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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Put it here, Bud

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(Photo and caption by Wolf Seeberg.)
Great place for graffiti.

What a great idea. No cans necessary. Each day a new view. More talent required because of lack of color to emphasize the scene.

Tell ‘Em Where You Want ‘Em

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Looks like this one has already been modified since August when picture was taken. There were a lot of people who thought what is shown was unnecessary. Both stands are on Park Ave at Ocean Front Walk.

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Many Venetians have been upset with the Ride Share bike placements in Venice.  So okay, Venetians. Now’s Your chance to tell ’em where to put them.

Metro is partnering with the City of Los Angeles to expand bike share into Venice in Summer 2017, making it easier and more convenient to get around the Westside without a car.

Bike share is a form of public transit in which bicycles are available for check out 24/7 for short, point-to-point transportation trips. Pick up a bike at the station nearest you and drop it off at the station closest to your destination. There is no need to bring a lock or a light with you – simply check out a bike and go!

While the possible uses for bike share are infinite, example trip types that bike share is appropriate for include:

  • Connecting to a bus or train that doesn’t quite reach your destination
  • Going to meetings or out to lunch during the work day
  • Running errands around the neighborhood
  • Linking trips that would be too far to walk to

The Venice program of Metro Bike Share will feature up to 15 stations and 150-200 bicycles. Metro is looking for community suggestions on where those stations should be located. To provide ideas for bike share station locations, visit https://bikeshare.metro.net/venice/. On this map you can directly provide suggestions for new stations by dropping a pin at the desired location or comment on stations others have suggested, explaining why you like or dislike the idea. The deadline for community suggestions and comments is Friday, January 6, 2017.

When thinking about station locations, consider the below criteria that will be used to evaluate the feasibility of a station:

  • Connectivity – Connections to transit hubs and key destinations
  • Space Availability – Wide sidewalks, plazas, and parking spaces
  • Accessibility – Stations should be visible and easy to get to 24/7
  • Sun – Sunny spots are best since stations run on solar power
  • Demand and Support – Stations should be located where people will use them

After the suggestion and comment period closes on January 6, Metro and LADOT will evaluate each submission and release a second map with feasible station suggestions for review and comment. Input received on both maps will be used to determine the proposed stations. At this time, there are no proposed stations by Metro or the City, just community-suggested.

 

Three Qualify for Council Seat Ballot

Incumbent Councilperson Mike Bonin qualified for the 7 March ballot as did Robin Rudisill and Mark Ryavec for the position of CDll Councilperson.

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This is the final for CD11 candidates.  Status: Q=Qualified; I=Insufficient; W=Withdrawn; D=Disqualified.

City Council Approves VCH/Hollywood Community Housing/Moss to Explore Housing Options for Venice Median

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Venice Parking

The Venice Median Parking Lot was approved by the City Council last week to “explore options for affordable and permanent supportive housing.”

There are two properties the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) designated as surplus properties in Venice eligible for “affordable housing” development. One is the Venice Median Parking Lot and the other is the Thatcher Yard. Thatcher Yard has yet to go thru the City Council.

The Venice Median property is 122,171 square feet and is zoned Open Space and has been used as a parking lot.  The Request for Qualifications/Proposal stated that it would be rezoned to R-3 and eligible for two 35 percent density bonuses, which means that the property could accommodate 260 units, if rezoned to R-3.  This rezoning will require a change to the General Plan.

Note: The Neighborhood Integrity Initiative, which is on the March ballot, if passed, would stop “spot-rezoning” for two years even if project is for affordable housing.

By Becky Dennison, executive director of Venice Community Housing (VCH)

Note:  In addition to the following announcement, Dennison has announced that she wants to start engaging the community to explore developing the property between North and South Venice Blvd and between Pacific and Dell Ave, known as the Venice Median Parking Lot.  She has sent this information to several groups to schedule meetings for community input.

Venice Community Housing (VCH) is proud and excited to share that we, and our development team partners at Hollywood Community Housing Corporation and Eric Owen Moss Architects, were approved on December 14th by the City Council to explore options for affordable and permanent supportive housing on the city-owned parking lots between North and South Venice Boulevard, bounded by Dell and Pacific Avenues.

City’s program requires that the site be used for housing development with appropriate services onsite and that all current public parking be maintained.  However, any final development proposal can also include uses beyond housing and parking, and VCH and our partners will engage the community broadly to reach our goal of developing a project proposal that addresses our housing crisis, meets multiple needs and contributes positively to surrounding neighborhoods and Venice as a whole.

No specific development plan has been approved at this time. The City Council approval of our development team for this site provides the opportunity for us to complete an initial stage of community engagement and return to the City with a detailed development proposal.  The development proposal will then need to be formalized with the City, and subsequently follow all required public approval processes within the Neighborhood Council, City Council, Coastal Commission, and potentially other public bodies.

VCH and our partners will announce opportunities for community input, engagement, and feedback to inform and create a project proposal by Monday, December 19th.   We plan to announce an initial 90-day community engagement plan online and through our growing email list, but also expect the plan to expand throughout those 90 days as we receive more ideas and feedback. 

Our process will include community meetings, Venice Neighborhood Council meetings, door-knocking and flyering in all immediately surrounding neighborhoods, tours of existing permanent supportive and affordable housing, tours of the architecture work of Eric Owen Moss, a dedicated email address to receive input and share periodic results, presentations/discussions at existing local organizations’ meetings, as well as other activities. 

We are very open to all ideas about how best to ensure broad community input.  Each part of the community engagement process will be publicized in advance and the results will be well documented and shared.   If we are able to enter into a development agreement with the City after the initial process, we are then committed to further community engagement throughout the entire development period, to focus on design elements, traffic, impacts of construction, and other issues of interest or concern.

Until the dedicated email address for the Venice-Dell site is activated, please feel free to reach out with questions or other input to Becky Dennison, VCH’s Executive Director, at: bdennison@vchcorp.org.

 

Water Backs Up Into Oxford Triangle … As If It Hadn’t Been Fixed

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Water from Oxford Basin backs up into low areas of Oxford Triangle, as if the complete revamp of the Oxford Basin had never happened.

It took a year to “rebuild” the Oxford Basin for it to become a retention container for drainage in the area.  Residents were assured this water backup into Oxford Basin would never happen again.  Residents were concerned about high tide and the locks not letting out water to ocean.  They asked will the water then continue to back up into the Oxford Triangle.  County assured all that it would never happen again.  Before dedication it happened but it was discovered that someone had left the locks locked.

As photos were being taken at about 7 am Sunday morning  the increase was evident.  Photos were sent about 7:30 am to Josh Svensson, chief architect of Oxford Basin for county department of water and power. He called Venice Update and said high tide had occurred and water should start going down … a statement would be made soon.  He was in process of getting it fixed immediately.

Update checked at 8:30 am and water had stopped flowing and street water was receding.

Kerjon Lee, public affairs manager for LA County Public Works, made the following statement:

At approximately 5:30 am Sunday, LA County maintenance crews arrived at Oxford Basin in response to a notification from our 24-hour Dispatch unit. Upon investigating the basin and recently-installed tide gates, crew members found that one of the two six-foot gates was stuck in an open position. This caused the basin to fill with the rising tide, resulting in some water backing up along Oxford Ave. No residential or commercial properties were affected.

Upon further inspection, crews determined that a component of the slide gate actuator, the mechanism that opens and closes the gate, had been damaged.

By 1 pm Sunday, crews had closed the gate and returned the water level in the basin back to normal. The remaining seven-foot gate remains in good operating condition and normal operating levels within the basin will be maintained.

Maintenance crews will meet with the contractor this week to determine the appropriate course of action for repair.

Thank You—LAPD, Councilman– Encampment at Walgreens

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The Walgreens encampment is gone. It packed up after the Venice Update published an open letter to Councilman Mike Bonin and the new LAPD Captain last Monday. Letter had been on the web a few days earlier.

It was an insane encampment with needles dropping on the sidewalk and street to inebriated people harassing vehicles and pedestrians passing. Feces was everywhere. These were not your normal homeless; these homeless were combative.

They had a bike chop shop and rode thru the neighborhood at night and early in the morning. For what reason?

The story carried the law and the settlement that affects the law. Remember the two because many police do not know the law. The one at the encampment recently was not aware of law other than homeless weren’t allowed after 6 am.

Residents of Carter, which is first street parallel to Lincoln, have suffered with these transients off and on for years. One family on Carter with young children moved because of it. Various members of the community have “done the dance” with the police and with Walgreens but it persists.

Chris Cerbo suggested that all police cars route thru Walgreens parking lot to keep the area clear.

“Obviously, it requires a continuous, persistent effort,” according to Venice Update. “The burden should be on the police, not on the residents to keep this corner clear. Panhandling at the Washington—Lincoln intersection should be stopped. It is illegal. This is a big attraction and sometimes the first sign of homeless settling in.”

The area does have a new senior lead officer (SLO) replacing Gregg Jacobus. New SLO Javier Ramirez contact information is 39174@lapd.online, 310-622-3971.

Live/Sleep LAMC 85.02 will be Law 7 January

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(Photo courtesy of John Betz.)

The rewritten LAMC 85.02, defining where and when live/sleep vehicles can park on city streets, will go into effect and be enforceable 7 January.

The new LAMC 85.02 prohibits live/sleep vehicles in residential areas during the hours of 9 pm to 6 am and at no time within 500 feet of a park, licensed school, pre-school or daycare facility. Posted city parking restrictions will remain in force. They will be able to park in commercial/industrial zoned areas.

This law will sunset 1 July 2018.  

The new code is as follows:

SEC. 85.02. REGULATING THE USE OF VEHICLES FOR DWELLING.

A. Use of Vehicles for Dwelling Restricted on City Streets. No person
shall use a Vehicle for Dwelling as follows:

1. Between the hours of 9:00 P.M. and 6:00 A.M. on any Residential
Street; or
2. At any time within a one Block radius of any edge of a lot containing
a park or a licensed school, pre-school or daycare facility.

Nothing herein precludes the enforcement of any other laws such as parking restrictions, including, but not limited to, prohibitions on overnight parking.

B. Definitions: As used in this section:

1. Block is defined as 500 feet.
2. Dwelling means more than one of the following activities and when
it reasonably appears, in light of all the circumstances, that a person is using a vehicle as a place of residence or accommodation:

Possessing inside or on a vehicle items that are not associated with ordinary vehicle use, such as a sleeping   bag, bedroll, blanket, sheet, pillow, kitchen utensils, cookware, cooking equipment, bodily fluids. Obscuring some or all of the vehicle’s windows. Preparing or cooking meals inside or on a vehicle. Sleeping inside a   vehicle.

3. Residential Street means any street which adjoins one or more
single family or multi-family residentially zoned parcel.
4. Vehicle means any motor vehicle, trailer, house car or trailer coach
as defined by the California Vehicle Code.

C. Penalty. A first violation of this section shall be punishable as an infraction not to exceed $25. A second violation of this section shall be punishable as an infraction not to exceed $50 and all subsequent violations of this section shall punishable as an infraction not to exceed $75. Violators may be eligible for referral to a prosecutorial-Ied diversion program such as the Homeless Engagement and Response Team (HEART).

D. Sunset Provisions. The provisions of this section shall expire and bedeemed to have been repealed on July 1, 2018, unless extended by ordinance.

E. Severability. If any portion, subsection, sentence, clause or phrase of this section is for any reason held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such a decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this section. The City Council hereby declares that it would have passed this ordinance and each portion or subsection, sentence, clause and phrase herein, irrespective of the fact that anyone or more portions, subsections, sentences, clauses or phrases be declared invalid.

Enforcement
The City Attorney’s letter dealt with the enforcement situation and wrote to the City Council members the following:

City Council sought to enforce the draft ordinance through the City’s Administrative Citation Enforcement (ACE) program. However, the ACE program relies on the violator having a current and valid mailing address. Based on information provided by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) and others, people who use their vehicles to dwell often do not have reliable mailing addresses. Therefore, the ACE program is not suitable as a tool to enforce the draft ordinance.

In order to establish enforcement that meets the goals of City Council, the draft ordinance provides for the issuance of infraction citations with a penalty structure requested by City Council: $25 for first violation, $50 for the second violation and $75 for third and subsequent violations. A violator can pay the fine or appear in court to challenge the issuance of the citation. Alternatively, a violator may seek eligibility for dismissal of the citation through participation in the Homeless Engagement and Response Team (HEART) program or similar prosecutorial led diversion program.

The City will provide public outreach concerning information about where people can vehicle dwell on City streets. Public outreach will be coordinated with LAHSA and homeless service providers through the creation and distribution of maps developed by the City denoting the streets on which vehicle dwelling is allowed. The maps will be made available on the City’s website and updated regularly.

The adoption of this draft ordinance will allow the City to collect data for an environmental analysis of permanent regulation of vehicles used for dwelling on public streets.

3rd Avenue Gets Cleaned as do the Residents on Fridays

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Lava Mae, managed by Jasmin Kozowy, comes each Friday close to 8:30 am and leaves close to noon to provide clean showers for those living on 3rd Avenue. Bureau of Sanitation comes, after they finish on Ocean Front Walk, to clean and sanitize the street and the sidewalks.

Maria expresses her gratitude for the shower.

Canal Bridge Lights Go On, As Did Party

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(Photo courtesy of Darryl DuFay.)

The 15th Annual Voice of the Canals Bridge and Holiday Lighting ceremony and Party took place in the small community of the canals north of Washington. This year Regina Weller of the LAPD Homeless Task Force spoke of the work she and her husband Steve had done along with the police task force to end homelessness in Venice. The canal association donated $1000 to further their work.

Marina to Have Boat Parade, “Snow Wonder” and New Year’s Fireworks

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The 54th annual Marina Boat Parade will be 10 December from 6 to 8 pm. Preceding the boat parade, Beaches and Harbors will host “Snow Wonder” for children from noon to 6 pm at Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way.

Real snow will be available for sledding, there will be face painting, arts & crafts, food trucks, and a live DJ. There will be a five-minute fireworks show kicking off the boat parade.

New Year’s Eve the Beaches and Harbors will host the New Year Eve fireworks off the jetty. In addition, Burton Chace Park will have the large TV screen up so viewers can watch the countdown and celebrations starting with New York at 7 pm.