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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Lava Mae mobile showers use City water and City sewer system

Lava Mae the mobile showering system for the homeless that stops once a week on 3rd Avenue uses the City water system at the fire hydrant and a City sewer system dump.

The City provided Lava Mae a special dump hookup. The system ties into the main sewer line and allows Lava Mae to dump all sewage into the dump without using the holding tanks. Lava Mae has a special rig to hook up to the fire hydrants wherever they go for fresh water. The generator supplies all electrical for the system.

Normally, they can shower about 25 during their morning stop on Fridays at 3rd.

City provided a connection to the main sewer system for Lava Mae.

Lava Mae just drops their combination grey and brown water hose into the main City sewer system.

Lava Mae has its own rig for hooking to the City fire hydrant for water.

And they have their own generator to supply electricity as needed.

Ocean has rain run-off debris


Ocean filled with run-off debris after rain that hit area Wednesday and Thursday. This photo was taken at the jetty

Dickson Sidewalks Replaced When Others Really Need Replacement



Sidewalks along Dickson, north side, in the Oxford Triangle have almost completely been replaced along with the driveways. This has left questions in the minds of many Triangle residents.

All sidewalks were inspected by the City and all bumps were sanded down and all bad sidewalks were replaced in 2007. This was paid for by the $250,000 given to the Triangle as part of a mitigation settlement from the development at the south end of the Triangle.

So replacing the sidewalks in Triangle seemed a bit questionable. The workers were asked why the sidewalks were being replaced. “Some didn’t have a two-percent grade (slant),” one worker said and another said the driveways didn’t have the correct slope either.

Sidewalk replacement did not seem to equate regardless of degree of the slope. Ones thoughts went to accessibility, safety, ADA access, usage, children.

Coeur d’Alene, next to elementary school.

Residents have tried unsuccessfully to get the sidewalks repaired in front of the school for years. Children ride their bikes, scooters on the sidewalks daily to get to school. Realize trees have to be addressed along with the sidewalk replacements but …

Sidewalk on Ocean near Venice Blvd.

Just another example. There are many sidewalks in Venice that deserve replacement. The fact that the sidewalks in Triangle were inspected and replaced or sanded not too many years ago, leaves residents wondering who is in charge.

Perhaps, this sidewalk replacement priority should be “advised” by the Venice Neighborhood Council.

Betz Upset with Tenters and Vagrants in Park and LAPD Does Not Move Them

John Betz is once again beset by the flagrant oversight of the Los Angeles Police Department to keep the Westminster Park/Westminster Senior Center free of “tenters” and vagrants and also the area bordering Westminster Elementary School.

The law states that one cannot be in the park after closing, cannot sleep in the park, cannot erect a tent in the park. Yet.

Councilman Gilbert Gedillo of the LA City Homeless and Poverty, made the motion that Homeless encampments adjacent to school facilities continue to interfere with the City’s mission of safe and clean routes to schools. State of California Penal Code Section 626 defines ‘Safe School Zones’ as property within 1500 feet of a school. Yet.


“For the past two weeks two “traveling” lads, who I would estimate are about 28 years old, are living out of their car, and have been sleeping in a tent in the Westminster Park,” wrote John Betz. “And it is on Main Street right across the streets from the Westminster School. It is easy to find – right under the “School Crosswalk” sign meant to keep the school children safe while crossing the street (oh, the irony).

“I have called LAPD about 5 or 6 times to report this, usually at about 4 am when enforcement should be easy because no one is supposed to be sleeping in the park at night, but no results–apparently nothing meaningful has been done.

“I don’t understand why our community has to put up with this. The winter shelter is open and there were plenty of beds available last night, 17 Dec, (80 open beds at the shelter and 21 openings at S.H.A.R.E.). So why is this going on for so long? Why will the police not do anything? It is illegal to camp in the park and these people have a place to go. And now, because of LAPD inaction the problem in our park is growing, as it always does when the City turns a blind eye.


“This is what one mom found recently walking her child to school. The fence is the elementary school fence.”

VNC Holds Annual Holiday Festival in Oakwood

There were choraliers singing from room to room, Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus were available for photos with kids and adults, there was food, free books, games, snow sledding, prizes, politicians and then there was the gym filled with bouncies and the kiddies gone wild and loud. This was the Venice Neighborhood Council Holiday Festival Saturday at Oakwood.

Suzy Williams and her singing group went from room to room singing holiday songs.

Winter Movie Nite at Milwood, Winter Solstice

This year the Milwood Walk Street Association is inviting all to join the first Winter Solstice Movie Night, 21 December, 4 pm. Impromptu soccer for all ages starts at 3 pm.

Neighbors meet at corner of Oakwood Ave at Nowita for the movies. Although movie night is in the 11th year, this is first for winter, said Sue Kaplan. “Bundle up and bring your own seating and share in the end-of-year festivities,” she said.

Contribution is $10 per adult. Kids are free as is the freshly popped popcorn.

161209 Winter Movie Night_FINAL

Put it here, Bud

(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

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.


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.


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

Venice parking lot


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.