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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Thatcher Yard Project Approved at the Current VNC Board’s Last Meeting

By Angela McGregor

Election season was the mood of the evening at the May 2019 meeting of the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC).

A table at the back of the room was covered in flyers, postcards and door hangers from various candidates as well as a big stack of 2019 VNC election guides, containing the pictures and statements from 47 candidates, 34 of them running for one of the 13 Community Officer at Large positions.

In his remarks, Election Committee Chair Ivan Spiegel stated that the election social media campaign has begun, election guides are being distributed around neighborhoods, and lawn signs are soon to follow. The election is 2 June from 10 am to 6 pm at the Oakwood Recreation Center, 767 California.

Thatcher Yard Project
Although the agenda was a long one, the marquee item, for which the majority of attendees in the packed auditorium had come, was the presentation on Thomas Safran & Associates’ (TSA) PSH/Affordable Housing project at Thatcher Yard. For details.

Tyler Monroe of TSA gave power point presentation of the 98 unit [68 seniors, 30 families; half seniors with low to extremely low incomes and half formerly homeless with 25 percent of that half being permanent supportive homeless (PSH)], coastal-craftsman style development, and also detailed the extensive interaction that TSA had over the past three years with residents in the Oxford Triangle which resulted in the project being scaled down from the initially proposed 152 units.

In public commentary, members of the #shedoes movement, current, formerly homeless residents of Safran’s Del Rey development and representatives from Venice Community Housing (both Linda Lucks and Becky Dennison) all rose to speak in favor of the project, although a few affordable housing advocates felt the project should be more dense. Three Oxford Triangle residents also spoke in favor of the project and reiterated Monroe’s description of the extensive public outreach that resulted in the neighborhood’s general approval of Safran’s design.

Board commentary was also generally positive. Jim Murez pointed out a couple of flaws — that the trees proposed for the project would, in this climate, never reach the tops of even the shortest structures, and so should be replaced with hardier and taller varieties. Also, he expressed concern that the front doors of the family townhouses that face the single family homes on Princeton and Oxford were facing inward rather that to the street, discouraging neighborhood interaction.

Ira Koslow felt the clock tower (a signature of every Safran development) was an unnecessary waste of space, given that “nobody tells time anymore, they all look at their phones”, but Ilana Marosi disagreed, pointing out that both the seniors and children who would be living at the Yard were “able to tell time”. Matt Royce — the lone dissenting Board vote — said he admired the project and commended TSA on their extensive outreach, but could not approve the project because, in his opinion the project is worth “at least a 40 or 50 million dollars” and funds from the City sale could have been used to build far more housing in a denser, less expensive development. In the end, the project pass 16-1-1.

The meeting did not adjourn until well past 11pm, and the next meeting, on June 18th, will feature the swearing-in of an entirely new Board, the first in three years.

Voters’ Guide for June VNC Election is Here

This week the City released the Voter Guide — all the candidates and their statements — for the Venice Neighborhood Council  2 June election.  The guide was set up such that the only way to present such is via a link.  Link to Venice’s Neighborhood Council 2019 Voter Guide finalRVHighRes

Many people think of these people who serve on the board as volunteers. Elizabeth Wright who is on the election committee has this to say about “volunteers” and it is worth repeating for both the candidate and the voter.

I disagree with those who consider the VNC Board as volunteers. To me, a better term is unpaid elected officials. They are part of the L.A. City government. They are the communication link from the stakeholders to the City Council. In addition to preparing for and attending the monthly Board meetings and quarterly town halls, each is expected to chair or participate in at least one committee, where the work is really done. All that is a commitment of a lot of time.

VNC Pre-Election Events Posted for 2 June Election

Pre-election Events are ramping up for you, the voter,  to meet the candidates opting for the Venice Neighborhood Council positions, and this year, all positions are open.

21 May — At VNC meet all candidates will have a table to put out their flyers.  All candidates will have the opportunity to introduce themselves.

23 May — Meet and Greet from 6 to 9 pm at Waterfront Cafe, 205 Ocean Front Walk.

28 May — Executive Officer Candidate Forum (President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer,Outreach, Communications, LUPC Chair) 6 pm, Westminster Elementary School, 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd.

30 May — Community Officer Candidate Forum 6 pm, Westminster Elementary School, 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd.

Fridays Until Election — A “free speech zone” will be outside the Farmers’ Market from 7 to 11 am for candidates to pass out flyers, talk.

2 June — Election Day, 10 am  to 6 pm, Oakwood Recreation Center, 767 California Ave, Venice

Let the race begin … VNC Candidates off and running at Penmar Park

Let the race begin … The Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) election campaigning began with the East Venice Neighborhood Association (EVNA) invitation for the candidates of the VNC offices of president and chair of Land Use and Planning (LUPC) to speak.

Only presidential candidate Ira Koslov was present for that office. Hollie Stinson was out of the country and Scott Maher has dropped out of the race.

Alix Gucovsky and Daffodil Tyminski were the only representatives for the LUPC chairmanship. Nicole Vann has dropped out.

Each candidate was given an opportunity to discuss his background and his reasons for why he would be good for the position sought. Then questions were opened to the audience of about 40 people.


Ira Koslov

Koslov served as a VNC community officer for 11 years and is presently the president. He was a teacher and was in the entertainment business as an agent and is now retired.

He said as president he tries to make the VNC inclusive — to make sure all get to give their views. He said the board tries to be effective by getting the “council office to listen to us.” City Planning respects our recommendations that we discuss from LUPC. The session of Koslov did not get taped.

Alix is a talent agent for the entertainment industry who became an activist after moving to Venice. She first got involved in the community when a neighbor decided to remodel a house that ended up being a complete redo. She then got involved with the road diets and has gotten upset with buildings getting bigger and the parking smaller.

Alix is answering a question asked by David Ewing about the two sides of Lincoln Blvd. One in the Coastal and one not in the Coastal.

Daffodil Tyminski is an attorney in private practice. She was with the City Attorney. She has been a member of the VNC as a community officer and presently is a member of LUPC.

Daffodil is answering questions asked by Mark Ryavec regarding the MTA lot and 720 Rose Ave. She also touched on the Venice Median project.

Pier Renovation, Scooter Regulation, Measure EE Featured at April VNC Meeting

By Angela McGregor

The Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) Board meeting Tuesday was held in memory of renowned wardrobe stylist and longtime Venice resident, Suzann Chevalier.

A number of people rose to speak in general comments in opposition to Measure EE, scheduled to appear on the primary ballot this coming June 4th.   The measure, viewed here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/5sax94w3bp5bs46/LAUSD%20June%204%202019%20Local%20Revenue%20Measure%20Resolution%20%2B%20Text%20FINAL%20%281%29.pdf?dl=0, would levy a parcel tax of an additional $.16 per square foot of structure per year on both residential and commercial properties. The money would be allocated toward Los Angeles schools, in an effort to get around Proposition 13 restrictions on property taxation. On a 1500 square foot home, this would add roughly $225 per year to the owner’s property tax bill.

City engineer Gus Malkoun gave a presentation on the upcoming renovation of the Venice Pier, using $5 million in city funds recently allocated toward the project at the urging of Councilman Bonin. The project, which recently received permits from the Coastal Commission, will commence September, 2019 and the pier will re-open the following May. Roughly 600 square feet of space in the adjacent parking lot will also be used for the project.

Two motions on the agenda involved regulation of motorized scooters. The first, put forth by Colleen Saro on behalf of the Ocean Front Walk committee, calls upon the City to enforce existing regulations to keep all motorized vehicles off of the Bike Path and the Boardwalk from the Marine apron south to Washington Blvd. This motion passed unopposed.

The second motion, put forth by James Murez on behalf of the Parking & Transportation Committee, calls upon the City to consider three regulatory recommendations which would all involve the sharing of rideshare data between the City and companies involved:

1) The creation of designated parking zones — white painted rectangular regions — in which persons restocking inventory of scooters, including charging personnel, would be required to place the scooters.

2) Given that encampment residents have been spotted illegally charging scooters via utility poles (for which they are compensated by the scooter companies), the requirement that anyone allowed to participate in a mobility device provider charging program show proof of a valid DWP utility bill in their name, or written permission from the owner of their rental home.

3) Modifications to the devices such that they are rendered inoperable on public right-of-ways, including bike paths and wrong way streets, or anywhere in violation of Los Angeles’s municipal code.

This motion also passed unopposed.

For the second month in a row, the meeting adjourned early — around 8:30pm. The next meeting of the VNC Board (possibly the last one for this Board, since the new Board is expected to be sworn in at the June meeting following the June 2nd elections) will be Tuesday, May 21st at 7pm.

VNC to Meet Tuesday, 7 pm

The Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) will meet Tuesday, 7 pm at the Westminster Elementary School, 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd.

Board Agenda April 2019 (1)

 

Candidates for the Venice Neighborhood Council (4 of 4) — At-Large Community and Community Officers

Candidates for the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) have been announced.  This year there will be a complete new cast to be elected in June and they will hold office for two years.   All the seats are open.

To qualify candidates must live, work, or own real property within the VNC boundaries and be 16 years old or older. These are the same qualifications to vote — live, work, or own real property within the VNC boundaries and be 16 or older.

Candidates are:

At-Large Community Officer (13 will be elected; vote for one)

Eric Neiman

 

Nisa Kove

 

 

Matthew Levy

 

 

Angela McGregor

 

Megan Kissinger

 

 

Patrick Tudor

 

 

Sam Trude

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Todd Stern

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Matt Fisher

Stephen Meadows

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Charles Rials

Chris Zonnas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark Ryavec

CJ Cole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Sugarman

Christian Wrede

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Murez

Eric Schiff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Justin Brezhnev

Dylan Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those running but without pictures are: Matthew Levy, Chris Wells,  Sunny Bak, Travis Binen, Brian Averill, John Reed, Michael Dubin, Jim Robb, Jamie Page,  Elizabeth Clay, Michael Greco, Matthew Royce, Amy Devault, Bradley Avery, Robert Thibodeau, Chessa Latifi Donaldson, Juliette Cummins Sponsel, and Grant Hughes.

Community Interest/Community Officer

Qualifications to RUN:
Stakeholders who do not live, work, or own real property within the VNC boundaries, who are 16 years or older, and who affirm a substantial and ongoing participation within the Neighborhood Council’s boundaries, and who may be in a community organization such as, but not limited to, educational, non-profit, and/or religious organizations.

Qualifications to VOTE:
Stakeholders who do not live, work, or own real property within the VNC boundaries, who are 16 years or older, and who affirm a substantial and ongoing participation within the Neighborhood Council’s boundaries, and who may be in a community organization such as, but not limited to, educational, non-profit, and/or religious organizations.

Only one Officer

Only one running is Bruno Hernandez (no photo)

Candidates for Venice Neighborhood Council (3 of 4 )–Communications and Outreach Officers

Candidates for the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) have been announced.  This year there will be a complete new cast to be elected in June and they will hold office for two years.   All the seats are open.

To qualify candidates must live, work, or own real property within the VNC boundaries and be 16 years old or older. These are the same qualifications to vote — live, work, or own real property within the VNC boundaries and be 16 or older.

Candidates are:

Communications Officer

 

 

Outreach Officer

Joslyn Williams

Alby Navarro

Sima Kostovetsky

 

 

Candidates for Venice Neighborhood Council (2 of 4) — Secretary, Treasurer, LUPC Chair

Candidates for the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) have been announced.  This year there will be a complete new cast to be elected in June and they will hold office for two years.   All the seats are open.

To qualify candidates must live, work, or own real property within the VNC boundaries and be 16 years old or older. These are the same qualifications to vote — live, work, or own real property within the VNC boundaries and be 16 or older.

Candidates are:

Secretary

Melissa Diner

Treasurer

Hugh Harrison (no photo)

 

Chair of Land Use and Planning Committee (LUPC)

Daffodil Tyminski

Alix Gucovsky

Nicole Vann (no photos)

 

 

 

Candidates for Venice Neighborhood Council (1 of 4) — President and Vice President

Candidates for the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) have been announced.  This year there will be a complete new cast to be elected in June and they will hold office for two years.   All the seats are open.

To qualify candidates must live, work, or own real property within the VNC boundaries and be 16 years old or older. These are the same qualifications to vote — live, work, or own real property within the VNC boundaries and be 16 or older.

Candidates are:

President

Ira Koslow (incumbent)

Hollie Stenson

Scott Maher (no photo.)

Vice President

George Francisco (incumbent)

Grant Turck