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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Murez Wins Abbot Kinney-Venice Blvd Appeal

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This is the corner of Abbot Kinney and Venice Blvd.  The area where the trees are is the land in question.

By Jim Murez

With almost no help from the community (except from Stewart Oscars showing up), Robert Aronson and I were able to defeat the applicant.  The hearing went really late, did not end until about 10:30p with a 4:30 start time (although our two cases which were heard as one did not start until about 8 pm as the second item on their agenda).

My appeal which included over 100 pages of backup materials about this site gave us and the commissioners a lot of good arguments to sink our teeth into.  The Commissioners in their findings could not make the minimum requirements to allow the applicant to take this 5200 SF of land out of the public sector.  And with all of the claims the applicant made about ownership rights, it was still not enough to fool the majority of the commissioners.   …interesting, Commissioner Heather Rozman voted the opposite on every point and was trying to help the applicant with their case throughout the hearing, almost as though she was a shill planted by the Mayor to meet some hidden agenda!  There was no reason or rime to her points of view in my or any of the other three commissioners opinions.

One has to wonder why the City has allowed this to go this far… the coastal commission had already denied a similar request in 2006 at this same site.  This again came up last night and gave Commissioner Joe Halper a very good argument to deny the CDP request.  He stated this is a precedent when the CCC has made a prior ruling.  Commissioner Esther Margulies and President of the commission made several good findings why they could not support the requests, she really did her research… and even went on to point out when she had visited the site, she observed several people on bikes using the site as a resting place (within the  area which would be fenced off if the proposal were approved).

The council office chief of staff Tricia Keane got up and asked the commission to help try to settle with some sort of approval with the intent that if they conceded to these applicant requests, it would lead the way to settling the pending law suit the applicant has with the City. (Court case is currently scheduled for March 2018.)

LADOT got up and spoke for the applicant too.  In their words, this was going to be the first off-street Metro Bike Share location.  When asked by Margulies if the reduced sidewalk width because of the proposed bike rack location would be encroaching into the existing pedestrians sidewalk, they commented they did not know what the sidewalk size should be for an intersection of this nature.  The proposed request by LADOT for the bike racks is only four feet knowing the balance of the bike would hang out over the sidewalk.  And keep in mind, this corner already hosts two bus routes and is considered by the CCC and most visitors as the primary path to Venice Beach!

The applicants primary argument was the land was theirs and the easement that has been in place for well over 100 years has been interpreted incorrectly.  What they said in not so few words, all of the properties along Venice Blvd (43) that have had surveys over the past 100+ years were done wrong… this would include the Caltrans surveys that relinquished California State Highway 147 to the City in 1992 and made it possible for me to plant the 650 native trees that now line the streetscape.  The council office commented offline this was Ruth Galanter wishes too, leaving out the part about during the 16 years she was councilwoman and brokered the deal with the State to give up the land, she was never able to make this leap to privatizing the open space on Venice Beach.  And for that matter, she supported my 1992 tree planting efforts with a Council Motion back when I needed help getting through the City permitting process.  Makes no sense…

So where do we go from here…?  More to come.

Jim Murez to Appeal Decision Giving Bruckheimer NW Corner of Abbot Kinney

Jim Murez, local activist and member of the Venice Neighborhood Council, said Friday he would be appealing the decision that gave the easement on the northwest corner of Abbot Kinney Blvd to the owner, Jerry Bruckheimer.  He had until Monday (2 October) to do the appeal.

The Update will publish the date of the appeal hearing when it is available.

The story of the easement “give away” is  here.

Parking Lot Murals on Abbot Kinney

Two Abbot Kinney merchants share the same parking areas and have murals to decorate their areas.

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Parking Lot Murals, Abbot Kinney

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Murals are on fencing in Abbot Kinney parking lot. Update comment is: What a nice touch for an ugly fence. As far as graffiti is concerned, these murals seem to fare better than murals exposed on Abbot Kinney

Abbot Kinney Festival was Hot, Crowded and Wonderful

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Festival probably hit records for number of people and heat, yet people still brought their dogs–one had a sweater on–to walk on the hot asphalt with all the hot bodies.

Spirit of Venice awards went to the team of Alley and Orson Bean, Rabbi Lori Shapiro, and Senior Lead Officer Peggy Thusing, who was absent.

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Alley and Orson Bean.

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Councilman Mike Bonin presents award to Rabbi Lori Shapiro.

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About 20 awards were presented to various groups/people that were as varied as the man who reads Moby Dick, to the Venice Library, to Art Crawl. Don Novak, long-time resident of Abbot Kinney, said the Abbot Kinney association collects money each year from booth rental, truck rental, donations and then 100 percent of that money is given in awards.

One does not have to dress for the occasion but some do.dress1_edited-1

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But no matter how one dresses or whether one wins the Spirit, one has the opportunity to learn something.

Abbot Kinney Mural Gets Tagged Again

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Once again the mural at 1416 Abbot Kinney gets graffitied as reported by Stewart Oscars. The mural is still within the security camera eyes,  July the mural was graffitied and vandals were caught on security cameras.  Mural was cleaned and here it is today. Vandals have not been caught.

Arnold Springer to Publish “History of Venice 1850 to 1939”

Longtime Venice activist and Venice office holder Arnold Springer said he would be releasing his “History of Venice 1850 to 1939” in three or four months. Release date will be forthcoming.

Springer was a history teacher at California State University at Long Beach before retiring from “academics and politics … national, regional and local. At CSULB he taught Russian History, European Intellectual History, Methodology and Philosophy of History, and Local History.

KCET did some filming of his Venice history in segments. One can see them at: https://www.kcet.org/shows/departures/dr-arnold-springer-venice-historian They start with Venice was an Estuary.

“In three our four months I should be ready to publish and release my History
of Venice of America 1850-1939. Right now I am proofreading and will let you know when it is available,” he wrote.

“It will be printed in a limited number of copies and distributed in Venice.
Initially. it will be distributed free to family and selected friends.

“After the initial free distribution has been completed, it will become
available at Small World of Books only in Venice, and the terms or price
there will be set by Mary Goodfader, owner of Small World.

“It will not be available online.

Apparently, Arnold has plans for more than just the initial book.

Book #2:
Materials for the Popular History of Venice
New Venice: Amusements: Vice: Curiosities.

Book #3:
Materials for the Ethnic History of Venice
Asians: Blacks: Native Americans: Mexicans: Jews: Russians.

Book #4:
Materials for the Monographic History of Venice
Art: Agriculture: Aviation: Canals: Politics.

Book #5:
Materials for the Monographic History of Venice
Radicals: Workers: Women: World War One:
Water: Sewers: Oil: Police: Individuals.

Additional Materials:
Abbot Kinney: To be released at a later date.

Arnolds said the manuscripts for the above and any additional materials that are not
published will, in the future, be housed/located at: Venice Collection,
Special Collections, Research Library, California State University Long
Beach.

Bike Corrals next to short red at corners and crosswalks in Santa Monica

Merchants of Abbot Kinney, headed by Elisa James, along with the council office and department of transportation are checking all the coloring of the curbs on Abbot Kinney after so many discrepancies were reported. Elisa James can be contacted at elisa@abbotkinney.org.

As well as crazy unabashed curb coloring on Abbot Kinney, Update feels that the corrals could be closer to the corners where the red is, and perhaps, be part of the red. Visibility of bikes is better than a parked car. Is a long red curb and then corrals really necessary?

Also, corrals could be next to crosswalk red.

The pictures below show how Santa Monica is handling the crosswalk and corner reds with the corrals.

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Bike corral abutting short red at corner.

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Bike corral abutting crosswalk short red.

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Bike corral abutting lighted pedestrian crosswalk and no red.

Oversize Vehicle Signs for Abbot Kinney in the Works

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Oversized vehicle signs for Abbot Kinney Blvd from Venice to Washington are forthcoming according to Chuy Orozco, senior field deputy for Councilman Mike Bonin.

Move Bike Corrals to the Corners?

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How about moving the bike corrals toward the corners, rather than in the middle of the block. The result would be more parking. The reason for red at the corners is for visibility and maneuverability. One can see thru bikes easier than a car, so why not use part of the red for the corrals at the corners.

Last week there was an article about the Abbot Kinney Blvd creative curb painting. Elisa James of the Abbot Kinney Association has volunteered to be the point person for the curbing colors. If you have any comments please reply to this article and Elisa will get back to you. Elisa will be contacting the Department of Transportation to get the curb color corrected throughout Abbot Kinney Blvd.

This article questions the necessity for having the corrals in the middle of the block. By the way, the red for the picture shown above is approximately 70 feet. One should know that that much red is not needed. It was red before the bike corral. How much red does this corner really need? And why couldn’t the bike corral fit closer to the corner, leaving room for more parking.

The real question is: Why couldn’t a bike corral be part of a curb setback? And then why couldn’t the corrals be more plentiful on corners? For example if the real setback should be 25 feet, why couldn’t the corral’s 20 feet be some part of that set back?

Bike corrals are installed by the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (DOT) after an application is accepted. Applicants must agree to the maintenance agreement. The agreement is straight forward … one must keep the area clean and no graffiti, etc. A bike corral is a car width and approximately 20 feet in length and can accommodate approximately 14 to 20 bikes

If DOT agrees that the corrals can be part of the curb setback, why not put them on more corners. Perhaps, change the design so they are not so “cumbersome,” “bulky.”

The mayor and councilman want more bike use, more Great Streets. Well!!!!