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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

First of Affordable/Homeless/PSH Housing to Go Before LUPC, 2 May

The 98-unit affordable/homeless/permanent supportive housing project at the formerly City Yard on Thatcher Ave in the Oxford Triangle will be reviewed by the Land Use and Planning Committee (LUPC) of the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC), Thursday, 2 May, 6:45 at Oakwood Recreation Center, 767 California Ave.

Bridge Home Site Alternatives? LUPC Has Some Suggestions

Land Use and Planning Committee (LUPC)will discuss other sites for the Bridge Housing planned for Venice at their meeting Thursday 6:30 to 9 pm at the Oakwood Recreational Center, 767 California Ave.

Mayor Eric Garcetti had a Town Hall in Venice 17 October to discuss his planned Bridge Housing for the MTA site at Sunset between Main and Pacific Ave.

LUPC has several possible alternatives to the MTA site that they plan to discuss.

LUPC Members Meet for First Time

LUPC

New members of the Venice Neighborhood Council Land Use and Planning Committee (LUPC) meet for the first meet after being selected.  They met at the Foursquare Church at 1400 Riviera, Venice.  From left to right are:  Ramsey Daham, Brian Silveira, Mehrnoosh Mojallali, Chair of LUPC Matthew Royce, Daffodil Tyminski, Joe Clark and Tim Bonefeld. Not shown are Michael Jensen and Robert Aronson.  Aronson arrived a little later.

Eight Selected to Serve on LUPC

LUPC

Candidates for the Venice Neighborhood Council Land Use and Planning Committee stand waiting for their one-minute in front of the microphone to explain why they want to serve on the LUPC.  The board then voted for eight of the 13 who applied.  Those who were selected to serve the two years are:

Brian Silveira
Daffodil Tyminski
Joe Clark
Mehrnoosh Mojallali
Michael Jensen
Ramsey Daham
Robert Aronson
Tim Bonefeld

Thirteen Apply for Eight LUPC Positions

Thirteen people have applied for the eight Land Use and Planning Committee openings.
The candidates will provide their resume and reasons for wanting to join the committee at the next Venice Neighborhood Council meeting, which will be 19 July, 6:30 pm, Westminster Elementary School, 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd.The board will vote on the candidates. Those selected will serve two years on the committee. Matthew Royce, who was elected, is the chair person.

The following are those who want to join the committee.
Barry Cassilly
Brian Silveira
Daffodil Tyminski
Gabriel Ruspini
Joe Clark
Johannes Girardoni
Mark Ryavec
Mehrnoosh Mojallali
Michael Jensen
Ramsey Daham
Robert Aronson
Sean Daneshgar
Tim Bonefeld

LUPC To Meet Monday, Vera Davis

Land Use and Planning Committee (LUPC) will meet Monday, 6:45 to 10:45 pm, at Vera Davis Center, 610 Electric.

Updates will be given on status of small-lot subdivision and short-term rentals.

VNC De Minimis cases
638 Sunset
314 – 326 Lincoln Blvd
1698 Electric

Review of Active Cases
52 – 54 Wndward
1704 – 1708 Lincoln Blvd
2003 Linden
519 – 521 Boccaccio
2100 – 2106 Narcissus
514 Santa Clara
20 Sunset
15 Westwind
15 Rose

Cases Not Being Heard
658 Venice Blvd
934 Amoroso
230 San Juan
115 Park Place

Rudisill, Chair of LUPC Says No Loss of Property Rights

By Robin Rudisill

I am pleased to announce that: The Sky is NOT Falling.
(a personal statement by Robin Rudisill)

That anyone will be losing 50% or any amount of their property rights due to the VNC’s draft report on Mass, Scale and Character is a fallacy.

I am very concerned that the information in the draft report circulated for the purpose of collecting public comments on the VNC ad hoc committee mass, scale and character recommendations is being manipulated and distorted in order to use it to attack candidates in the VNC’s election. It’s shameful that people are fear mongering by misrepresenting this work.

Here are the facts–PLEASE READ THIS:
1. Years of complaints about over development and projects that were far out of scale with their surrounding neighborhoods resulted in the VNC’s establishment of the Mass, Scale & Character Ad Hoc Committee (MSCC) in late 2012.

2. Analysis of mass, scale and character is required by coastal zone laws, including both the Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan (city ordinance) and our Coastal Commission-certified Venice Land Use Plan (part of the city’s General Plan). The laws require that for a discretionary land use decision (such as a Coastal Development Permit – CDP) both quantitative and qualitative standards must be applied.

Quantitative standards include things such as height, setbacks, density (# of units), and replacement affordable unit requirements, which are “ministerial” requirements, meaning a planner checks a box for “yes” or “no.” But the qualitative standards, which include compatibility of a project with the mass, scale and character of the surrounding area, involve “discretionary” decisions, requiring a degree of judgment by the decision maker. All development in the Venice Coastal Zone requires some degree of discretionary decision-making, but for several years some of these requirements had been ignored, with the reason given being that they were too difficult to administer.

3. After an extensive review of “best practices,” the MSCC has not only clarified the existence, requirement and importance of these qualitative standards, but has also provided clear definitions of mass, scale and character. Equally important, the committee has proposed frameworks for analyzing them, such as templates using floor area ratio (FAR), upper story step backs, proportional upper stories, and various concepts for articulation of facades, all of which are tools to analyze a proposed development’s compatibility of character and scale with the surrounding existing structures/lots, a.k.a. the neighborhood. These are all tools that are widely used by City and Coastal Planners.

4. Qualitative judgments are a very important part of community planning and protection. Neighborhood planning is not rocket science. It is quite normal to have subjective judgments required for purposes of discretionary land use decisions, such as Coastal Development Permits and Specific Plan Project Compliance Permits.

5. However, one of the goals of the MSCC is to address developers’ often-voiced concerns about uncertainty in the process. The ultimate proposal will provide a fact-based, tested framework and greater definition, in order to help guide the City’s qualitative, discretionary decisions regarding compatibility of a project with its surrounding existing neighborhood. This will increase certainty for developers as well as protection for neighbors.

6. The likelihood of an overall FAR of any number being put into law for the Venice Coastal Zone is slim to none. Venice is not a one-size-fits-all community. That’s why compatibility with a project’s existing surroundings is so important. We value the social and architectural diversity of Venice, which in turn drives the diversity of the character of our numerous unique neighborhoods. We want to allow for maximum creative freedom while staying in the overall scale, massing and character of the given neighborhood. So we must keep some flexibility to make judgments, and cannot rely entirely on quantitative rules.

7. The MSCC draft report is a proposal – not a final product – and an invitation for community input. It has been very clear that nothing in the draft is a final recommendation and that everyone in the community will have a chance to comment. Also, it’s not an attempt, as one developer erroneously asserted, to amend the Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan. It’s not about numbers, it’s about process, framework and tools. Public comment/input has been a mainstay of the MSCC’s process and is integral to formulating the final recommendations to the VNC Board.

8. Once approved by the VNC, the MSCC recommendations can provide guidance in analyzing projects and can be a starting point in the discussion of our Local Coastal Program. For example, the character analysis, using an excel model programmed to provide statistics for the Streetscape based on the attributes of the block, is an excellent and practical quantitative tool to use for making conclusions about the scale, character, massing, and even the landscape of the existing surrounding neighborhood. Having consistent guidance re. “existing surrounding neighborhood” will also be very useful.

9. The moral of the story is that we mustn’t fall prey to the “chicken little syndrome,” a.k.a. fear mongering. This scare tactic, indicating that you must vote for certain candidates in the June 5th VNC election in order to stop the loss of 50% of your property rights, is unfounded in reality. It is pure electioneering at its most counterproductive.

I welcome your specific questions and concerns.
For the love of Venice,
Robin Rudisill, Venice Land Use & Planning Committee Chair (for identification purposes), but speaking as an individual and not on behalf of the Venice Neighborhood Council or its Land Use & Planning Committee

LUPC Will Meet Tuesday, Foursquare

Land Use and Planing Committee will meet Tuesday (31 May) at 6:45 pm, Foursquare Church, 1400 Riviera Ave. Normally, LUPC meets First, fourth, and fifth Mondays but because of Memorial Day.

AGENDA INCLUDES:

Proposed Motion from Neighborhood Committee on Sidewalk Requirement for Venice

Update on City Council’s draft Short-Term Rentals Ordinance

Cases:

1900 Penmar Ave (3 lot small-lot subdivision with 3 new 3-story SFD’s)

720 Angelus Place (demo of SFD & construct new SFD)

514 Santa Clara Ave (demo 2 SFD’s & construct new 3-story SFD)

551 Indiana Ave (2 lot small-lot subdivision with 2 new 3-story SFD’s)

115 Park Place (demo 2 uninhabited units & construct new SFD)

15 Westwind St (remodel & addition of 4-unit apt bldg with request for height adjustment)
(may be continued)

LUPC to Meet Monday, 23 May

Land Use and Planning Committee (LUPC) will meet Monday (23 May) at 6:45 pm, Vera Davis Center, 610 California Ave, LA 90291.

AGENDA INCLUDES:
Informational presentations/updates
201 Ocean Front Walk (“Israel Levin Center”), update on exterior finish
Venice Place Hotel (fka Abbot Kinney Hotel), update

De Minimis Project Review
2312 Ocean Ave

Unpermitted Development Review
906 Milwood Ave

Cases:
I. 1704-1708 Lincoln Blvd (“The Lincoln Grocery”–change of use from retail to restaurant, retail and office)
II. 632 Brooks Ave (major remodel of 2-story duplex)
III. 2003 Linden Ave (demo SFD, construct new SFD)
IV. 519-521 Boccaccio Ave (demo duplex, construct industrial building)
V. 2100-2106 Narcissus Court (demo SFD, construct industrial building)
VI. 821 Nowita Place (> 50% demo, remodel & addition to SFD)
VII. 115 Park Place (demo duplex, construct new SFD)
VIII. 1057 Indiana Ave (zoning administrator adjustment for rear yard setback)
IX. 20 Sunset Ave (remodel & 2nd story addition)

LUPC To Meet Monday (2 May)

Land Use and Planning Committee will meet Monday (2 May), 7 pm at Vera Davis Family Center, 610 California Ave.

Agenda Items:
Update on City Council’s April 15, 2016 draft Short-Term Rentals Ordinance
Proposed Sidewalk Requirement for Venice

Cases:

Grand Canal (new 3-story SFD on 2 lots), continued from prior meeting
1704-1708 Lincoln Blvd (“The Lincoln Grocery”–change of use from retail to restaurant, retail and office)
632 Brooks Ave (Major Remodel of 2-story duplex)
2003 Linden Ave (demo SFD, build new SFD)
519-521 Boccaccio Ave (demo SFD, build industrial building)
2100-2106 Narcissus Court (demo SFD, build industrial building)

De Minimis Projects:

917 Victoria Ave
28 Ozone Ave
1804 Lincoln Blvd

If you have any questions or comments on any of the items or cases scheduled for Monday eve’s meeting, please write to the committee at:
LUPC@VeniceNC.org