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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

VCH to Hold Venice Median Design Workshop, 11 July

(28 July 2019) Venice Community Housing with hold a design workshop for the Venice Median project 11 July, 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Venice Community Housing, 718 Rose Ave.

The Venice Median is the 140 unit affordable/psh project scheduled for the parking lot between North and South Venice Blvd, east of Pacific.

“The format and content of this design workshop will be exactly the same as the one held 18 June, so while anyone is welcome, there is no need to attend again,” read the announcement. Following the workshops, design elements will begin to be finalized, and updated images will be available.

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.

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.

Appeal of 718 – 720 Rose to be Heard by Planning Commission in Van Nuys, Thursday

Note: The Venice Community Housing Corporation claims this is the last time this will be heard.  This is a housing project on fast track. Few people know what that means. This is an appeal to try to make corrections. If these corrections are not obtained, the property will be built as is, setting many precedents for Venice.

City Planning Commission will hear appeal of 718 – 720 Rose 24 January at 8:30 am at the Van Nuys Council Chambers, 2nd Floor, 14410 Sylvan Street, Van Nuys, 91401.

Appellants are John Reed, Jim Murez, and Marie Hammond.

1. The appeal is to appeal the Advisory Agency’s approval of a Tentative Tract Map for a merger and re-subdivision of Block A, Lots 5 and 6 of Tract 4372 including land previously quitclaim/deeded to the City for future street purposes, and of the Categorical Exemption pursuant to CEQA Guidelines, Section 15332 (Class 32):

2. A Conditional Use for a Housing Development Project with a density bonus in excess of that permitted.

3. A 35 percent density bonus (with 10 percent affordable rental special needs projects with unobstructed access and/or paratransit service) with parking provided pursuant to AB744, and pursuant to three Off-Menu Waivers as follows:

a. Height increase of 18 feet, 8 inches for a total of 43 feet, eight inches in lieu of permitted 25 feet.

b. Waiver of the stepback provisions of the Venice Coastal Specific Plan and associated with the increased height and

c. waiver of loading space requirements.

4. Project permit compliance for a project within the Venice Coastal Specific Plan

5. A coastal development permit for a project within the single permit jurisdiction of the California Coastal Zone and

6. A Mello Act Compliance Review for a project in the California Coastal Zone.

Address all comments and questions to Oliver Netburn, City Planner, 200 North Spring Street, Room 763, Los Angeles, CA 90012 or Oliver.Netburn@lacity.org; 213-978-1382.

VCH Launches “Roots to Grow” with Safe Place for Youth (SPY)

Note: This information was taken from the VCH January newsletter.

Venice Community Housing (VCH) has launched a new program called Roots to Grow! The Roots to Grow Program is a transitional housing program operated under a partnership with Safe Place for Youth (SPY).

Roots to Grow will provide safe, secure, and stable housing for young adults in two houses. The Mitchell House, in Mar Vista, and the Ashton House, in Westwood, will each accommodate up to ten residents between the ages of 18 and 24 living in shared bedrooms.

Residents will be eligible to remain housed in the Roots to Grow transitional living program for up to 36 months with the goal of having residents exit to permanent housing after 18 months. Together, the two transitional living houses will provide a safe place to live for youth.

VNC Board Approves 720 Rose and Bridge Housing Feasibility Study

By Angela McGregor

Tuesday night’s Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) meeting was packed with dozens of supporters of the Venice Community Housing  (VCH) permanent supportive housing project at 720 Rose Avenue. Most were wearing identical black t-shirts declaring their support for Bridge, Affordable and PSH and many were holding a long-stemmed red rose. Over 70 of them offered public commentary, loudly applauding one another as they did so.

The project as proposed is considerably larger in mass and scale than the Venice Specific plan allows. It is 45 feet tall and includes only 17 onsite and seven offsite parking spaces for 35 residents (including one on-site manager) plus 1850 square feet of commercial for seven VCH staff members. In their presentation (seen here: http://www.vchcorp.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Rose-Ave-Powerpoint-8-30-18Part1.pdf), the applicants stated that it’s their belief that state law, in the form of Assembly Bill 744, supersedes the Venice Coastal Specific Plan, although it’s not a “fate accompli” and the project will require many more approvals (including Coastal Commission) going forward.

The four story complex, which features a center courtyard in lieu of air conditioning, is 45 feet tall, or roughly 20 feet taller than would otherwise be allowed by the Venice Specific Plan. The developer said they have provided step-back on the roof to bring the front of the building in compliance with the VSP limit. Of the 34 residents, 50 percent would be for chronically homeless and 50 percent for homeless transition-aged youth. All units would be earmarked for supportive housing and two full time social services staff members would have offices onsite. The project is designed by Santa Monica architects, Brooks + Scarpa.

Proponents of the project, many of whom were from Safe Place for Youth, cited the crushing need for youth housing in the area and stated that some of their clients were working in Venice businesses while still sleeping on the streets.

Others pointed out that there has been no new, affordable housing development in Venice in over 20 years despite widespread gentrification. (Del Rey on Beach is one new one that VCH claims for Venice. It was stated that VCH manages 16 buildings, 226 units.) Still others offered a more political view which devalued density and parking concerns in light of what they termed a “humanitarian crisis”.

Those directly involved with the project insisted that the state has ruled that local zoning restrictions on parking are unnecessary for PSH developments, since the residents simply do not own cars.

The Venice residents who spoke against the project were no less impassioned (although greatly outnumbered). They pointed out that VCH has yet to meet with neighbors and present a proposal that would meet VSP requirements and allay their concerns about insufficient parking, and that a project this out of scale with the surrounding neighborhood would set a precedent for future, oversized development.

Board comment on the project focused on the need for such dense, affordable housing in Venice in order to preserve the community’s diversity, as well as to address the obvious, growing homelessness crisis. Board members also voiced concerns about the scale of the project, in light of how strictly they have enforced the VSP for other types of development. In the end, the motion to approve the project passed, 9-4-1.

In the other LUPC item of the night, the Board voted to approve Jim Murez’s suggested feasibility study for Bridge Housing at other other potential sites in CD11 as the City  analyses  the MTA Lot for such a project.

Murez’s PowerPoint presentation (seen here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/11i5x7RCh6124DsJdeObZwbCPeeMARxiz) pointed out a number of LUPC concerns with the MTA Lot project as described on the city’s website (seen here: https://11thdistrict.com/a-bridge-home/venice-faq/), including the lack of kitchen space in the plans and implying the delivery of over 400 meals a day with parking for just seven vehicles), the lack of laundry space for residents, and the lack of office space for onsite staff.

The alternative sites presented — the West LA Municipal Center, the Westchester Municipal Center, Daniel Freeman Hospital and the LAPD  Training Center and Operations Center — all include such facilities and could be permanent

Another VNC Board member — Steve Livigni — has resigned from the Board, leaving two vacancies to be filled at the December meeting. Application forms can be found on the VNC’s website. The entire Board will be replaced in an election in June, and anyone interested in running for the Board can file an application to do so this February.

The next meeting of the VNC Board will be Tuesday, December 18th.

Chalk Art Festival at Pacific

Mom and kids chalking up the parking lot at Pacific Ave during the Venice Community Housing Chalk Art Festival Saturday. Many chalkers were very tall but having fun.

VCH to Hold Open House to Show and Explain Project Rebuild

Venice Community Housing (VCH) will be holding an open house and informational meeting 26 June from 6 to 9 pm at 718-721 Rose Ave to discuss their proposed project of rebuilding to accommodate all their offices and 34 homeless, of which half will be for transition aged youth and half for chronically homeless.


Venice Design Series Events Start in April

The Venice Design Series, which is an outgrowth of the Home and Garden Show that Linda Lucks and Jay Griffith initiated and that lasted for years, will start this month. All proceeds go to the Venice Community Housing Corporation. For information, tickets, or sponsorship, contact Linda Lucks at 310-526-3857, LLucks@vchcorp.org. The contact fields below do not work.


VCH to Build Housing on Their Rose Ave Site


Story and photo reprinted, with permission, from Venice Community Housing Monthly Newsletter

Venice Community Housing (VCH)  is planning to redevelop its current administrative offices into Rose Avenue Apartments!

Located at 718-720 Rose Avenue at the intersection of Lincoln Blvd. and Rose Ave., VCH will provide permanent supportive housing for 34 formerly homeless households- 50% for transitional aged youth, 50% for those who have experienced chronic homelessness and one unit for a resident manager. 

According to the VCH  newsletter, “Rose Apartments will help VCH continue to address the overwhelming need for permanent supportive housing for people who are experiencing homelessness or chronic homelessness, especially for those on the Westside of LA, one of the regions most under-served by permanent supportive housing development. VCH believes that providing housing and supportive services to those who are most vulnerable helps establish and maintain stability and health, reduces costs for ER visits, hospitalizations, and jail stays, and contributes to the overall inclusive and equitable development of the neighborhood.”

The above photo is a rendering of the development by architecture firm Brooks and Scarpa. For more information on the Rose Ave. development and other VCH new developments, visit our webpage HERE.