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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Voters’ Guide for June VNC Election is Here

This week the City released the Voter Guide — all the candidates and their statements — for the Venice Neighborhood Council  2 June election.  The guide was set up such that the only way to present such is via a link.  Link to Venice’s Neighborhood Council 2019 Voter Guide finalRVHighRes

Many people think of these people who serve on the board as volunteers. Elizabeth Wright who is on the election committee has this to say about “volunteers” and it is worth repeating for both the candidate and the voter.

I disagree with those who consider the VNC Board as volunteers. To me, a better term is unpaid elected officials. They are part of the L.A. City government. They are the communication link from the stakeholders to the City Council. In addition to preparing for and attending the monthly Board meetings and quarterly town halls, each is expected to chair or participate in at least one committee, where the work is really done. All that is a commitment of a lot of time.

Commercial Renovation on Lincoln Tentatively Set for June City Planning Hearing

Plans for the proposed renovation of the commercial property, originally built for a Ford dealership, on the west side of Lincoln Blvd between Venice and Washington Blvd at 2485 to 2499 Lincoln is tentatively set  to go before City Planning in June.

The project has not gone thru the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) nor the Land Use and Planning Committee (LUPC) and because of the June VNC election,  City Planning may hear the project first.

The lot is 27,845 square feet and consists of three buildings totaling over 11,000 square feet.

DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners is renovating the existing three buildings and providing onsite parking  without adding square footage or height.  The developer and the representative say that the renovation would make buildings suitable for a restaurant, a coffee shop, a fitness center, an office.  Usage is not determined.

There will be 44 parking spaces with a full-time valet. The north residential lot behind the commercial will also be used for parking. Vehicle entrance would be off Lincoln and off Van Buren to a one-way alley exiting on Garfield.  The architect is Rios Clementi Hale.

Are Dollars Spent on Encampment Cleanups Wasted, NBC Asks; Venice Update Asks What Price an Epidemic

NBC has done an article with a video featuring the 405 underpass on Venice Blvd and asking the question: “Are the Millions of Tax Dollars Spent on Encampment Cleanups Wasted?”  The story did not consider the alternative of not cleaning them and the possibility of a large scale city-wide, county-wide disease epidemic.  See article.

Residents near the 405 say the homeless enter their neighborhoods defecate and litter them during cleanups.  Sounds familiar from Venice’s 3rd Ave residents.  They do this whether it is cleanup day or not.

Yes, they do but not to the same extent as they have done in their own area.  One resident said: “Our streets are worse after these clean ups. If you come back the day afterwards, after a major cleaning, it looks the same or worse.”   Yes, after they repopulate their area, it looks the same and that may be one day afterward.   Areas in Venice are done once a week.  Remember these people are on drugs and alcohol and don’t have the discipline to get off them, much less cleanup after themselves.

Of course this costs money, as does having the police there, and as does having Department of Transportation post, signs write tickets.  Most of the people on drugs would not go into housing if it were offered, so they are not going to cooperate.  If one could get these people to go home to their families to take care of them, it would be a buck saver. Obviously, their families don’t want them either.  So the alternative is an epidemic.

Residents  don’t question the fact that the place is a disaster for disease and  having people come into your neighborhood only spreads a possible disease.

Becky Dennison of Venice Community Housing was quoted as saying that people needed porta potties.

Venice has 3rd Ave which is or was comparable to 405 on Venice Blvd..  Two porta potties were placed on private property under a shade tree for the convenience of the homeless on third before Christmas 2016.  By St. Patrick’s Day the next year, less than three months later, they were removed and an 8-foot fence was installed. Do not put clothes down the hole was the only rule.

They were later removed by the private property owner.  Obviously, the rules were not abided by the people on 3rd.  See articles following.  First one shows them in place; last paragraph of other story tells that they have been removed and an 8-foot fence installed.



Union Mission, when this writer took the tour, said that the City had installed a self-cleaning toilet across the street in the park in Skid Row.  The toilet cost $250K.  It was closed because people shot up in it, had sex in it, and locked the door and slept in it.

Porta potties have been installed a few blocks away from 3rd Ave at the beach and they are open all night and removed early each morning.  These porta potties have a security guard on duty all night to make sure the toilets are operated properly.

The article states:

Becky Dennison and infectious disease doctor Jeffrey Klausner of UCLA have visited the 405 Freeway encampment. They said conditions there are a breeding ground for disease and taxpayer dollars could be better spent to place portable toilets at every large homeless encampment.

Portable toilets, without a security guard, will not solve this problem.  It hasn’t worked in the past.They need a security guard.

Ask Dr. Drew, who has broadcast frequently, that LA is due for an epidemic if it continues at this rate.  Trash is what attracts the rats and spreads the disease.

Third Avenue has trash cans up and down the street, yet the trash is rampant and the trash cans are not rat proof.

A drip here and there ends in an empty tank … so cool, so unsanitary

The film illustrates a big health problem with motor homes parked on the streets of Venice because there is no close, convenient dump station.

The two closest dump stations are Dockweiler RV Park at 12001 Vista del Mar, Playa del Rey and Hyperion Plant at 9660 W. Imperial Hwy, Playa del Rey, Gate B. Dockweiler charges $10 per dump. Hyperion in free and is open M,w,F from 9 to 2 and T,T from 12 to 4.

Not only is that a long distance for a motorhome to travel for a dump but one must consider the maneuverability of the motorhome on the road. Also when a motorhome has to be moved, everything inside has to be stowed or it could be a movable tragedy. When a motorhome person moves, he looses his spot. Spots near the ocean in Venice are precious.

So most do what this one in movie does.

The photo shows two handles used for motorhome dumping. Each handle goes to a tank. One tank is for shower and dishwater water; the other is for the toilet. A long tube in connected to the fitting in the middle, both handles are pulled out and the refuge with water goes to a dump station.

What many do is keep the shower and dishwater valve a little open so it will drip until it is gone. Seldom do they leave it open like the movie. Some will pull up to a sewer and just dump both tanks. Usually this is done late at night or early in the morning. This writer has seen one pull up and dump both tanks in a waste water dump that goes directly to the ocean. Motorhome people have other configurations and probably have a few variations, such as using a bucket to carry waste to the sewer.

A City should consider this fact before mapping out areas of comfort in Venice.

VCH Shows What They Have Done

People gathered to hear what Venice community Housing (VCH) proposed for the site at 2475 Lincoln 6 May at St. Mark’s Community Center but it was mainly a display of what VCH had done for the community in the past and no plans for the property.

LUPC Says “No” to 70-Foot Building on East Side of Lincoln

People lined up to speak about the proposed 70-foot building on east side of Lincoln.  Many of the people were from the East of Venice Neighborhood Association (EVNA).

Land Use and Planning committee (LUPC) of the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) unanimously voted down the proposed 70-foot high project at 1808 – 1816 Lincoln Blvd.

The motion will state something to the effect that this project, as proposed, is not an endorsable project, but if LUPC would receive a written statement that the project had been withdrawn from the Planning Director and the proposing group had a new design, LUPC would hear the new project.

The room was packed with people to mainly object to the first 70-foot building on Lincoln Blvd. There were a few who liked the project. The planner, Matthew Hayden, stated that it was designed in compliance with the Transit Oriented Community ordinance (TOC) and the Community Design Overlay District (CDO) for the Venice Lincoln Blvd and the Venice Community Plan. The project is not within the Coastal Commission jurisdiction nor the Venice Specific Plan.

Except for footnote 6 of the Venice Community Plan which limits density to that of the adjacent zone, the TOC ordinance would have permitted 70 units on this site, wrote architect John Reed.

Mark Ryavec, president of the Venice Stakeholders Association, spoke against the building and said Venetians had the Mayor and the City Council to thank for the TOC ordinance,

The proposed building is six stories and is graduated in the front, Lincoln side, from 25 to 70 feet in the rear. Thirty percent would be at 70-foot level. There would be two stories of subterranean parking holding 58 spaces. Entrance would be from Marco Place.

First floor would be 3596 sq ft of commercial with an additional 980 for a coffee shop. Code parking would be 14 spaces with an additional 5 more for the coffee shop, totaling 19.

Second floor would be 11,322 sq ft of office space with 23 parking spaces.

The remaining stories would be for the 9 units, one of which would be affordable. The affordable unit would have 1 parking space and the others would have 15 spaces. The nine units would be 1860 to 3000 sq ft. Number of bedrooms per unit is not determined yet but units would accommodate 4 to 5 bedrooms, according to the architect.

The group for the most part was against the project. They have a petition and a letter writing campaign going to defeat the by-right project at the Director level.

Pier Jumper Saved from Surf at Venice Pier

By Peter Ruiz, head of Venice Pier Project

At 12:15 pm Tuesday an unidentified man jumped off the north side of the Venice Pier.

Under estimating the undertow and the wind, he struggled to swim away from the pilings. A set of 3- to 5-foot waves rolled in a few minutes later and slammed the man into not one but two pilings. A near by surfer assisted along with Los Angeles fire and rescue and county lifeguards. Five minutes later LAFD was on scene. The man refused to be treated and was informed that it’s a fine or even arrest for jumping off the Venice Pier. Dazed and bleeding from all the mussels tearing into his torso, the man limped away to the showers.

VCH Proposes 40 Units Affordable/PSH on Lincoln Blvd

Venice Community Housing (VCH) will be hosting a meeting Wednesday, 8 May, 6 to 8 pm at St. Mark’s Community Center, 2475 Lincoln Blvd, to explain their proposal for 40 affordable/PSH units at 2469 -2471 Lincoln Blvd (Next to McDonald’s.)

The plan is to provide studio, one and two bedroom units and to incorporate the existing Safe Place for Youth building with lots of open space.

LUPC Approves Oxford Triangle 98-Unit Affordable/Homeless/PSH Project

The Thomas Safran 98-unit affordable/homeless/psh project scheduled for the Oxford Triangle sailed through the Land Use and Planning Committee with Chairman Matt Royce making the statement to the neighbors and the builder that LUPC wished all “communities and builders could work together as well as these have done.” The vote was 4 to 2.

There were three conditions of approval:

The building of the property is to be contingent on obtaining and installing road blockage at Thatcher prior to any work on the property, including demolition. The haul route for pavement and soil removal, the ingress and egress for the construction work, and the parking for the construction workers, all need to take place on the project-side of the road barrier and not in or through the neighborhood, and if the City does not approve the haul route on Princeton, the project can not go forward.

The developer shall work with Harbor Crossing to make the Harbor Crossing exit into an entrance/exit.

The developer shall maintain the street surface during demolition and construction, shall restore the street surface after the removal of the pavement and soil, and shall restore the street surface after completion of construction

The following entitlements from the contractor were approved:

Bonin Questions Effectivity of the Homeless Street Cleanings

Councilman Mike Bonin in the City Council Homeless and Poverty committee has made a motion to have Bureau of Sanitation, Los Angeles Police Department, and Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and other agencies to report on the “efficiency of existing clean-up efforts,” detailing key objectives and providing metrics of success or failure. The following questions should be answered:

1. Are we improving public health?
2. Are we helping or hurting efforts to get people out of encampments and into housing and services?
3. What is the appropriate role of law enforcement in clean-ups?
4. What is the appropriate level of oversight and community engagement?