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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

VNC to Hold Special Meet Monday — CIS for Venice Median

The Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) will hold a special meeting Monday at 7 pm, Oakwood Recreation Center, 767 California, to approve a Community Impact Statement (CIS) regarding the CF-19-0072 which has reference to development of  the Venice Median for affordable housing.

The VNC Parking and Transportation committee prepared this community impact statement in response to Councilman Mike Bonin’s motion (19-0072) that will go before the City Council to ask for a feasibility study of taking the Venice median parking lot and making it an affordable housing project. The motion asks for City agencies to do the community impact statement and the fiscal impact statement.  Councilman Mike Bonin’s motion: CF 19-0072 CIS

The councilman has not asked for the Venice Neighborhood Council to provide a community impact statement in violation of the City Charter, Section 907, which states:

Sec. 907. Early Warning System.
The Regulations shall establish procedures for receiving input from neighborhood councils prior to decisions by the City Council, City Council Committees and boards and commissions. The procedures shall include, but need not be limited to, notice to neighborhood councils as soon as practical, and a reasonable opportunity to provide input before decisions are made. Notices to be provided include matters to be considered by the City Council, City Council Committees, and City boards or commissions.

So the VNC is preparing  the CIS for  the City.  Further the City motion ignores two studies already completed regarding the parking crisis in Venice.  These two studies are referenced here.: 1)VeniceIn-LieuFeeReportJuly2012 , 2)VeniceTraffic_ParkingStudy

This is the motion:

The Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) requests that the following comments be attached to Council File 19-0072: “Venice Lot” as a Community Impact Statement.

The Venice Neighborhood Council is providing the following comments in acknowledgement of the need to not only maintain but massively increase public parking opportunities in Venice:

1. The VNC has previously passed a motion indicating its preference that Lot 731 be used for public parking with a multiple story structure east of the Venice Grand Canal and creating an open
space park to the west. A traffic congestion consideration that would allow westbound vehicles
to cross through the median to eastbound Venice Blvd. was also recommended.

2. The Venice community west of California Route #1 (Lincoln Blvd) is considered a California Coastal Zone and in June 2001 the City-prepared Venice Coastal Zone Land Use Plan was adopted and certified by the California Coastal Commission and one of the referenced documents within this plan was a Traffic and Parking Plan prepared by Kaku Associates from the Los Angeles City Planning Department that describes a defecit of parking in the North Venice area of over 1200 cars due to the fact that many of the existing buildings were historic and constructed before parking was considered a requirement.

3. In 2012, the City of Los Angeles prepared as part of the Westside Mobility Plan an In-Lieu Fee Report. This report addresses the shortfall of public parking in the Venice region and further documents that, should public parking structures be constructed, the fees the City has been collecting since the Venice Parking Trust Fund (described in the 1988 Venice ICO) was established could be used to offset the construction costs. Furthermore, this report identifies the City properties where such parking structures could be constructed and parking opportunities be expanded. The report was prepared by CDM Smith.

4. In February 2009, Venice residents voted in an official referendum of the Venice Neighborhood Council in favor of overnight restricted parking for residents. Venice is in a Coastal Zone and as such the California Coastal Commission has denied the City’s prior two applications for a Coastal Development to allow permit parking. Although the residents, business operators and the City have expressed the desire to have permit zone parking, the Coastal Commission made it clear in their denials that there cannot be any reduction of on-street parking without a one-to-one replacement off-street. Parking structures similar to those found in the Venice neighboring  cities such as Santa Monica and Manhattan Beach were suggested to provide off street parking.

5. The Venice Neighborhood Council in June 2017 requested the City prepare an inventory of the existing parking conditions in Venice and to include Beach Impact Parking and non-required parking spaces in commercially-zoned projects within the Venice Coastal Zone. In response to this request, the City described how such a study would be prepared as one of the elements of the upcoming Venice Coastal Zone Land Use Plan. To date no information has been published that describes the current inventory of parking conditions.

6. The community of Venice since its inception in 1905 has been a visitor destination which is often referred to as the number two tourist attraction in the entire state of California behind Disneyland. In this capacity, beach access is a priority and the number one means of transportation to this region is by single occupancy vehicles. There are no plans in the immediate or distant future to provide mass transit with remote park-and-ride lots outside the region. Autonomous self-driving automobiles might relieve some of the parking requirements but they are still many years away from wide scale adoption.

7. The commercially zoned property in the Venice Coastal Zone is underdeveloped when compared to any other growing community in Los Angeles City or neighboring communities. This is the result of conflicting conditions; on one hand, the parking demands are very high as described in both the City and State codes while on the other hand, the lot sizes are small and therefore parking consumes most, if not all, of the developable ground floor. This means historic structures that want to and should be preserved as described in the community plan can’t comply to code with onsite parking. Additionally, most of the commercial lots in Venice are undersized by all standards, averaging 2700 SF. Attempting to utilize a lot of this size in a new commercial project requires most of the entire ground floor to be consumed by parking, which makes the usable commercial space too small to be economically feasible. The solution as described in the 2012 In-Lieu plan is to create large parking structures and allow property owners to buy into the ongoing cost of a local shuttle system.


Bonin Serves up MTA Bus Yard in Venice — Now 5 New Homeless Facilities Pending; Nothing in Pacific Palisades or Brentwood

By Chris Wrede

Mike Bonin continued his war on working families in Venice today with a proposal calling for the installation of a sprawling homeless shelter at the 3.5-acre MTA Bus Yard on Sunset between Main and Pacific. LA Times Article.

The housing projects and shelters in the pipeline for Venice now include the following:

1. Bonin’s Sprawling Shelter on the 3.5-acre MTA Bus Yard on Main Street.

2. The Monster on the Venice Median with 140 units, two vertical parking structures and no open space on the 2.8-acre Venice Boulevard Median, a block off the beach between Pacific and Dell.

3. The Thatcher Yard project on a 2-acre lot a block off the Marina Green in the strictly residential Oxford Triangle.

4. The Venice Community Housing Corporation’s Rose Apartments on poor Rose Avenue (which already has the massive St. Joseph’s Center and one of the largest permanent encampments outside of Skid Row), which will traverse two lots, exceed the height limits in the Venice Specific Plan by 20 feet, with no parking for 30-plus units.

5. 102 Navy Street where the Venice Community Housing Corporation — one of the most rapacious developers in the history of Venice — has reportedly accepted $500,000 from the Santa Monica City Council to provide housing for Santa Monica homeless in Venice.  SMDP (Santa Monica Daily Press) article.

Also, Bonin has opened restrooms on Ocean Front Walk 24/7 despite the Venice Beach Curfew and is planning (to use his words) a “system of portable public restrooms” on sidewalks and other public rights of way throughout Venice.

And,Will Hawkins of the Venice Neighborhood Council is pushing three motions calling for “Safe Parking in Residential Driveways,” “Safe Camping” and “Adopt-a-Tent” programs that would provide financial compensation from the City to Venice residents who allow homeless to park in their driveways and camp on their sidewalks and in their backyards.

No shelters, housing projects, bathrooms or camping initiatives are planned in Pacific Palisades or Brentwood.

You can’t make this stuff up. It is really happening.

Fight Back Venice and its partners in Venice United are continuing to organize and mobilize. Please register  with us to keep up to date and find out how you can help Fight Back for fair treatment.

Confessions of a Venice NIMBY

By Christopher Wrede

Note the author is a founding member of Venice Vision (fightbackvenice.org)

Venice Vision argues that oversized housing projects and an over concentration of services will exacerbate the impacts of homelessness.

There has been a lot of talk in the press and among politicians lately about how “NIMBYs” must not be permitted to interfere with the city’s mission to build housing for the homeless. Theft and murder are still frowned upon, but these days it seems like there is no greater crime in Los Angeles than NIMBYism.

Well, I confess. I am what proponents of pedal-to-the-metal development of homeless housing would call a NIMBY. As a 15-year Venice resident, I have studied Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin’s so-called “Plan to End Homelessness in Venice,” and I am against it for several reasons.

First, while I welcome housing for the homeless in my community, Bonin’s plan puts too many large projects here. The average size of affordable housing developments ranges from 35 to 60 units throughout Los Angeles, but Bonin’s plan calls for three separate projects in Venice that are many times that size. These include 98 units of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) — a subset of affordable housing designed specifically for chronically homeless persons — on the two-acre Thatcher Yard, almost abutting Marina del Rey; 136 units of PSH and standard affordable housing on a 2.8-acre lot a block off the sand on Venice Boulevard; and an undetermined (but presumably comparable) number of PSH and affordable housing units on the 3.5-acre Metro lot along Main Street between Gold’s Gym and the beach.

Bonin has also started converting the former senior center at Westminster Park into a storage facility for the homeless and secured approval to keep existing restrooms on the Venice Boardwalk open 24/7 for the encampments there, while working to install what he refers to as a “system of portable public restrooms” on public rights of way in other parts of Venice.

Claims that measures such as these will end homelessness in Venice are not true. As a matter of federal law, none of the units being built in Venice can be reserved strictly for Venice’s homeless, and the continued expansion of services will make Venice even more of a magnet. According to the Los Angeles County Homeless Services Authority’s annual homeless counts, the homeless population in Venice spiked 34% between 2016 (the year Bonin began rolling out his plan) and 2017, while dropping in the rest of Bonin’s district (including a decline of about 50% in Pacific Palisades) during the same period.

Which brings me to the second reason I oppose Bonin’s plan: While asking far too much of Venice, it does not ask nearly enough of other communities in Bonin’s district. The City Council long ago reversed the “policy of containment” that gave rise to Skid Row on the grounds that it is not good for communities or the homeless, and Bonin himself recently threw his support behind a new resolution calling on all 15 council members to approve 222 units of PSH in their respective districts by 2020 in order to ensure “geographic equity” in the distribution of Prop. HHH projects.

As an established homeless hub, those same principles — reversing “containment” and ensuring “geographic equity” — should apply to us. Yet more than 80% of the land Bonin has selected for Prop. HHH development is in Venice. And all told, Venice (which accounts for just 5% of the land in Bonin’s district) currently has nearly 200 PSH units in the pipeline, which is close to the goal of 222 PSH units that the council’s “geographic equity” resolution sets for entire council districts. Meanwhile, Bonin does not have any PSH planned for Pacific Palisades or Brentwood, even though they are each more than five times larger than Venice.

Finally, I am concerned about what will happen to Venice, as ground zero for Prop. HHH development on the Westside, if the city’s experiment in large-scale homeless housing fails. To date, the city has committed roughly $230 million of its $1.2-billion Prop. HHH budget for about 1,200 PSH units (PSH units cost about $450,000 each, but funding is also provided from other sources), so it appears the city is on track to deliver just 6,000 — or 60% — of the 10,000 PSH units it originally promised voters. The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, similarly, has acknowledged that it is facing shortfalls in excess of $150 million per year despite the hundreds of millions of dollars it gets each year from last year’s Measure H sales tax increase.

Venice is world-famous for its big heart and open mind, and we want to continue doing our part to help address homelessness with both services and housing. But Bonin’s plan is not fair. Piling on small communities without electoral clout is easy, but the risks and burdens of dealing with a crisis of this magnitude must be distributed evenly across all communities — including wealthy, well-connected communities that have historically been insulated from such pressures. That is what leadership on this issue looks like, and so far Bonin is not providing it.

Ryavec Speaks Out Against Waiving Environmental Impact Reports

Mark Ryavec, president of the Venice Stakeholders Association, spoke on KPCC AirTalk with anchor Larry Mantle opposing the City Council’s proposal to waive environmental, height and parking requirements for homeless projects such as those proposed for the Venice Boulevard Median and Thatcher Yard in the Oxford Triangle.  To Listen.

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.”

Dennison Takes Issue With Wrede Article; Wrede and Venice Update Answer Dennison

Becky Dennison, director of Venice Community Housing, takes issue with the article Christian Wrede wrote for Venice Update recently, and accuses Venice Update of not checking the facts and printing misinformation.   Both Christian Wrede and the Venice Update have answered Becky Dennison.  Perhaps, all will benefit from the questions and the answers.

Note that opinion pieces are printed in the Update frequently, and they are usually by lined and explain that person’s  view.    Perhaps, we need more people expressing their views regarding the projects proposed for the Venice Median and the Thatcher Yard.

By Christian Wrede

Yesterday, the Executive Director of Venice Community Housing
Corporation (“VCHC”) – which is poised to become the largest developer
in Venice since Abbot Kinney – posted an article on Venice Update
asserting that there were “glaring factual errors” in my recent piece
stating that the “law doesn’t allow” for the use of public funds to
build affordable housing that is reserved exclusively for artists.

VCHC correctly points out that Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code
was revised in 2008 (under pressure from real estate developers) to
create a so-called “artist preference,” allowing (to use VCHC’s words)
for “preferential treatment of several groups of people, including
artists” in affordable housing financed by federal tax credits.

Such tax credits, however, have to be combined with other sources of public or private funding. In Los Angeles, the primary source of municipal funding for affordable housing projects is the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (“AHTF”), which is administered by the Housing and Community Investment Department of LosAngeles (“HCIDLA”) (see City of Los Angeles Affordable Housing Trust Fund Pipeline Regulations, Policies and Procedures, August 1, 2016), whose “Fair Housing Policy” (http://hcidla.lacity.org/fair-housing-policy-regard-disability) expressly states that “applicants for any and all units shall be considered for occupancy without prejudice in regard to race, color, religion, sex … [or] source of income,” even while expressly recognizing that protection based on “source of income” is not provided by federal law.

Thus, the City Council Motion at issue in my article, in which Councilman Huizar – and our very own Councilman Bonin – call on HCIDLA (which currently prohibits preferences based on “source of income”) to work with the City Attorney “to report back on the feasibility of an artists’ affordable housing program, and the steps and department needs required to establish such a program.” No such program currently exists.

VCHC has already admitted that the Venice Median Project will be a financial Frankenstein with more sources of funding than you can shake a stick at – Section 8, Prop HHH, private investors and so on – so it may be that they have found a way to skirt the HCIDLA “Fair Housing Policy,” but that leaves valid questions about the changes Bonin and others are making to city law in the fields of housing and development and the effect that those changes will have on small and vulnerable communities like Venice.

By Venice Update

“There are some glaring factual errors in this week’s article in Update about Venice Community Housing (VCH), ” wrote Dennison.     “I understand there is disagreement about our work and planned expansion of affordable housing in Venice, but I would hope that some basic fact-checking would be done before publishing misinformation about us and our plans.

1. ” The article published on Monday claims that the low-income artist housing that VCH is proposing at Venice-Dell-Pacific (Venice Update refers to this as the Venice Median)  “is not allowed under the law.'”  “This is not true.   No City law or program needs to be created or changed for us to move forward with our plans.   The federal tax credit program, located in Section 42 of the federal tax code and the main source of funding for affordable housing, currently allows preferential treatment for several groups of people, including artists.   H.R. 3221 specifically created the artist preference in 2008.   Therefore, there are affordable artist communities similar to the proposal at Venice-Dell-Pacific already operating in Los Angeles and other Southern California cities.   There is no “VCHC scam”.   Beyond being allowed by law, VCH heard from many community residents that they’d like to see low-income artists included and prioritized for housing at Venice-Dell-Pacific and we are looking forward to doing so.   Please see examples of other low-income artist communities here:      http://www.wavartists.com/ and https://www.bisnow.com/los-angeles/news/affordable-housing/housing-for-las-starving-artists-opens-in-san-pedro-45561.”

Answer:  Question from Venice Update.  Then why did Councilmen Jose Huizar and Mike Bonin create a motion coming before the City Council to allow artists to reside in low-cost affordable housing.  If the law is already there, isn’t the effort by Huizar and Bonin redundant?   Why?

2)  “The same article claimed that the City’s proposed Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Ordinance will “exempt Bonin’s housing projects from zoning restrictions, size and density limitations, environmental review and community input,”  wrote Dennison.  “Again, this simply isn’t true.   The implication in the article is that “Bonin’s housing projects” are the communities being proposed on city-owned land, including Venice-Dell-Pacific.   Venice-Dell-Pacific is not covered by the proposed ordinance due to its current zoning.   Therefore, none of the PSH Ordinance’s possible streamlining processes apply to the site or VCH’s project.   The Venice-Dell-Pacific development process includes a full Environmental Impact Report, the highest level of environmental review, and will follow all regular public approval process with the City and Coastal Commission.”

Answer:  Zoning restrictions, size and density have changed as a result of the PSH Ordinance.   There  is no parking  requirement for PSH (It is possible there is a PSH zoning of no car requirement in existence now.) and the ordinance says that one has to provide at least 50 percent PSH for a project.   These are just two differences.   The properties in question are now zoned Open Space for Venice Median and for the Thatcher Yard, Public Facility.  The Venice Median will be rezoned to a zoning similar to R-3 that allows for commercial also.  I believe it is RS-3.  Property will be rezoned to fit the project.

Thatcher Yard.  The PSH ordinance changes completely the rezoning restrictions for any PF property.  Prior to PSH ordinance approval, PF zoned property would be rezoned in accordance with LAMC 12.04.09.B.9 which states:  “Any joint public and private development uses permitted in the most restrictive adjoining zones if approved by the Director utilizing the procedures described in Section 16.05E to H. The phrase “adjoining zones” refers to the zones on properties abutting, across the street or alley from or having a common corner with the subject property. If there are two or more different adjoining zones, then only the uses permitted by the most restrictive zone shall be permitted.”  In this case for the Thatcher Yard, two of the sides are zoned R-1 (most restrictive) and the other side is C4-OX.  

The PSH ordinance comes along and says completely the opposite by stating:

If the joint public and private development is a Qualified Permanent Supportive Housing Project developed pursuant to Section 14.00 A.11 of this Code, the uses and standards permitted by the least restrictive zone within a 1,320 foot radius shall be permitted utilizing the procedures described therein.  The “least” restrictive would be C4-OX, which is 19 stories.

David Graham-Caso, Bonin’s Chief of Staff,  stated in an email to the Venice Update last week  that the PSH ordinance would have no bearing on the PF zoning or development of the Thatcher Yard, even if approved.  Yet, the developers during site inspection, made the statements regarding the site of upward of 3 stories, 150 units, 50 percent PSH–all qualifiers for the PSH ordinance.  There are two contracts to be considered  — the “get together with the community” and then the development contract.  Will both exclude the PSH ordinance?  Graham-Caso says yes.

Thatcher yard, if rezoned in accordance with existing LA municipal codes, would be rezoned R-1 and based on a 5000-sq foot lot, would have approximately 18 houses.

If rezoned to RD-1.5 as the RFQ/P stated and Councilman Mike Bonin stated in the Town Hall, the property would yield 62 units and two 35 percent bonuses of 21.7 each, which would be 62 to 104 or 106.   That is approximately one third the size of the total R-1 Oxford Triangle population.

If rezoned to C4-OX, it is one of the City’s densest.

Note:  Yes, Becky Dennison is concerned about the accuracy of her project and rightly so.  Venetians see the big picture of three large projects in Venice –the Thatcher Yard, the Venice Median, the MTA lot.  These are community changing plans .  The Venice Specific Plan, if followed, doesn’t allow more than two lots being combined. The Venice Median is combining many lots.  The Thatcher Yard will be rezoned what?  One of three options.


Members of FBV Hand Out Literature about Venice Median

Darryl DuFay and Chris Wrede of Fight Back Venice (FBV) pass out literature at the Venice Farmer’s Market regarding the proposed 140-unit Venice Median project that will be both affordable and permanent supportive housing.

New Ordinance Proposes to Fast-track and Facilitate Venice Median and Thatcher Yard “Affordable” Projects

City of LA Planning is proposing a Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) Ordinance that will remove many of the restrictions and fast-track the process for the Venice Median and the Thatcher Yard affordable housing projects.  A hearing will be held 12 September,  6:30 to 8:30, at Gateway Apartments, 13368 Beach Ave, Marina del Rey. RSVP is required. Contact Cally.hardy@lacity.org or call 213-978-1643.

LA City Planning Department is proposing this ordinance establishing new regulations to facilitate the production of Permanent Supportive Housing for PSH homeless individuals and families. In general, people who qualify for PSH have a low income and have at lease one disability, such as mental illness, HIV or AIDS, substance abuse, or another chronic health condition, or are just chronically homeless.

The ordinance is intended to remove regulatory barriers that impair the construction of new supportive housing projects by streamlining the approval process to significantly reduce the average time it takes for a PSH developer to begin construction. Additionally, requirements for minimum lot area per unit will be reduced allowing higher density plus parking would not be required for any of the PHS units.

Other ordinances for PSH running parallel to this one are for motels and hotels.

This is the proposed ordinance PSHO Ord and the summary and frequently asked questions PSH Ordinance Summary .






VCH Gives Update on Venice Median Project

Becky Dennison, director of Venice Community Housing (VCH), provides updates to the Venice Median project, which VCH refers to as Venice-Dell-Pacific project.

Venice-Dell-Pacific Update
Venice Community Housing, Hollywood Community Housing and Eric Owen Moss Architects are working to incorporate community feedback into the preliminary design proposals, move closer to final designs, and prepare other documents for the City’s approval process. Therefore, there are no large community engagement events scheduled for August and September.  However, we are attending smaller events upon invitation – please reach out any time to venicedellpacific@vchcorp.org to invite representatives of our team to discuss the project, timeline, or other related issues.
If you are new to this list, please visit VCH’s website for background information on this site and proposed project, as well as previous Q&A.

Recently Submitted Q&A
Is a boat rental/tourist-focused service being planned for the canal portion of the site?
No.  There is an existing public access point in the canal between North and South Venice, which is also the access point for the City’s maintenance team for the canals.   We plan to preserve this existing access point.   We aren’t adding any additional access or commercial enterprise to the canal.

What is the timeline and next steps for this proposed project?
The approximate timeline for approvals/final design and program elements is:

July-August 2017                     Finish designs and other architectural work

September 2017                     Submit application to develop the site to the City of Los Angeles                                   Note: This application includes requested zone changes, design plans and other details, is a public document, and will be made available to the public by the development team

September 2017 thru
September 2018                     Public hearings and public approvals, including:
Venice Neighborhood Council
Coastal Commission
City of Los Angeles (likely multiple City hearings/approvals)

September 2017 thru
September 2018                     Complete Environmental Impact Report and related public hearings/approval

December 2017                      Target date to enter into a development agreement with the City.                                   Note: Under the current Exclusive Negotiating Agreement, this can take place anytime up to December 2018

Fall 2017 thru
May 2019                                Complete public funding process, including applications for:
Prop HHH funds (City of LA)
LA County affordable housing funds
No Place Like Home funds (State of CA)
Tax credits and tax-exempt bonds (federal source, administered by CA)
Note:  Some, but not all, funding approvals include public hearings.

In addition to the formal, public approval process described above, the development team is committed to ongoing dialogue with the community. Both processes will inform the details of the final, approved development. Please feel free to invite us to any formal or informal neighborhood meeting to discuss the project and progress to date.

Please send meeting invitations, questions or comments to: venicedellpacific@vchcorp.org

Dennison Lists Upcoming Events and Questions Asked Regarding Venice Median

By Becky Dennison, Director of Venice Community Housing

Saturday, March 4th
10 am – 12 pm
Tour of existing Venice Community Housing properties
Meeting place: 720 Rose Avenue, Venice
Please rsvp to Iisha Jones at ijones@vchcorp.org if you plan to attend.

Thursday, March 9th
7:00 pm
Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd.
Community meeting to present the preliminary proposal(s) for the Venice-Dell-Pacific site!

We are also continuing to attend community meetings as invited – please feel free to invite us to come to any formal or informal group of neighbors or stakeholders.  Email venicedellpacific@vchcorp.org to extend an invitation and/or give any other suggestions on expanding community engagement or about the project/site overall.

This Week’s Frequently Asked Questions

How Does the County’s Coordinated Entry System (CES) Work?
The CES system created centralized wait lists for permanent supportive housing throughout LA County. Although the CES system is Countywide, the wait lists are regional. This site is in Service Planning Area 5 (SPA 5), and therefore would receive referrals for permanent supportive housing tenants from the SPA 5 wait list, which includes people who are currently without housing and living in Westside communities. CES is not one Countywide wait/referral list.

Is it true that the Venice-Dell-Pacific development won’t provide housing and services for people currently living on the streets in Venice?
No, that is not true. It also is not true that people who are homeless in Venice would not likely qualify for the wait list through the Coordinated Entry System (CES). There are over 500 individuals within SPA 5 CES waiting for a housing referral who are homeless in Venice, and many more are in the family CES system. VCH regularly receives and accepts CES referrals to house individuals and families currently homeless in Venice for our existing housing in Venice and Del Rey, and we plan to utilize the same process for Venice-Dell-Pacific. Additionally, in response to substantial community input regarding the desire to house people already living in Venice, the development team is exploring additional methods we may be able to use in this development to ensure we adequately serve Venice while also meeting fair housing requirements.

Was the development team of Venice Community Housing, Hollywood Community Housing Corp, and Eric Owen Moss Architects selected or approved “behind closed doors”?
No. The City Administrative Officer led the public, competitive process for selecting development teams to explore possible development on City-owned sites. A Request for Qualifications/Proposals (RFQ/P) was released and posted publicly on the City’s website on July 25, 2016. A public pre-submission conference was held on August 9, 2016 and was attended by approximately 100 people. Questions were allowed to be submitted and all Q&A was published online. Proposals were due on September 15, 2016. From the CAO’s public report announcing the results of the RFQ/P, the proposals were reviewed by a Selection Panel: “The five-member Selection Panel for the RFQ/P consisted of four City staff and one non-City staff engaged in housing work. City staff consisted of representatives from the CAO, CLA, HCID, and the Department of City Planning (DCP). The non-City panelist was from the County of Los Angeles Chief Executive Office (County CEO) Homeless Initiative.” The report, with the recommended development teams and the action to enter into Exclusive Negotiating Agreements between the City and the development teams, was considered in four public meetings, all of which had public comment: Joint Municipal Facilities and Homeless Strategy Committees (11/17/16), City Council Homelessness and Poverty Committee (12/7/16), City Council Entertainment and Facilities Committee (12/13/16), and City Council (12/14/16). The testimony at three of four of these public hearings was unanimously in support of the City’s program and the development teams selected; testimony in support and opposition was heard at the Homelessness and Poverty Committees. All public documents and meetings related to the RFQ/P are available here: https://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=16-0600-S145

Will rehabilitation projects of existing buildings funded by Proposition HHH move faster or cost less than new construction?
Rehabilitation projects funded by Proposition HHH must be substantive, and generally require the same combination of public funds as new construction projects, including tax credits and rental subsidies. Therefore, the development timeline for new construction and rehabilitation projects is generally not substantially different. As answered previously, sometimes rehabilitation projects cost less than new construction and sometimes they do not. Both types of developments are much needed and will be pursued by developers using Proposition HHH funds. However, the City is in a dire shortage of housing units at all low and moderate income levels, so new construction is encouraged and necessary to end homelessness.

All Q&A to date is available here: http://www.vchcorp.org/venice-dell-pacific-faqs/
Email venicedellpacific@vchcorp.org to submit any new questions.