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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Free Ride in Venice 12:30 to 9 pm Daily

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Text 323-435-5000 for a free ride in Venice from 12:30 pm to 9 pm daily or wave them down.Map shows the area of Venice covered, which ends at Washington Blvd. It does take approximately 15 minutes. Tips pay for the ride.

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Fireworks on 4th over Marina del Rey, 9 pm, And Street Closures

Fourth of July, 20-minute fireworks display will be at 9 pm over Marina del Rey. Road closures are below.

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Playa del Rey “Safe Streets” Has Created Anything but “Calming”

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(Photo provided by Council Office.)

Removal of traffic lanes,  envisioned as a “calming” effect to create “Safe Streets” in Playa del Rey, has created an uproar among those using the streets and traffic gridlock.

Residents supposedly initiated the project but many more residents are now speaking up against the project. This latter group is organizing.

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Photo above shows cars backed up on Culver Blvd at 90 Freeway (see arrows) where Culver is two lanes but leading to one lane at Lincoln. Cars (circled in photo) under freeway cannot cross the lane because it is full. This did not happen before. If traffic gets any worse, the intersection for the freeway ingress/egress will both back up the freeway and create a jam under the freeway. (Photo was taken at 7 pm Wednesday.)

The adding of bike lanes is redundant. There are bike lanes along Ballona Wetlands that parallel Culver and meet the north-south, 18-mile beach bike path on the sand that parallels Vista del Mar.

What is the street talk?
These are some of the things people are talking about:  Vision One and Mobility 2035, prepared by a group of theorists, to eliminate accidents is not in accord with reality and the commuters without an alternative.  Theorists have not seen, nor envisioned,  the backup of cars on Culver to the 90 Freeway. Commuters want to get home to their families.  What about the pollution caused by idling cars? Ten years ago the philosophy was not to put in crosswalks because pedestrians relied on them to keep them safe.

Money is being raised to get this road shrinkage reversed by the City Council.  See LA Times article.

Test run shows cars using bike lane to pass
This writer inspected the roads at 3 to 3:30 pm Wednesday, a non-traffic time. While on the new, one-lane Culver, two vehicles passed on the right in the bike lane. (See photos below.) Incidentally, there is no lane for traffic enforcement.

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Traffic backed up on Culver to the light at Vista del Mar. On Vista del Mar there are two lanes going south for a short distance and cars raced to take advantage of that. Otherwise, traffic on Vista del Mar continued on uneventful. There were no U-turn lanes so one had to make a turn into Dockweiler Beach entrance. Attendants were use to that. The plan is to have many U-turn lanes.

Noticeable along the area where cars were parked was the trash. There is an area large enough for a bike to travel between parked cars and beach and that area is strewn with trash.

Also noticeable was the inefficient use of the road called Vista del Mar.

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VNC Approves Venice Suites as Apartment Hotel

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By Angela McGregor

A large (upwards of 80 people), contentious crowd was on hand at the last Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) meet to voice their opinions on a motion to change the use of 417 Ocean Park Walk (the Venice Suites Hotel) from an existing (per zoning) 32-unit apartment building to an apartment hotel with 30 guest rooms and two long-term tenants.

Carl Lambert, the property’s owner, was there to defend the motion. He stated that there have been no complaints from former tenants and that more hotels were needed in Venice to staunch the rising numbers of AirBnB’s. In addition, the building, which is designated as historic and was built as a hotel in the 1920’s, is, in his opinion, legally allowed to revert to its original use despite decades as a rent-stabilized apartment building prior to his purchase of it.

Nevertheless, Mr. Lambert is currently being sued by the City of Los Angeles for illegally operating a hotel. The Coastal Commission, on the other hand, has already approved another of Lambert’s Venice properties for hotel use and appears to be predisposed toward favoring hotels on the Boardwalk over permanent housing.

Public comment centered around the loss of affordable housing in the area; 417 Ocean Front Walk was formerly a rent-stabilized building.

Board comment centered around the ongoing lawsuit and questioned whether LUPC should be weighing in on the project in advance of a decision by the City Attorney’s office. Board members also pointed out Venice’s dire need for more hotel rooms. In the end, the motion to allow for the change of use passed with 8 votes in favor, 5 against and three abstentions.

In other business:
Laurie Burns, a Community Officer, has resigned from the VNC, and there is an application to fill the now open seat on the VNC’s website. The deadline for applying is July 10.

In light of California’s recent legalization of recreational marijuana, the VNC will be forming a cannabis task force to make recommendations regarding commercial use. Interested parties should contact the Board through their website.

In public comment, opponents of the recent “Great Streets” initiative on Venice Blvd between Inglewood and Beethoven (which involved a two-lane reduction) announced the formation of an organization (www.restore-venice.com). In light of the fact that the project went forward without any input from the VNC, they are hoping to place a motion on a future VNC Board agenda to advise the city to undo the changes.

CD11 Homeless Up 8 Percent; Venice Not Available Yet; City Up 20 Percent; County Up 23 Percent

Homeless count for CD11 is up 8 percent from 2016. Figures for Venice are not available yet.

Los Angeles County experienced a 23 percent increase to 57,794. The City of Los Angeles had a 20 percent increase with a total of 34,189 individuals. For more breakdowns go to vchcorp.org.

CD11 Count and Breakdown

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Count by Areas
by spa

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Where Originated
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Number Placed
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Stay in Vehicles
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Miscellaneous
gender

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For more breakdowns go to vchcorp.org.

Venice Median Plans Unveiling Will Be 27 June Only

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Plans for the Venice Median will be unveiled for the first time Tuesday, 27 June, 7 to 8:30 pm at the Pacific Resident Theatre, 703 Venice Blvd.

It was stated in a previous article on the web and on the email blast Monday that another meeting would be held at the Israel Levin Center, Friday, June 23, and the plans would be unveiled there too. Not true.  This meet will only be informational and mainly for members of the Center.

“Venice Community Housing will  continue engaging the community by scheduling small, 1- to 2-hour events all summer to introduce and discuss the proposed Venice Median affordable housing development,” wrote Linda Lucks of Venice Community Housing.”Small, invitation-only meetings allow people the time and space to express their concerns, offer ideas, and ask detailed questions.” 

Contact Linda Lucks by 15 July at llucks@vchcorp.org if you are interested in hosting a gathering and/or sign up for regular email updates at Venicedellpacific@vchcorp.org.

“Homes for Hope” Was Hit at Homeless Committee Meet

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Architect and USC professor Sofia Borges spoke at the last VNC Homeless Committee about her “Homes for Hope.” What she had to show was a “simple” solution to a complex, expensive problem facing the City of Los Angeles in reference to housing the homeless.

She and her group of architects and wisely in coordination with the rules and regulations of the City’s Department of Building and Safety have come up with a 92 sqft modular unit that can be combined with other modules and is transportable. Each module costs $25,000 and that includes installion on site and ready to go within two weeks.

It can be disassembled and moved within the same amount of time. A wall can be removed to combine with another unit and not loose the integrity. The modules are stackable. They meet earthquake criteria.

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Borges said the 92 sqft units can aggregate into 30-bed community, making it a by-right project zoned as congregant housing on a 5000 sq ft lot. The cost is $750,000 for 30 units. The time is two weeks.

Cost Per Unit Breakdown (Estimate)
Building Materials 13,000
Furnishings 2,800
Mechanical Systems 1,200
Labor 7,500

Total 25,000

Hope Task Force Removes Bulky Items from 3rd & Cleans Mess on Sunset

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Hope Task Force, which consists of Los Angeles Department of Sanitation Workers and the Los Angeles Police Department, were picking up bulky items Thursday and were asked by neighbors to clean up a mess on Sunset just around the corner.

Hope Task Force operates out of the West Bureau. Normally, they just pick up bulky items but neighbors on Sunset asked them if they would clean up Sunset.

LAMC 56.11.3(i) Bulky Items (non-shelter) placed in Public Areas
Bulky itms are defined as any item possessing size and/or shape which will not allow the item to fit into a 60-gallon receptacle with the container lid closed. Bulky items generally include but are not limited to mattresses, appliances, furniture, shed, structures, non-operational bicycles, and construction materials. An exception has been established for tents, wheelchairs, walkers, containers of a volume not exceeding 60 gallons, crutches, and bicycle if operational

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Forty Years of Venice History, Penmar Park, 26 June

 

Forty years of Venice history … lot of change!  Venice-Mark Twain Slide Show, starting with the year 1977, Monday, 26 June from 6:30 to 7:30 pm, Penmar Park Community Room at 134 Lake Street.
“This consists of  120 slides of all of Venice,” wrote Rick Selan. “Only four are of Mark Twain. It shows what Venice was and the serious gang, vandalism, killings, graffiti and life in Venice and the changes in the community.


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Venice Goes Green at Oakwood Rec

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The earth turned a little greener Saturday,  at least in Venice, as two to three hundred people, according to Nick Antonicello, shopped at the information tables, listened to lectures,  and ate a tidbit here and there. Crowds formed around the Tesla,  BMW, and Chevrolet electric cars.