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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

MTA Lot Continues to Morph to “Bridge Home”

Note: These photos were sent Tuesday. For some reason, did not see them. So this is what the Bridge Home looked like Tuesday.

By Shawn Stern

The large tent went up very quickly. it will be the main “housing” building for 100 adults. (1st Photo). There is a metal frame being erected in the center of the trailers, which, according to the mock up, will be a covered “dining/seating/lounging area”. (2nd Photo). And some rebar is being set on the right (south) side of the tent between the tent and the permanent MTA building, also not sure what this is for as there seems to be some vertical rebar. According to the “mock up” on the Bridge Home website, this area will be for storage.

I have to say that tent design seems a bit flimsy to me and susceptible to the heavy winds we get around hear before/during/after large storms as well as Santa Ana’s. I’m sure that the city officials, LADBS and architect/builders have made sure that the structure is up to code and this won’t be an issues. I guess time will tell.

Bridge Housing MTA Lot, Monday

Note: Shawn Stern has said he would give daily photos of the site. So this is Monday, 18 November.

By Shawn Stern

This is the MTA site today. Also the LADOT was out today adding/replacing the NO STOPPING OR PARKING TOW AWAY between 8am-8pm signs on Pacfic Ave with new signs that limit the no stopping between 8am-10am and 3pm-7pm. That means people can now park on Pacific between 10am-3pm.

What is going on at the MTA lot?

Note:  Shawn Stern who lives near the old bus yard, the MTA site, answers that question perfectly.  The lot is scheduled to be operable by October, maybe November.  It is involved with a lawsuit by members of the community and that is scheduled for October.

By Shawn Stern

Thought you might like to see some photos of the current construction going on at the MTA bus yard for the planned “bridge housing.”

They’ve been working here all summer, first cleaning up the debris left when they closed the yard and dug up the concrete to remove the underground tanks. Then they cut trenches into the concrete to lay in plumbing and sewer lines.

This has been going on for over three months and while it’s a good bit of work, there are days when there are only a handful of people working, and they often start before 7 am and are gone well before mid afternoon. Seems to me this is moving extremely slow.

Today the DWP is here digging up the street, probably to give them access to sewer and/or water lines.  Since I have a very good view I wanted to share it with you and your readers.

Metro Site Development Guidelines Released

(27 July 2019) Metro releases development guidelines for the old bus lot at Sunset between Main and Pacific Ave, which is 3.1 acres of Venice’s most prime land.

Metro has been getting input from residents of Venice to provide the guidelines for more than a year. Do you want a hotel? Do you want walk streets? Do you want condominiums? Do you want a community area?

The site is to be built, starting within three years. In the meantime a “bridge housing” project is scheduled for October of this year and to be present on the site until start of construction for the Metro development.

Metro Provides Review of Community Input for MTA Site

Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro, MTA, Division 6) has finished the community input portion for the development of the 3.2 acres located at Sunset between Pacific and Main.

Go to Metro Review for input results. Comments can still be made by going to a community input page.

Metro holds first open house for MTA site envisioning by Venetians


Three groups on one side of the room.

Metro Joint Development met with Venetians for first time to obtain input as to what they would like on the  MTA lot at Sunset between Pacific and Main.

Names can get confusing. Metro is the shortened name for the Metropolitan Transit Authority. MTA is an even shorter version of that and has been deemed the name for the site. Metro refers to the project in Venice as Metro 6.

Wells Lawson, spokesperson, gave the opening introduction to explain that Metro had 30 projects in planning and Metro wanted to know what Venetians wanted on the 3.1 acres (136,000 square feet) presently zoned industrial and in their neighborhood and formerly known as the Bus Yard and now MTA site.

Metro wanted to know what the makeup of the group they were addressing so they passed out recording response calculators that compiled answers and within seconds were displayed on a screen in bar charts for all to see.  Some of the questions were what percentage of your income went for housing, your age, how long you had lived in Venice, etc.

People were assigned to a table with a facilitator who led the questions pertaining to what Venetians specifically envisioned for the space.  There were five to six tables consisting of 10 to 12 people.

Some of the people were very skeptical because the Mayor, the Councilman and two supervisors are all on the board of the Metro.  One person mentioned he felt it was a done deal because of this makeup.  The facilitator at one table said it wasn’t and explained that the Metro projects normally had 35 percent affordable housing.  Venetians feel they have not had any say in the previous homeless developments in Venice so some were expecting the worst.

Each group appointed a spokesperson and the spokesperson or person summarized what the group at his/her table had wanted and what they hadn’t wanted. No one seemed to object to affordable housing and market rate housing.  Places for artists was mentioned to preserve the heritage of Venice.   Many spokespeople mentioned mixed use and a meeting place for the community with sufficient parking. One wanted it larger than Westminster. Size of the meeting place differed.  Height was discussed and became a yes and no for extra height.  One group mentioned that it would be nice if they provided additional parking for the neighboring community both commercial and residential as well as adequate parking for their site. The PIA/MIA wall was mentioned and it was agreed that it needed to be preserved. PSH housing was never mentioned as a desirable option; in fact, several people said they didn’t want it.

Next meeting will be 1 December, 10 am to noon at the Boys and Girls Club of Venice, 2232 Lincoln Blvd. An open house will be held in 2019 to present the findings from this process.

If unable to attend the meeting in person, comments can also be provided online at metro.net/division6.  For more questions or more information, contact Metro’s project manager: Olvia Segura, 213-922-7156, division6@metro.ne

Councilman Bonin Dedicates POW/MIA Memorial Wall in Venice


Councilman Mike Bonin dedicated the POW/MIA Memorial Wall in Venice this Memorial Day morning.   Pacific Ave was closed from Brooks to Sunset as onlookers admired the wall and listened to the dedication words of Councilman Mike Bonin.

The wall was vandalized last year just before Memorial Day.  Financial donations spearheaded by the Venice Chamber of Commerce and the effort of many local artisans directed by Judy Baca of SPARC made restoration of the wall possible.

There are two you tube videos.  Councilman Bonin’s speech was less than three minutes but one must listen to both videos.




Stewart Oscars and his wife.  Stewart is the one who discovered the graffiti and alerted  the council office and the media.


Restored POW/MIA Mural Unveiling Ceremony will be Memorial Day



The completely restored POW/MIA mural unveiling ceremony will be Memorial Day, 29 May, from 10:30  to 11:15 am at 614 Pacific Ave, Venice.  Councilman Mike Bonin will be the head speaker.

It was this time last year that the mural was vandalized.  Concerned citizens, meaning well, stepped in to remove the graffiti, and in so doing, destroyed many of the names.

SPARC stepped up and said they would restore the mural. They since have done extensive research to make sure the names are all there and in the right places.  Judy Baca, founder of SPARC, said they would keep a “digital copy” so that it would be fixable from now on. She said she thought the wall would be moved or in jeopardy within the next five years because the property where it is located is to be developed.

Peter Charles Stewart did the Wall in 1994
The 2073 names were painted on the black painted surface of a masonry wall on Pacific Ave in Venice in 1994 by Peter Charles Stewart who had served as a naval ordinance man during Vietnam. Leslie Himes, a friend,  helped Stewart collect the names from the Department of Defense.

“Peter slept in his van and had a parrot during this time,” Himes said. “We made friends with Jean and Charlie Raye, whose son’s name in on the wall. Jean was instrumental in starting the Legacy of Families here. Peter finished the wall in 1994 and died in 1996. Peter would be proud today.”

Murez Wonders About Future of Wall; What about the Names

Jim Murez questioned whether Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) would be keeping the wall now that they plan to develop the site. That is an excellent question and one MTA is probably thinking about too.

Murez mentioned he knew the artist and “artist once told me that the names he used were from lists he found while researching what to paint. But to my understanding none of them were ever verified with the VA. The artist at the time the mural was being considered by the community and the MTA (RTD back then) claimed it was not a historic piece and he just wanted to put his art on what was at the time a blank wall.

“Interesting how this sort of art has now become a political issue, I guess the emotions of people that lost loved ones in the Vietnam War will always align with this sort of memorial.”

It should be most interesting because many remains have been verified so the list would definitely be different today than it was years ago.