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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

VNC Meets Tonight

Venice Neighborhood Council monthly meeting will be held Tuesday at 7 pm at the Westminster Elementary School, 1010 Abbot Kinney.

Some of the subjects to be discussed will be modernization of Venice High School, Short-term rentals, Non-food street vending. There will be progress reports for programs or departments such as ReCode LA and Recreation and Parks.

LUPC Approves 100-seat Restaurant for OFW; VNC to Hear Project Tonight

Proposed mixed-use project of restaurant and apartments will replace blue buildings shown.

Note: Venice Neighborhood Council passed the project. It will now go to Planning.

Land Use and Planning (LUPC) approved 811-815 Ocean Front Walk Mixed Use project. The project will be a 100-seat restaurant with two residential units above restaurant at 811-815 Ocean front Walk at 811-815.

The applicant is seeking a full alcohol license. Proposed hours of operation are 8 am to midnight Sunday thru Thursday and 9 am to 1 am Friday and Saturday.

There is a proposed variance to allow mechanical lifts and tandem parking with a parking attendant.

The Venice Specific Plan and Venice Land Use Plan require only 31 parking spaces for this project. According to John Reed, the architect, the project has 37 total parking spaces as follows:
22 parking spaces for the restaurant based on one space for each 50 sq ft of service floor area
1 non-required additional parking space for the restaurant
4 beach impact zone parking spaces-
5 residential parking spaces – 2 for each unit plus one guest
5 additional non-required parking spaces by providing 20 bicycle

Councilman Bonin’s Letter Sent to VNC Board

    Note: Update felt it was important that readers know what Councilman Mike Bonin is doing in reference to ending homelessness in Venice.


Venice Wants to go Topless; Venice Wants Equality?

The Venice Neighborhood Council voted 12-2-2 Tuesday to resolve that the City and County allow women to go topless at the Venice beach.

See LA Times story.

Cushy Tushy Drive-up Day is 2 May

One can do a drop off of diapers Saturday, 2 May from 10 to 1 at the First Lutheran Church, 815 Venice Blvd. A group will be there to serve lemonade and cookies and collect diapers.

In addition, collection boxes are at CD11 Westchester office, Inglewood City Hall (Autumn Burke’s office), HUZZAH!, Electric Lodge, St Clements Church Office, First Lutheran Church of Venice and LAPD Pacific Division for you to drop off diapers from now through April 30.

After all the diapers are collected, they will be distributed equally to selected charitable groups.

For any questions, contact Nancy Feinberg at nancraef@aol.com.

VNC Tackles Sort-Term Rentals, Mello Act Compliance, Opposes Mandatory Online Council Voting

Note:This is report of happenings at the last meet of the Venice Neighborhood Council. It is prepared by members of the council.

At the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) Board meeting held Tuesday, March 17, Board members considered a wide range of issues, including short-term rentals, Mello Act compliance and mandatory online voting for future Neighborhood Council elections.

Chaired by Vice President Marc Saltzberg, the Board thanked members of the Outreach Committee and recognized the efforts of Chairperson Sylvia Aroth and team leader Rob Dew for the success of the first annual Green Venice Expo, which was held on February 28th at Mark Twain Middle School.

According to Aroth and Dew, some one thousand Venetians were in attendance, meeting with sustainability activists and vendors about keeping Venice a green community. A series of speakers, including activist/actor Ed Begley, Jr., addressed the passionate array of green activists and supporters – which also included Venice local, Tree Man!

“We were very happy with the content as well as the attendance, and we plan to make this an annual event,” noted Dew, to the applause of those in attendance.

A presentation by a subcommittee of the Land Use and Planning Committee (LUPC) discussed concerns about short-term rental housing and the effect it has on neighborhoods and affordable rentals here in Venice.

“The VNC has long understood the impact on the quality of life of short-term rentals and we will continue to support regulation of these short-term offerings,” said Vice President Saltzberg.

The Board also endorsed a request by Councilman Mike Bonin (11th CD) to improve compliance with the Mello Act, which protects affordable housing in this Coastal Zone community.

“Councilmember Bonin is to be congratulated for recognizing the lack of Mello compliance and its impact on working families who rent here in Venice,” noted Saltzberg.

In other business, the VNC endorsed a “Budget White Paper” calling for both short- and long-term changes to the municipal budget process that engages all citizens.

The Board also went on record opposing mandatory online voting for future Neighborhood Council elections.

“Neighborhood Councils are grass-roots in function, and the election guidelines and process should be determined locally. Online voting discourages a wider range of participation, and we pride ourselves on maximizing our reach to local Venetians by positioning these contests as a community gathering and Town Hall of sorts,” noted Parliamentarian Ivan Spiegel.

For more information about Venice Neighborhood Council, visit them online at www.VeniceNC.org.

The VNC has an information booth at the Farmer’s Market every Friday from 7 to 11am, just west of the Library on Venice Blvd., where you can ask questions or pick up the latest information about the Venice Community.

LUPC to Hear Four Cases Tonight

Land Use and Planning Committee will hear four cases tonight (3 March) from 7:30 pm at The Terrace Restaurant, 7 Washington Blvd.

These are the cases to be heard: 106 Dudley Ave (Major Remodel of SFD), North Venice Subarea; 2709 Ocean Front Walk (new SFD), North Venice Subarea; 811-815 Ocean Front Walk (mixed use-2 residential units & 100-seat restaurant w/full CUB), North Venice Subarea; 328 Rennie Ave (3 unit conversion from apartments to condos), Oakwood Subarea.

VNC Seeks Applicants for 2015-16 Community Improvement Project Funding

Note: This story was run in a previous issue but because of its importance to community, it is being run again.

The Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) is now accepting applications for community improvement projects in which funds up to $5,000 will be awarded to local groups and individuals to improve the quality-of-life in the Venice neighborhood.

Administered by the Venice Neighborhood Council, the VNC reserves the right to alter the amount due to reduced funding by the City of Los Angeles.

Applications will be accepted from Venice stakeholders and community based organizations. A community-based organization must be comprised of five or more Venice stakeholders. Qualifying organizations include homeowner associations, non-profits, neighborhood block groups, watch groups, faith-based organizations, PTAs and service organizations.

“Community Improvement Projects must provide a demonstrable benefit to Venice. The goal is to enhance Venice through beautification, community participation, education or capital improvement on public property,” noted President Mike Newhouse.

All projects submitted must conform to the funding guidelines of the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment www.EmpowerLA.org.

Application packets are available by contacting Ivan Spiegel, who serves as the program administrator. He can be reached via e-mail at parliamentarian@VeniceNC.org

All applications must be mailed and postmarked by Wednesday, April 1, 2015.

All applications should be mailed to:
Community Improvement Projects
Venice Neighborhood Council
PO Box 550
Venice, CA 90294

Ed Begley, Jr. Kicks Off First Venice Enviro Expo Saturday

Ed Begley, Jr. to keynote inaugural green gathering at Mark Twain Middle School sponsored by WHOLE FOODS MARKET!

VENICE – The Venice Neighborhood Council will be hosting the first ever Green Expo this Saturday, February 28th, at the Mark Twain Middle School located at 2224 Walgrove Avenue from 12-6PM.

Sponsored by WHOLE FOODS MARKET located on Lincoln Boulevard, this event is designed to increase the “Green IQ” of Venetians on a whole host of topics including zero waste, sustainable living, soil compost and healthy eating, as well as the case for electric cars.

Over twenty exhibitors will be on hand to discuss sustainable architecture, solar power, ocean health, grey-water solutions, home-food gardening, drought friendly landscaping, composting and other green living solutions, products and services.

An Eco Genius Bar will allow attendees to interact one-on-one with speakers and exhibitors on topics important to you.

An array of presenters will address the Expo beginning at 1:00 PM, with our keynote speaker Actor/Activist Ed Begley, Jr., closing the event beginning at 5:00PM.

Hal’s Restaurant, Superba Food + Bread, Wabi Sabi and the Venice Ale House will be supplying food and refreshments.

Admission and parking are free.

VNC President Mike Newhouse called upon all Venetians to attend.

“Sustainable living solutions from a Venice perspective will be unique, memorable and an important learning experience for all that attend. All aspects regarding green living will be addressed by local experts passionate about our community and maintaining our collective commitment to the planet,” offered Newhouse of this important grass roots gathering.

Attendees will experience the power of the Tesla Model S, which will be featured as one of the highlights of what looks to be an incredible community event.

Test rides will be available to licensed drivers.

A KidsZone will also be on-site and attendees and participants are encouraged to bike to Mark Twain Middle School, as well as to bring sustainable utensils for food and drink, to reduce our carbon footprint.

VNC Approved Lifts; Endorsed Bike Path Improvements; Agreed to Chief for Beach Operations

In a series of resolutions and endorsements, the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) approved the addition of thirty (30) automated car lifts at the Windward Circle while endorsing the appointment of a full-time superintendent to manage and operate Venice Beach, as well as calling for the County of Los Angeles to illuminate and widen the popular bike path along the ocean.

At the surface parking lot located at 29-47 Windward, the VNC approved the addition of 30 automated/hydraulic car lifts which will increase parking capacity from 38 to 68 spaces. There was widespread support to bring additional parking to the beach.

“The most important issue facing Venice is parking and, tonight, we helped alleviate the lack of parking right at the Windward Circle,” offered President Mike Newhouse. “This kind of nuts and bolts problem-solving is at the heart of why we have grass roots representation here in Los Angeles with neighborhood councils.”

The Board took the added step of endorsing Councilman Mike Bonin’s initiative to have a superintendent appointed in charge of the day-to-day operations of Venice Beach.

The VNC is asking Mayor Eric Garcetti to set aside specific line item funding in the 2015-16 Municipal Budget, to ensure that a highly qualified individual be hired to manage one of California’s premier tourist destinations.

“I support Councilman Bonin’s efforts to streamline the management and operation of Venice Beach. We need someone in charge, and that funding should be part of the 2015-16 budget discussion,” offered President Mike Newhouse.

The VNC also took the step of seeking illumination of the Venice Bike Path along with widening this popular access for bicyclists here in this urban beach enclave.

“To get people out of their cars, we need a renovated and reliable bike path for locals and tourists alike. This is the first step in such a process,” noted Board member Melissa Diner, who chairs the Oceanfront Walk Committee.

In other VNC business, the Board heard a presentation from the Mass, Scale and Character Committee, as well as an update on the upcoming Green Venice Expo Town Hall scheduled for February 28th from noon till 6pm. Sponsored by WHOLE FOODS of Venice located on Lincoln Boulevard, the event will be held at the Mark Twain Middle School at 2224 Walgrove Avenue, Venice. Green Activist and actor Ed Begley, Jr., will serve as the Expo’s keynote speaker.

The event is free to the public and all are encouraged to attend.