third photo is taken of a side street off Ocean Front Walk. It is unknown whether Sanitation will clean this up. If not, hopefully the BID Clean team will. Clean Team does not clean up around apartments that are zoned residential.

Porta Potties Picked Up Each Morning; Delivered Each Night

Porta Potties are delivered to the Rose Ave parking lot every evening between 9 and 10 pm and picked up every morning between 7 and 8 am.  A security guard is there at all times.  The parking lot closes at 10 pm and the beach curfew is from midnight to 5 am.  Councilman Mike Bonin initiated the porta potty this year to help elevate the street defecating.  It was reported that 55 people used the facility first night.  The police are enforcing the curfew which is from the east side of Ocean Front Walk to the water.

Year Crime Report for 3rd Ave Area

Venetians contend that crime happens around homeless encampments.  Rick Swinger, activist on 3rd Ave area, was asked to accumulate incidents of crimes that have happened in his area.   He accumulated such for  this year.

Crime for the Oxford Triangle 7 to 10 days was reported in September.  If you have had consistent crime incidents or a crime spree in your area, please report it to the Venice Update at VeniceUpdate@gmail.com.   The Nextdoor app has been good for recording and alerting people to incidents.

Many of these crimes have gone unreported because calling the local, non-emergency phone number is a hold to report crime.  People just do not have the time to stay on hold all day.  People do not have the time to go down to the police station at Culver and Centinela and wait to make a report.  There was suppose to be an on-line app that one could report a crime available.

These are the crimes that Rick Swinger accumulated for his 3rd Ave area.

1. Alix Gucovsky.  One of our car’s hood was pried open, battery removed, damage to car.

2.  Victoria Nissen.   A friend of mine had a catalytic converter stolen from her car, parked in her Venice driveway.  Crime happened April, Cost:  $500.   

3. Wendy Kaysing.   My car was parked on Innes Street perpendicular to Westminster (down from the dog park). Driver side mirror & housing smashed.  June 2017, Cost:  $50 +.

4. Gloria Romero.  I had three car tires slashed when parked on Brooks Avenue at Pacific–had to be towed by AAA when I discovered it after my Mother’s Day brunch late afternoon.  I tried calling Venice police to file a police report but was on hold for almost an hour, finally hung up and was unable to file the vandalism report.  Date of the incident:  Sunday, May 13th–Mother’s Day!!  Cost to replace tires:  $527.12, plus I had to take off work on Monday as the garage couldn’t fix until the next day.

5. Jenny Karl.  Someone opened my yard gate, walked into my yard, and unscrewed my brand new and quite large 9 foot yard umbrella out of the base and left with it on foot. My dog woke me and I heard the commotion and saw a shadow but could not give a description of the person, unfortunately. This was a brand new 9-foot yard umbrella stolen in yard invasion, while I was sleeping. Date September COST: $100.  Additional Cost:  Therapy+ anti-anxiety meds + purchase of more motion lights + possible security camera.

6. Rick Swinger. (multiple crimes reported) 

 a.  The Hampton side of the Church on Rose Ave).   A car back window busted out, while camper camped next to it blocking sidewalk.  DATE:  June 

b. Church at Rose and Hampton.  Physical attack.  Arm broken   Homeless caught and released days after; the attacker (homeless individual) still casing alley as of yesterday  COST:  Thousands of dollars (still recovering)

c. Church break in and items stolen. Date: June 2017

d. Church on Rose and Hampton.  Van window broken of Rabbi Peretz. Also my backyard umbrella was stolen,  later found on 3rd– too dirty to take back   Date: August.

 7.  Elissa Della Rocca.  Market umbrella taken from private fenced and gated garden.  Date: About a year ago. Cost:  $80

 8.   Carol Reynes.  I was verbally threatened with bodily harm while running on the west end of the Penmar Golf Course. Date:July.  Cost: peace of mind + the loss of my running course, which I’ve been using for past 20+ years.

 9.  Carol Reynes.  My neighbor’s house adjacent to Penmar Golf Course was broken into and a computer, iPad, and money stolen. iPad was recovered but the police would not say where it was recovered.  Date: September.  Cost:  Approx. $2,000

10. Travis Binen.  My friends car was broken into while parked in my garage.  The thief/thieves smashed the car window and stole my friend’s purse.   In addition, the thief/thieves broke into my storage unit and stole many items. Date:  A little over 2 years ago. 

11. Jenny Karl.  My umbrella! I’m so fuming mad! I want to try to go over there tomorrow and see if police will show. I have police report/my receipt/ the tags/and the packaging with picture with me at all times! How dare the police not do something??? These bikes and umbrella’s and lawn chairs, etc. are all stolen from neighbors homes! As of Sept. 21st, my umbrella was shading some thieves in Santa Monica in the park in front of the sea colony!!!!!!!  (taken from yard) Date: September. Cost: Replacement cost –broken when found.  

 12.  Jody Landers.  Girl about 40 yrs old,  90 pounds,  wearing black leggings and black crop top with paint on her face and shaved head broke into the patio and stole crystals and wind chime. definitely homeless, definitely mentally ill and/or on something. Was told she hangs out at the end of Dudley. Just want to give neighbors a heads up. She moved too fast to get her picture. I’m almost sure she’ll return for more things on the patio Does she sound familiar to anyone reading this? |

13. Rick Swinger.  CVS Major Vandalism–store closed to tomorrow (Monday).  Date:  September.  Cost: Unknown.

14. Cd Devine.  Thief jumped 8 foot fence and took locked bike. Date:  October.  Cost: ?

15. Mari Snyder.   Assault in Venice @Erewhon Food Store.  Cliff, a neighbor, while walking his small white dog (Daisy) early Wednesday morning, was assaulted by a shirtless man whom he described as a skin-head. The skin- head was very hyper, told Cliff that he was going to take Daisy, his dog. When Cliff reached down to pick up Daisy, the skin head punched and kicked him several times. Cliff carrying Daisy ran towards Abbot Kinney Blvd and was helped by two men he knew, who saw he was in distress. 911 was called. LAPD arrived 20 minutes later. The skin head was ranting, stopping cars and threatening drivers in the middle of Abbot Kinney Boulevard. The police assured Cliff they would take care of the matter. They didn’t arrest the skin head. Description of person involved – Hair: close cropped shaved, Top: shirtless, Age: 25-30, Build: muscular, Race: white, Sex: male ( the photo posted on the thread is NOT the man who attacked Cliff) Date of Occurance: ? Cost: ? 

16. Cheryl Scaccio.  Someone jumped my tall fence in the middle of the night, went into back yard and stole my bike and locks. Value: $500+. Have never been a victim of crime in more than 20 years here. Date of Occurance:  ?  

17. Tom and Yelena Kershaw.  Multiple Amazon packages stolen from the front gate. Two drug addicts smocking meth on our driveway, my 12 year old step-son present. My husband Tom asked them to leave.  They told him he better sleep with one eye opened because they know where he lives and they’ll come and kill him.  We called the police, but didn’t file a report.  They did eventually move, but left a bunch of garbage and debris behind that we had to clean up and sanitize the area.  DATE:  August 2018:

People dedicating and urinating constantly in the back of the house- we’re cleaning it up ourselves. 

House graffitied multiple times.

18. Tori Knight.  (multiple crimes) We had our home graffiti’d, windows broken twice, chair thrown into our front door breaking lamp, garbage thrown over our fence, and most recently had transmission fluid poured all over our sidewalk and fence permanently staining it. Cost: $1300 in damages.

19. Elissa Della Rocca.  Folding garden chair taken from gated and fenced garden, last month.  Cost:  $50.  

Also, last month, a pair of leather boots taken from front porch. Cost:  $100+. 

20. Salman Husain.  Had a bag of groceries taken from our front gate.  Interesting story.  As you know parking is a major issue around these parts.  Came back from the grocery store and double parked in front of our car garage as there was no parking on our street.  Took the groceries out and proceeded to our front gate and noticed two ordinary looking people sitting at the curb. In that moment I noticed a car leave and so I put the groceries down at my front gate to move the car; That took all of 2-3 minutes.  When I returned my $100 worth of groceries vanished along with the two guys sitting on the curb. Date:  ?  Cost: $100 .

21.  Celeste Chada.  My 12 year old daughter was chased by a vagrant through the Whole Foods parking lot. She ran for safety into the store to get away.  Date: ?  

22.  Carol Katona.  My car was stolen from the City parking lot by Rose and Main.  Found 2 weeks later in Santa Monica.  To add insult to injury, I had to pay  an impound fee of $178 to get it back. Clothes to be taken to the cleaners and miscellaneous in trunk were taken.  Date:  2017.  Cost:  $350.

23.  Robin Targon.  Over the summer we had an Amazon delivery stolen.  October 13 a man posing as an Amazon Fresh delivery person climbed over our fence and tried to break in.




Del Rey LUPC Approves Safran’s Senior/PSHProject for Oxford Triangle

By Reta Moser (News-Editorial)

Del Rey Neighborhood Council approved Thomas Safran’s plan for the 98-unit development of senior/psh for the Oxford Triangle, which is in the Venice Neighborhood Council district, not the Del Rey Council district.

The Venice Update feels this is highly disrespectful, irregular, and probably self-serving for a land use and planning committee and the neighborhood council to approve of another district’s project before they have even started the project approval process.

Normally, projects are brought first to the community surrounding where project will be built. After that approval, a developer will take it to the local land use and planning committee (LUPC) for honing. The project is then recommended for passage/rejection to the local neighborhood council.

In this case the Oxford Triangle neighborhood would approve the project, it would then go thru the Venice LUPC, and then the Venice Neighborhood Council. None of this happened, nor has the process even started. The Oxford Triangle has not even approved a project yet, which is step one.

One should note that the Del Rey council and LUPC both hold their meetings in the building built and controlled by Thomas Safran, proposed developer of the Oxford Triangle project. Thomas Safran has invited the Oxford Triangle Association to meet with him in the same building for discussion of his building plans for the Triangle.

Safran’s building is on Culver Blvd and is one of the buildings that was built during Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s tenure. It is often referred to as Del Rey’s contribution to the homeless. Rosendahl asked Safran to take 25-35 psh into the 100-unit-plus building and Safran kindly obliged. The Oxford Triangle site is nestled within 350 single-family homes, 500 feet from the ocean, and would have an ocean view. Comparing these two projects is comparing oranges to broccoli.

From their letter:

Whereas Del Rey as a community has been one of the most supportive in Los Angeles towards permanent supportive housing however the Del Rey NC has otherwise been largely absent from the current push by City and County agencies on the ground;

While Del Rey has done its part in supporting such projects within our community, and look forward to receiving future proposals, we also believe that all our surrounding communities must do the same and provide truly local solutions of all kinds.

Venice certainly has been told to takes its part for the homeless and when one says part, one means the “burden” of all CD11 with the exception of 72 units near Bundy, which is on commercial land.  Yes, Del Rey we will give you all these projects for your backyard.

The Oxford Triangle project,  almost totally surrounded by single family homes,  would be the equivalent of placing this on one of the Mar Vista hills with a view and then move the hill 500 feet to the water.

Furthermore, Venice  has a 140-unit project that Councilman Mike Bonin has proposed for the Venice Median that they would love to give to someone.  It too is close to the ocean.

And yes, the contentious Bridge Housing is another 154-unit project planned for Venice that would fill Del Rey LUPC and neighborhood council altruistic thoughts for others.

Why didn’t Venice attend meeting and object?

City Council representative Chuy Orozco contacted the Venice Update about the LUPC meeting two hours before the meeting. Chuck Cowley did attend. The Triangle at that time had no design, no number of units.

Matthew Royce, chair of the Venice LUPC, was never notified. Ira Koslov, President of the Venice Neighborhood Council was never notified.

The Venice Update sincerely feels that the only way to settle this equitably is to give Del Rey the Thomas Safran 98-unit affordable/psh project for their area.

Encampment Update — 9 November

The good news is that Harding has been beautified, Lake is still cleared, and Carter is cleared and clean.  Carter can be clean one minute and the next totally occupied.

Beautiful Harding. Neighbors worked with the senior lead office and the property owner.

One man was trying to set up his “stuff” around the corner at Harding and Naples in front of a house.

The bad news is that there is a new encampment on the 90 Freeway median. Last time there was an encampment there, a fire occurred. Fire engines and firemen are at a premium right now.

Harrison was trying to repopulate with this man and another who was parked off the sidewalk.

The park of Penmar with the tent is still there. One reader of the story on the web said the real encampment is west of the golf course. Yes it is. It looks like an alley was blocked off and next to it is a utility box that makes noise continuously.

Staples area is repopulating and the hardware store encampment across the street is growing. Neither is ADA compliant.

North Venice Blvd is growing. It now has a tent across the street and, once again, is extending east to wrap around Ocean Ave. One can tell the police have told them to keep the area ADA compliant and in some areas it is but in photo shown, it is not.

The good news for Venice Blvd is that Taylor Bazley, council representative for Venice, announced at a BID meeting that the council office was working on a beautification program for all the areas around the Farmers’ Market and it would be coming soon. That would take care of that area of North and South Venice Blvd, Ocean, and the tent would go with it. Such a good idea.

South Venice Blvd, west of Dell, encampment has grown since last week but it looks ADA compliant.

Rick Swinger Says Police Tell Homeless to go to 3rd — No Tickets, No Harassment

Rick Swinger, activist on 3rd, has long stated that the police and others have told homeless to go to 3rd Ave between Sunset and Rose. Homeless were assured they would not be ticketed or harassed. Police and officials have denied such.

This young man says police told him to go to 3rd or else.

Rick requested the LAPD send him all tickets issued on 3rd between Rose and Sunset from first of year to the present.

“Here is how many they have issued in almost 10 months,” according to Rick. “I don’t know if this included parking tickets but for all the crop shops, drug use, tents being up after 6 am, just 15 is to me a ‘No Ticket Zone’ that has been denied by the senior lead officer and others.”

Encampments in Venice — An Update — 2 November

In last Venice Update it was reported that three encampments in Venice needed attention and praise was givento LAPD for four encampments that had been cleaned up.

Police explain to homeless about the Jones Settlement if they are within 10 feet of a driveway and/or are occupying the side walks between 6 am and 9 pm (Jones and LAMC 41.18(d) )or blocking the sidewalks, preventing a wheelchair to pass (ADA).

This week it is reported that Penmar Park, Lake, Staples, Harrison were free of encampments with some exceptions.

In previous Update, police were asked to give Venice Blvd, Carter, Harding encampments special attention. These sites were checked several times during the week by the Update and one could tell the police had been there.

Update on Penmar Park, Lake, Staples, Harrison
Penmar Park still has a tent on it and a couple of other people were testing the area. Harrison and Lake are still clean.

Staples is a situation. Homeless are no longer surrounding the Staples property. They have moved to the hardware store across the street and are in violation of the ADA rule that  allows wheelchairs thru on the sidewalk and people are on the site between 6 am and 9 pm.

At Hardware store across from Staples.

Venice Blvd, Harding, Carter
Harding is being handled by members of the neighborhood in cooperation with the police. They are trying to get the owner to allow planters as part of a beautification project. It is obvious the police have told the homeless they have to stay away from the construction opening gate.They move closer to Lincoln each time.They are not ADA compliant and they are there between 6 am and 9 pm and are too close to construction gate.

Harding, north side, next to Lincoln.

Carter was inhabited on the Walgreens property sidewalk. The group has now moved across the street which is adjacent to residential and the Firestone-Walker Brewing Company.

Carter is pretty compliant. There is ADA access. People are gone for the most part between 6 am and 9pm. The site grows and shrinks and sometimes expands to both sides of the street,


Venice Blvd is another story. Venice breaks all the rules including the bulking item rule of nothing over what can be put in a 60-gallon garbage bin (LAMC 56.11). There is a black couch that is clearly in violation.

Since last week, they moved around the corner to inhabit Ocean between North and South Venice Blvd and then they moved back. Now they seem to be migrating a tad from Ocean Ave westward toward residential.

Venice and the Staples group seem to be unresponsive and unreasonable, so if one had a wheelchair, he would definitely be inclined to enter the street to avoid any conflict.

North Venice Blvd just west of Ocean.

More of Venice Blvd.