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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Via Dolce Park Opens to Public


Councilman Mike Bonin dedicated the pocket park at Via Dolce last Saturday along with neighbors and their children. The park is on Via Dolce near Washington Blvd and is also bordered by the Grand Canal.


Garcetti, Bonin to do a Door-to-Door for Bridge Housing, Saturday

Mayor Eric Garcetti and Councilman Mike Bonin will do a door-to-door marketing of the Bridge Housing proposed for the MTA lot on Sunset in Venice.  Bonin and Garcetti plan to rally at Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd, 9:30 am, Saturday.

Bonin Chooses MTA Lot for “Bridge Housing”

Metro 6 map

Councilman Mike Bonin has announced the use of the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) Bus lot on Sunset between Pacific and Main to be used for the “Bridge Housing” program for CD 11.  According to David Graham-Caso, chief of staff, the announcement is official.

May 21, Update printed  a survey as asked by the Council office to what appeared to be a forthcoming announcement that MTA was the spot for “Bridge Housing.”  Today a youtube arrived as well as a few questions and answers from Mike Bonin.  Who or what establishment posed the questions in unknown if there was such.    It was also stated that the VA would be used for the second “Bridge Housing.”  Update asked that Venice be second, VA first in its reply.

Update responded with the following questions that as of publication of this article have not been answered.

Is this the announcement that the MTA lot has been selected for the homeless shelter?

Does this mean that the homeless will be removed from the beach, 3rd and all the rest of the current encampments in Venice?

Will the homeless be told  they can no longer stay any place but the MTA lot?  Will this be enforced?

Does this mean that there will be no more allowed to enter Venice to fill up the areas vacated as a result of the MTA homeless shelter?

Below is the film and the questions and answers.


Q: Why use the former bus yard?
A: The former bus yard is one of the few available locations in Venice, and in a survey conducted by Mike’s office, it was the location suggested most frequently by residents who identified a need for the program in Venice. The site, at 3.15 acres, is sizeable enough to accommodate the program while providing a buffer from nearby residences. While the site is slated for development of permanent housing, the process is expected to take approximately three years – about the length of the bridge housing program — and it is immediately available.

Q: What will it look like? How will the site be designed?
A: The design and specific layout of the temporary shelter facility will be determined through collaboration with neighbors and Venice stakeholders. During the month of June, the mayor and the councilmember will conduct public engagement efforts to reach neighbors, unsheltered people and other Venice stakeholders that will include an open house, focus groups and other outreach activities to gain a better sense of the desires of the collective community. Professionals in the field such as local designers and architects will also be consulted to help incorporate community feedback into attractive, feasible and functional design proposals that highlight the unique attributes of Venice.

While the specific design is still to be determined, Councilmember Bonin feels strongly that this shelter should resemble and reflect the Venice community in which it will located. The Councilmember is proposing to work with local artists, non-profit organizations and other Venice-based resources to create community gardens, public art and other amenities that will help the temporary shelter feel more compatible and integrated with Venice.

Q: How long will bridge housing exist at this location?
A: The City hopes to open bridge housing facilities in late 2018 or early 2019, and to have them remain open for up to three years.

Q: How do we know this will be temporary?
A: The bus yard is owned by LA Metro, which has plans for the property. Metro is going to begin community outreach for their development proposal in July, and the City’s ability to use the site will terminate when Metro’s selected developer eventually begins construction.

Q: How will the Bridge Housing operate?
A: Bridge housing is very different from emergency shelters. Unlike emergency shelters, bridge housing will be open to its residents 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. The facilities will accommodate pets, provide sufficient storage for personal belongings, and allow families and circles of friends to remain together. Bridge housing will include restrooms, showers, food, climate-controlled accommodations, storage and on-site, 24-hour security.

Through funding from Los Angeles County, bridge housing will provide onsite social wrap-around services, case management, and social workers to help find and prepare to transition into long-term housing for residents. 

The goal of the program is to help facilitate the transition of people into housing swiftly, with an intention of having people stay in the bridge housing for no more than 90 days at a time.

Councilmember Bonin hopes local stakeholders and organizations will become partners to the program, offering opportunities for residents to get involved through activities such as operation of  a community garden, creative artwork, or employment and vocational skills development.

Q: Who will operate the bridge housing?
A: Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) will select a service provider and manager for the facility.

Q: Who will live at the bridge housing?
A: Outreach for the bridge housing will be focused exclusively on encampments in Venice, and only people living on the streets of Venice neighborhoods and who have connected with homeless outreach workers in Venice will be eligible to stay in the bridge housing.

Q: What will happen to encampments near the location of the bridge shelter facility once the facility is open and operational?
A: The “A Bridge Home” initiative is designed specifically to match new shelter locations with enhanced cleanup of homeless encampments. Once the shelter is operational and homeless outreach workers have had time to connect with the people living on the streets of Venice, Mayor Garcetti’s 2018-19 budget will provide for additional funds for Bureau of Sanitation teams to conduct cleanups of encampment sites, with extra focus on the sites that had previously been occupied by the new residents at the nearby temporary shelter.  The City will also seek opportunities to repurpose former encampments sites, through landscaping, art, and public activities, such as festivals and farmers’ markets.

Q: Will any other temporary shelter facilities be built in other parts of Los Angeles as part of the Bridget Home initiative?
A: Yes. The A Bridge Home initiative provides funding for 100 shelter beds in each and every council district in Los Angeles. By allowing each Council office to identify at least one shelter location, the initiative is founded in equity and a fair geographic distribution of resources.

Q: What opportunities for engagement are coming up?
A: Now that a location for the Council District 11 A Bridge Home temporary shelter has been identified, Mayor and Councilmember Bonin will convene a series of community open houses and workshops. These events will allow stakeholders to provide input on the design of the facility, as well as the programming and operations at the temporary shelter.  Make sure to sign up below to be notified when the first open house is announced. 




Pardue: Bonin is Making Venice Skid Row West

By Kip Pardue

The snowballing policies put forth by Bonin have started to reach critical mass. His entire tenure in office (and his previous years in CD11 staffing positions) has been directed at positioning Venice as Skid Row West. Now is the time to get involved and have your voice heard.

Just this past weekend, Bonin officially put for the the MTA lot at Sunset Ave and Main St near Gold’s Gym as an “ideal” place for a shelter in Venice. He even went so far as to claim that this site was “the most commonly suggested by neighbors.” I find that hard to believe. If you would like your voice to be heard feel free to take the survey in this link:


Please keep in mind that Garcetti recently offered increased funds to help clean encampments to those COUNCIL DISTRICTS that provided shelter. This could have been a perfect opportunity for Bonin to have chosen a parking lot NOT in Venice – say the one his WLA offices sit near, to help ease our burden. This action would have helped all of CD11 while also helping to identify those homeless who actually want services and help and those who are simply “traveling.” Another side effect of putting a shelter away from Venice would help us understand how homelessness “follows” services. By spreading out services the City could also spread out homelessness (while more permanent solutions are sorted).

Another Bonin supported measure is the so-called PSH ordinance. This ordinance allows for certain projects of mostly Permanent Supportive Housing units to be approved without current standards of environmental impact and community outreach. Two groups in Venice – Fight Back, Venice and the Oxford Triangle Association, have filed suits against the City in opposition to this ordinance. Here is some more information that I encourage you to read and a link to support FBV.

As many of you know, the new PSH Ordinance exempts homeless housing projects from height restrictions, density limits, setback minimums and parking requirements that apply to market rate developments … and creates an accelerated approval process that completely strips working families of the right to comment on and challenge homeless housing projects in their communities.

The City and developers cannot be trusted to do right by our communities (or the homeless) without vigilant public oversight. In fact, a new report from the Los Angeles Times ( http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-rising-hhh-costs-20180511-story.html ) shows that Prop HHH housing units will cost an average of nearly $500,000 each (without counting the value of public land) and that, at current rates of spending, the City will deliver fewer than 6,000 of the 10,000 supportive housing units promised to Prop HHH voters in 2016.

Last week, Fight Back, Venice! and the Oxford Triangle Association brought lawsuits to block the PSH Ordinance, protect our communities and force the City to take a smarter approach to the delivery of homeless housing. ( http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lawsuit-homeless-lawsuit-20180511-story.html)

Please click here — https://www.fightbackvenice.org/support_for_psh_lawsuit/ — to send a “one click” email telling Mayor Garcetti, Councilman Bonin and City Attorney Mike Feuer that you support these lawsuits and demand a fair shake for Venice. And please forward this to anyone you can think of asking them to do the same. We can make a difference, but we need your help.

Earth Day Sunday 22 April — Plant and Beautify

By Taylor Bazley, Venice deputy for Councilman Mike Bonin,

On Earth Day, Sunday April 22nd, community members are hitting the streets of Venice to grow food and beautify their neighborhood one raised garden box at a time!

Community Healing Gardens and Councilmember Mike Bonin are teaming up for this Earth Day event to plant for spring produce that will go toward feeding the community’s at-risk youth, homeless adults, underserved families and anyone frankly who wants hyper-locally grown veggies and fruits!After we beautify and plant our neighborhood we will come back to Oakwood Park for a celebration! We will have food from CAVA, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Big Daddy’s Pizza Venice, Le Pain Quotidien along with Califia Farms and The Bu Kombucha to quench our thirst! Also, there will be Bike demos from our awesome Venice partner, Solé Bicycles, as well as Metro! And if that wasn’t enough we will raffle off eco prizes from Fjällräven North America Metro Bikes, Cava, and a bike from Solé Bicycles!

WHERE:Oakwood Park, 767 California on the back side of the recreation center building where our garden boxes live.
WHEN:Meet up at 9am; 9:30am – 11:30am we will be hitting the street of 7th Ave from California to Flower in Venice to plant and 12:00pm – 2pm is the food, bike demos, arts/crafts, and raffle!Please bring a reusable water bottle and a hat for shade.  All Ages Welcome.We hope to see you Sunday morning on Earth Day!

LAHSA Report “Homeless Off LA Streets by Year End” Due Soon

Part of encampment on Venice Blvd near Abbot Kinney.

Los Angeles Homeless Services Agency (LAHSA) should be handing in their report to the City Council Homeless and Poverty Committee showing how they plan to remove all homeless from the streets of Los Angeles by the end of 2018.

Councilman Mike Bonin, leap frogging all previous efforts by politicians to end homelessness in Los Angeles, requested that LAHSA, which manages the Measure H 355-million-dollar-per-year income, prepare a plan to get all homeless off the streets of Los Angeles by the end of December 2018.

His motion – emergency response to homelessness was passed by the City Council 27 March, 2018 and the two weeks would have commenced then. Two weeks from date of City Council approval is 10 April.

LAHSA is to present “the framework of an Emergency Response to Homelessness Plan, outlining what steps and funds would be required to provide an alternative to encampments for 100 percent of the Los Angeles homeless population by December 31, 2018.”

Bonin wants the Los Angeles Homeless Coordinator, with the assistance of the Chief Legislative Analyst and City Administrative Officer, and other departments and agencies as appropriate, to prepare a comprehensive list of every public facility in the City of Los Angeles legally eligible to be used to provide shelter, temporary housing, or safe parking.

Bonin wants to know how many people and what percentage of Los Angeles’ homeless population are currently being provided shelter or housing, and what number and what percentage of our homeless population LAHSA aims to shelter or house by the end of the current fiscal year, and the next three years?

No Restrooms at 671 Rose; Councilman Working with VNC Homeless Committee

“No restrooms are being proposed for 671 Rose,” was Chief of Staff David Graham-Caso’s answer to placement of restrooms at 671 Rose.

Graham-Caso went on to state that “Adding restrooms to Venice — so tourists and people living on the street have alternatives to using alleys and doorsteps as restrooms — has been something Councilmember Bonin has been discussing since he first offered his Venice Homelessness Solutions plan in 2015.

“The Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) Homelessness Committee passed a resolution in support of opening additional restrooms, and Councilmember Bonin has been working with the VNC and neighbors in Venice to explore both opening existing beach restrooms 24/7, as well as adding mobile restrooms to the neighborhood.”

Kip Pardue, who is a rotating member of the VNC Homeless Committee, published a document early Tuesday morning that contained wording from homeless activist David Busch stating that there would be portable restrooms installed at 671 Rose. In the letter Busch thanked Councilman Mike Bonin.

To add to the mystery, the Board of Recreation and Parks cancelled their monthly meeting scheduled for tomorrow. Their agenda stated they were to vote on the opening of the cluster of restrooms on the beach at Horizon.

The problem with opening beach restrooms is that there is a beach curfew from midnight to 5 am that covers the east side of the boardwalk to the ocean.

Councilman Bonin Starts “Reject the Recall”

It’s like a campy horror movie, except it’s very real, and it could cost taxpayers like you nearly $2 million dollars.

Just a few months after our March victory, my campaign opponents have resurfaced — and they have joined a shady political operative in a well-funded campaign trying to engineer a costly special election to remove me from office.

Can I count on your to make a donation to my effort to Reject the Recall?

I represent the smartest and most engaged voters in the world – but the media is giving the liars and hucksters behind this costly recall a megaphone, and voters need to hear from me.

Can you help me fight back by making a contribution to my effort to Reject the Recall? Even a $5 contribution sends a powerful message that Westside neighbors won’t stand for this, and helps us expose the lies behind this effort.

Thank you for your support. Working together, we’ll stop this recall and continue our efforts to move Los Angeles forward, do good, and get things done.

Bonin, O’Farrell Demand Improvements to Waste Collection System– ReCycle LA

LOS ANGELES – Acting to fix significant problems with a new waste hauling system in Los Angeles, City Councilmembers Mike Bonin and Mitch O’Farrell today introduced legislation aimed at improving the customer experience and better protecting consumers from excessive fees charged by waste haulers.

In July 2017, the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation (“LASAN”) launched an ambitious new program, recycLA, designed to dramatically increase recycling, move Los Angeles toward its zero waste goals, ensure fair pricing, improve service, and enhance working conditions. Since the initial rollout of recycLA , however, City Council offices have been inundated with calls and correspondence from small businesses, landlords, and homeowner associations. Concerned constituents have expressed a thread of complaints and confusion regarding sudden and sharply increased costs, confusing new fees and surcharges and inaccurate bills. Their concerns also include frequent and repeated lack of service, lack of notice and widespread poor customer service from the waste haulers.

“Residents and small business owners in Los Angeles deserve better than this,” said Councilmember Bonin. “The goals of the recycLA program – reaching zero waste in Los Angeles and protecting the workers we rely on for this essential service – are imperative, but the poor rollout and implementation of this program is simply unacceptable. The City needs to take immediate steps to fix it or we’ll never achieve the worthy goals of the program.”

“After years of committee hearings, revisions to the draft ordinance, and assurances related to outreach and case management during the transition, the waste hauling system I ultimately supported has fallen far short of my expectations,” said Councilmember O’Farrell. “We need to be more responsive to small businesses and apartment building owners, as well as exercise much stronger oversight and accountability from the approved waste haulers, while meeting state-mandated environmental requirements and achieving our zero waste goals.”

The legislation instructs the Bureau of Sanitation to immediately provide a report to the City Council with recommendations for possible reductions to extra service charges being levied on small businesses and apartment owners, and to allow apartment owners and small business owners to share collection bins to help reduce the cost of service. The legislation additionally demands a plan for further outreach to customers to inform them about the new waste hauling system and of the options available to reduce costs by increasing recycling, and asks for the City Attorney and Board of Public Works to prepare options that allow the city to assess penalties on waste haulers that fail to provide a reasonable level of service to customers. A full copy of the legislation can be found at http://www.11thdistrict.com/recycla_improvements_legislation_introduced.

The legislation was crafted after hearing from hundreds of residents, small business owners, and property owners. Councilmember Bonin said that some of the problems with missed pickups have been so extreme that despite frequent calls to trash haulers and the Bureau of Sanitation, some property owners in his district have received warnings and citations from the Los Angeles County Department of Health.

The Bonin/O’Farrell legislation will be referred to Energy, Climate Change, and Environmental Justice committee and the councilmembers are asking for their motion to receive a hearing quickly so the city can begin improving the recycLA program as soon as possible.

Do not use PSH Ordinance … where are we now, coach

It is all so confusing! Understand no one is accusing anyone. People just want answers. People are all just trying to find out who is in charge so questions can be asked, answers obtained.

People want to know what the ground rules are for the Venice Median and the Thatcher Yard since now it is known that the PSH (permanent supportive housing) ordinance will not affect either project, yet everyone is acting like the PSH ordinance is or will affect both projects.

David Graham-Casio, chief of staff to Councilman Mike Bonin, said earlier in the month that the PSH Ordinance will not affect the Venice Median Project or the Thatcher Yard Project even if and when the PSH ordinance is passed. Taylor Bazley, Venice deputy for Councilman Mike Bonin, made the same statement at the Venice Neighborhood Council last Tuesday night.

PSH people are those who have a disability (alcohol, drugs, mental, physical ) and are homeless or are chronically homeless without a disability.

PSH Ordinance

PSH Ordinance says 50 percent or more of project units have to be PSH.

PSH Ordinance says PSH units do not require parking.

PSH Ordinance says Affordable units require only 1/2 parking per unit

Venice Median
Number of PSH units designated for the Venice Median is 50 percent plus two units for live-in help, 140 units. This can be changed. Now that the PSH Ordinance is not applicable, how about 2 percent PSH?

The parking requirements must be changed to reflect 1/2 for PSH and 1 for affordable.

Recently Becky Dennison, director of the Venice Community Housing, said no one has to create a new category to provide for low income artists. Yet a motion was made by councilmen Jose Huizar and Mike Bonin to create the artist category. See how confusing it is?

Thatcher Yard
Most confusing of all. Existing rules say yard should be rezoned R-1 which would create 18, (5000-sq-ft) lots. Councilman Mike Bonin says he wants the yard rezoned R1.5. Question is: Can a councilman change zoning when in conflict with City Planning rules?

But assuming he can rezone to R1.5, that would make it 62 units with two 35 percent bonuses for another 21.7 units each … 104 to 106 maximum. When this figure was printed in Venice Update 22 August 2016, Councilman Mike Bonin answered “Nuts.”

“The idea of 106 units of housing at Thatcher Yard and 260 units at the Venice Median (Dell and Pacific) … is something I would never support,” Councilman Mike Bonin wrote.

(The Oxford Triangle where the Thatcher Yard is located consists of approximately 350 residences.)

Yet, when the development crew met residents at the site, the developers mentioned rezoning to R-3, four stories, more than 150 units, 50 percent PSH. All against the Oxford Triangle Specific Plan and the LAMC for zoning.

Those on the inside monitoring the developer say that the developer is now down to around 100 units. David Graham-Caso says developer is “committed to using the existing development process.”