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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

O’Farrell Motion Restricts Schools, Parks But Removes Other Restrictions Protecting Citizens

Councilman Mitch O’Farrell’s motion, forthcoming to the City Council for a vote,  to amend 41.18(d) sounded at first to protect residents by restricting homeless from parks and schools.  Instead the motion opens up Los Angeles to homeless living almost unrestricted  except for O’Farrells motion restricting schools and parks and a few other things.

Right now the law restricting homeless is 41.18(d) which restricts people from sitting, lying, or sleeping on any street, sidewalk, public way and the Jones Settlement which states that the police will not enforce 41.18(d) between 9 pm and 6 am.  The settlement will also not allow people within 10 feet at certain entrances and exits.  It is true these hours are not being enforced.

How about restricting homeless from residential streets. So many encampments have been across the street from, next to, an alley away from residents. How about restricting this and protecting residents. How overpowering to have an encampment an alley away, adjacent to, across the street from and this has been happening in Venice. Encampments that have been too close have been Penmar Park, 7th Ave, Lincoln Hardware, Harding, Harrison, 4th Ave, Thai restaurant alley

It is recommended that you contact your councilman Mike Bonin at Mike.Bonin@LAcity.org and express your feeling regarding this motion.  It would be a good idea to also cc Councilman Mitch O’Farrell at councilmember.Ofarrel@lacity.org and Nury Martinez at Nury.Martinez@lacity.org

Below are 41.18(d) and the Jones Settlement.  The O’Farrell motion is shown verbatim in Venice Update article. 

LAMC 41.18(d) states that

No person shall sit, lie or sleep in or upon any street, sidewalk or other public way. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to persons sitting on the curb portion of any sidewalk or street while attending or viewing any parade permitted under the provisions of Section 103.111 of Article 2, Chapter X of this Code; nor shall the provisions of this subsection supply to persons sitting upon benches or other seating facilities provided for such purpose by municipal authority by this Code.

The Jones Settlement said the police would not enforce LAMC41.18(d) between the hours of 9 pm and 6 am.  The settlement also stated that people could not be within 10 feet of driveways, loading docks, entrances and exits.  This passed in 2006 and was to be in effect until 1250 units of permanent supportive housing (PSH) units were constructed within the City of Los Angeles and at least 50 percent of those located in Skid Row and/or greater downtown Los Angeles.

 

Supreme Court Grants Extension for City of Boise Homeless Case to be Heard

(14 July 2019) This month the U.S. Supreme Court granted Theodore B. Olson and Theane Evangelis on behalf of the City of Boise an extension to ask the justices to take up the case of Martin vs. City of Boise, according to Sunday LA Times article. The petition to the U.S. Supreme Court is due 29 August with a decision from the court as to whether to hear the appeal expected no sooner than October.

Most are familiar with the Jones Settlement which allowed homeless to sleep on the sidewalks until a certain number of units were built in both downtown Los Angels and other other areas. Earlier this year the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard Martin vs. City of Boise that stated one cannot criminalize homeless if there is no shelter for them. The ruling effected nine states, one of which was California.

The LA Times article gives the history of these decisions and explains what has happened as a result. Los Angeles is caught in the middle of keeping the homeless comfortable and out of court and the city clean and free of disease.

Time to End Jones Settlement

Mark Ryavec

By Mark Ryavec, president of Venice Stakeholders Association

 

I was recently asked the following:

I don’t understand why other cities seem to be able to create legal ways of protecting homeowners and LA cannot. It seems unjust to come home from work to someone sleeping, camping or storing their belongings on our doorstep.

Even worse are proposals that would have Venice take on a disproportional role & resources in addressing the problem than other neighborhoods… for example, why not have a camping/parking facility at the post office or library in Mar Vista?

Why does it have to ALL be located in Venice?

The answer is that this is all the doing of Mike Bonin, with an assist from City Attorney Mike Feuer.

I’ve attached below some of the sections from the legal brief prepared by our attorney John Henning establishing that the City Attorney – maybe with some nudging from Mike Bonin – could simply declare the Jones Settlement satisfied and direct the LAPD to go back to 24-hour enforcement of the City’s “no sleeping on a sidewalk” ordinance (LAMC 41.18) tomorrow.

Of course, to avoid a new lawsuit the LAPD would have to offer shelter beds or shared housing in every instance, but Rev. Steve Weller of the LAPD Homeless Task Force told me recently that he always has beds available somewhere in the county. And we know that most of those living on our sidewalks won’t accept housing anyway, they are either service resistant or describe themselves as “travelers.” So, just a documented offer of shelter will allow the LAPD to get these campers off your sidewalk or parkway.

So, what to do?

Call Mike Bonin’s office every day and tell his staff to end the Jones Settlement now and go back to enforcing 41.18.

The number is 213-473-701.

As to why Bonin is forcing residents to accept three new housing projects for the homeless, including those who are mentally ill and drug addicted, I believe it reflects an all out war to turn the clock back to a time when Venice was a diverse, low income haven amidst all the wealth of the other beach cities on Santa Monica Bay. The multiple vectors of rampant and increasing homeless encampments, the plan to place dangerous homeless in unsecured facilities next to homes, to change the character of Oxford Triangle with a dense, low income project, and the downzoning of residences across Venice through designation of historic districts and historic structures which allows little to no additions or alternate uses is already sending some residents fleeing and dramatically lowering some property values, in some instances by as much as $500,000 or more.

From Henning’s letter:

First, the primary provision of the Jones Settlement restricting the City from enforcing section 41.18(d) between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. has apparently been discharged and released due to the construction of 1,250 permanent supportive housing units. Thus, the City is now free to recommence enforcement of section 41.18(d) without further court proceedings.

Second, the federal appellate court ruling in the Jones case held only that enforcement of section 41.18(d) would be constitutionally prohibited when the person is sleeping on the street or sidewalk “involuntarily,” i.e., when no shelter bed is available.

Third, as long as persons violating section 41.18(d) are offered a shelter bed or other housing, enforcement of the ordinance is unlikely to trigger a successful lawsuit against the City.