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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Homeless Encampment Endangers Oxford Triangle Homeowners and Apartment Dwellers Sunday Morning


(Video and photos are by anonymou.)

Homeless encampment fire endangers lives of downwind 188-unit apartment dwellers (32 feet from blaze) plus community in gated Oxford Triangle community (40 feet) Sunday about 1 am.

Had fire been allowed to spread up the street it would have endangered 317 apartment dwellers and Oxford Triangle single-family homes.

Supposedly, the hands of the police are tied because homeless encampment is on the right of way of public land to be developed for senior, low-cost, and psh housing but presently held by the City.

“How much craziness do people have to endure,” one homeowner asked who wanted to remain anonymous. “This is beyond reason. Homeowners have offered to pay for and install the fence that would cover the right of way to protect the homeowners and apartment dwellers. Fence would exclude the homeless encampment which grows each day.

“We are not mentioning the drug dealing that kids and adults both walking to Admiralty park and living adjacent to witness each day. One man has recorded the license plates of two Mercedes cars bringing in bicycles that are then reassembled for the drug runners. Info has been sent to police.

“We want this element out of our neighborhood. This is wrong. Peoples lives and livelihoods are dangling in front of the homeless. The City should send in a crew immediately and remove this element.”

IMG_6064

Citizens Band Catches Man With Fire on 3rd Ave

An unpermitted fire on the sidewalk on 3rd Ave in Venice and fireman says it is legal. Not true. Do not have the applicable code.
https://go.citizen.com/EGW5eL3HE4

Fireman told a man on the beach years ago that a fire was ok on Venice Beach. Firemen do not arrest. They put out fires.

Beaches in LA County do not allow fires (that includes cooking also) except at Dockweiler Beach in fire pits. That may not even be allowed now. There was talk about removing the fire pits. Cannot find the County ordinance. This info is from the Los Angeles County Department of Beaches and Harbors and it states no fires.

What the fireman may have been thinking about is LAMC 63.44 that mentions fires at certain city parks during certain months (April thru November) and cooking with proper provided equipment.

MTA Bridge Home Neighbors Encounter Uncomfortable Situations and Question Police and Fire Appearances; Area Enforcement Starts Monday, 9 March

They are moving people into the “Bridge Home” at Sunset and Main and have been since 25 February; neighbors are uncomfortable.

People living near by are having some problems with the Bridge Home residents and are vocal about it and want to know if there is some added protection for them. Also they would like to know what is happening when they see police cars and firetrucks arrive at site.

Enforcement of the SEC zone rules and walking police force will not start until Monday, 9 March.

Allison Wilhite, Venice Deputy for the site, has made a statement addressing the decision to delay the enforcement.

I’ve heard this question about timing from a few people, so let me speak to it for everyone’s benefit. The decision to wait until March 9 was made after having conversations with the Unified Homeless Response Center (aka UHRC, the Mayor’s Office team that coordinates the enhanced services), LAHSA, LAPD Pacific Division, and other Council District Offices that have opened an A Bridge Home. Each have different perspectives on the best timing, and all for good reasons.

The experience in other Council Districts has been that starting the SECZ the same day as intake can cause a lot of movement and frustration among unhoused people and make it harder for our outreach teams to bring people to site for their intake appointment. We know residents have waited a long time for these enhanced services to start, and we want to honor that as soon as possible, while also ensuring we can effectively and efficiently open the site to our unhoused neighbors. There are requests from the community that we delay it longer, even upwards of 90 days, but we are hopeful these two weeks will let our outreach teams and on site service providers do their work to open the site successfully.

Here are some of the situations people in the neighborhood have encountered since the home opened.

One person was on a walk with her dog, which she takes every night at the same time.

I was just on a nightly walk with my dog which I do at the same hour every night. There were three male youths coming from Bridge Housing walking towards me and they asked if they could get a cigarette off me. I said no, and as they passed me they started telling me things they wished they could do to me and that I was a bitch for not talking to them, and to keep my head down and keep pretending to talk to my dog. Something similar happened last night as well.

Correct me if I am wrong, but there is nothing in Bridge Housing that stipulated that the 154 residents are not able to walk around the neighborhood at night. This is a single female’s worst nightmare. This is two days in a row where someone has tried to talk to me and I have been called a bitch for not responding to their advances or requests. This is harassment in the eye of the law. You cannot deny that this is a dangerous time to be a female in Venice Beach, living within close proximity to Bridge Housing.

There must be more that you can do to ensure the safety of residents. Is there a way to educated our 18-24 year old youth homeless residents that it is not acceptable to harass female neighbors, or any neighbors of both sexes? Is it possilbe to set up a small community police station at Bridge Housing where Police can work 24 hours on site while Bridge Housing is in its 3 year period?

One woman said she no longer feels safe walking her dogs at night.

I second that. Since it has opened, I have stopped walking my dogs at night and I live across the street. It’s not right that now I don’t feel comfortable leaving my house at night to walk my dogs. I don’t feel safe.

One man would like to know what happened in his neighborhood at the site early Wednesday morning. Perhaps, incidents reports could be posted on the fence when they become available for neighbors to read

Can you please shed some light on the type of assault that occurred this morning at the bh site?. I was greeted this morning with a fire truck, a police patrol, and an assault with injury report at 100 sunset ave. Pics attached.
A photo of a police car was also provided.

Another saw 5 LAPD officers at the site at night to break up a what appeared to be a fight? I happened to be walking home at the time. This is absolutely ridiculous.

Can you please explain to neighbors why at least 5 LAPD officers were called to the site to break up what seems to be a violent fight?

This happened at 3:15 pm, apparently Wednesday.

From Citizens broadcast.

Guy jumping on cars threatened to kill me. It’s a saga.

He was a resident of SPY at bridge housing. The director of housing told me they had problems with him last night and were trying to figure out what to do with him.

So, today he broke the windshields on several cars on S. Main, threatened to kill me, and earlier had chased Sam’s wife with sexual innuendoes.

This is very f…….. up! Both he and his buddy were arrested for vandalism. It seems that since he didn’t have a weapon that his threat to me doesn’t have much in the way
of criminality. Sam is out there fighting just to get his wife’s part of it included in the police report.

LAPD was good but the whole episode was a tangled mess because of so many crimes by the same two guys. They’re piecing it all together.

By the way I’m mad as hell about what we are being put through here. This was at 3:15 in the afternoon!!!!

Woman bitten by dog as well as her dog was bitten.

Today I was walking my 14-year-old, 20-pound dog Franklin by the shelter because I live across the street and that is where we normally walk. There were a few people hanging out which is fine with me, but then he was attacked by one of their (very big) dogs that had a leash…but nobody holding it. Luckily Franklin is okay-I pulled the dog off him myself, but we were both bitten by the dog.

I really, really want to support the shelter and be a good neighbor and human being but man it is really hard when something like this happens.

Is Placement of 40-Unit Project on Lincoln Apartments Next to Schools and Neighborhood the Wise Choice?


Venice Community Housing and SPY (Safe Place for Youth) want to build 40 units on Lincoln Blvd a short distance from St. Mark’s School and Coeur d’Alene and a few nursery schools. Is this a wise choice?

Tracy Carpenter, a neighbor, says “no.” Too many dangerous incidences as reported by police and paramedic responses to area.

This is the speech she gave at the Land Use and Planning Committee meeting that was recently held over for lack of outreach in the community. It is reprinted here because of the facts. Date for a new hearing has not been set; however, the Venice Neighborhood Council, is set to hear the project 17 March.

I live down the street from Safe Place for Youth. I volunteer with an organization that supports homeless people, but I think that saying yes to every single homeless housing project without using common sense is irresponsible.

The safety of the 800 children who go to school and live in this neighborhood, is our primary concern. Since SPY’s inception we’ve had many problems. Most recently, there was a man from SPY wielding a chain and threatening people and smashing windows, shutting down Garfield Ave and causing a lockdown at St. Mark’s School. There are some people who go to SPY for help, but they are also a magnet for people like that man. People that go to SPY aren’t screened to see if they are sex offenders or pedophiles and they literally share a property line with a school.

In the last 3 years police and fire have been to SPY numerous times – with recent responses for Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Violent Mentally Ill, Overdose, Battery, Burglary, and Vandalism (and that’s with them only having drop in hours 3 afternoons a week). At Gateway Apartments, VCH’s other supportive housing project that is half the size of Lincoln Apartments, in the last 3 years, the fire dept has responded 132 times, and the police have responded 46 times.

Lincoln Apartment has 39 supportive units of which, 50% of units will be for 18- 24 year olds, with no sober living requirement. Since City records show VCH is seeking Prop 2 funding, the other 50% of units will be for those with serious mental illness (with symptoms of psychosis or violence), with no requirement for them to seek treatment. Keep in mind that it’s illegal to have a liquor store or pot dispensary within 600 feet of a school.

This project is not Compassionate –
The units at Lincoln Apartments will cost taxpayers about $500,000 each to build, for a total of $20 million. There simply is not enough money in the budget to give all of the 60,000 homeless people in LA County a $500,000 apartment (plus the cost of services). Spending all of the money on a small percentage of people, while leaving the vast majority to languish on the street is not compassion, it’s corruption. And it’s certainly not cost effective as claimed in VCH’s slideshow. We need to utilize more efficient solutions, like collaborative housing.

A committee of the US National Library of Medicine “examined studies that claimed to assess the cost-effectiveness of supportive housing and found that, at present, there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that the supportive
housing model saves health care costs or is cost-effective.”

This is not a nonprofit project. According to public records, VCH will build the project using public funds and then will sell 99.99% to private investors – those investors collect rent subsidized by our taxes, while VCH takes the capital from the sale to invest in new properties to achieve their goal of building more projects in Venice.

Our small community of Venice has more current and planned homeless housing projects than all of the other communities in Council District 11 combined. They are making the assertion that Venice is not doing its part to supply subsidized housing. This is false. VCH’s analysis looks only at supportive housing units funded by HHH, while ignoring those funded by other sources, like Prop 2.

According to Planning Urbanism, Venice has the 8th highest rate of subsidized housing in all of Los Angeles (with 1860 low income and supportive housing units), and the highest rate, by far, in Council District 11. And this is not including the planned projects: Thatcher Yard (98), Median Project (140), Rose Ave (34), Lincoln Apts(40), Bridge Housing (154) – which is an additional 466 units – which brings it to over 2300 low income and supportive housing units in Venice.

Not even including the planned projects, Venice has over 5 units of affordable housing per 100 people. Brentwood and the Palisades combined have .21 units of affordable housing per 100 people. The over concentration of housing and services in Venice, has only caused the homeless population to go up in our community, while going down in surrounding communities (Source: LAHSA). And, keep in mind, those homeless in Venice do not get priority for the Lincoln Apartments.

Scale/Density/Parking
With 4 stories and a rooftop deck (overlooking St. Mark’s playground area), the height of this building will set a dangerous precedent for Lincoln, Venice Blvd, and Washington Blvd in Venice. We’ll see traffic and parking problems like we’ve never seen before. Current plans contain only 6 parking spots for staff, volunteers (of which, they have 20 volunteers on any given day), guests, and residents. They currently have drop-in hours 3 afternoons a week and want to expand to 7 days a week, which means more traffic to this area and into our neighborhood.

I’ve e-mailed you all a copy of our petition against this project with over 1000 signatures.

By law, if approved, this building must remain affordable housing for a minimum of 55 years. Societies require balance to avoid problems. We don’t advocate putting a motorcycle track next to a nature center. Those are both fine, but put them side-by-side and there will be problems. Those experiencing homelessness and the children who go to school and live in this neighborhood deserve better.

Venice Beach Firefighters Put Out Trash Can Fire

Venice Beach firefighters put out trash can fire on Marina del Rey property. Trash can melted to almost nothing by the time the firefighters got there. Not that it took them a long time. The can was not far from large trees and a grassy area near homes on Oxford Ave.

Councilmembers Demand Mandatory Fire Sprinkler Systems in Residential High-Rises

LOS ANGELES – Renewing an effort to protect people living in high-rise residential buildings, a trio of City Councilmembers have proposed legislation to mandate fire sprinkler systems be installed in all residential high-rise buildings in Los Angeles.

Legislation co-authored by Councilmembers Mike Bonin, Paul Koretz, and Bob Blumenfield was submitted to the City Council today and would require all high-rises in Los Angeles to install fire-safety systems such as sprinklers, including those buildings that have previously been exempt from efforts to require sprinklers because of the year they were built.

The questions arise about how many stories is a “high-rise” and what about office buildings?

 

Mayor Proposes Ordinance to Protect Brush Areas from Encampments

(26 August 2019) Mayor Eric Garcetti has proposed an ordinance that would allow police to remove trespassers in areas where there is a risk of a fire by orally telling them to leave. Currently authorities have to have signs posted every 500 feet. Ordinance is to go before the Public Safety committee.

Locally, the area between the 91 Freeway was set fire a few years ago by homeless encampments.

LA Times article.

99-Cent store, the day after

(23 July 2019) The 99-Cent store on Washington Blvd in Mar Vista the day after the fire.

(Photo courtesy of Marty Flynn.)

Motorhome Fire in Front of Google — LAFD Says Arson

Motorhome, parked across the street from Google on Main at Rose, was on fire last night or early this morning (29 May 2019). Cause of fire is unknown. Photos are by Joseph Luckay and story by Rick Swinger.

Rick Swinger was later told by the LA Fire Department that the fire was definitely arson.  “Whether it was caused by another homeless person or not is not know,” said Swinger.   “There seems to be a problem with this person according to other homeless in the area.”

 

Pier Hoax Alerts All Services


By Peter Ruiz

Someone called in around 6 am Saturday morning saying they were going to jump off the end of the Venice Pier.

Police responded with squad cars and a helicopter. County fire department responded with two fire boats. Search was called off.