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Venice Update

News of Venice, CA and Marina del Rey CA

Homeless in LA Jumps 12 percent; Homeless in CD 11 Jumps 16.6 percent; Bonin Makes Housing Homeless No. 1 Priority

Figures were released last week and they show that the homeless population in Los Angeles, both county and city, has grown considerably compared to the 2013 figures tallied by Los Angeles Housing Service Agency (LAHSA).

Figures were released for 2015 and site also shows counts for previous years.

LA Times article analyzing the counts.

Former County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich who worked to get homeless off the streets and was successful with a chronically-homeless project addressed an LA Times editorial as “red herring.”

Council district 11, which includes Venice, ranks third in number of homeless and jumped 16.6 percent in totals from 2013 to 2015.

Bonin Makes Housing No.1 Priority
Councilman Mike Bonin has made getting the homeless housed his No. 1 priority.

Counciman’s weekly newsletter this week is devoted to the “Homeless Crisis.”

Makes Motions to Effect Such
He has made several motions, all addressed to bridge the gap between the supply of housing for the homeless, and the enormous demand. The salient points of his motions are repeated here.

Sidewalks v. Housing and Shelter
For nearly a decade, the City of Los Angeles has been bound by the Jones Settlement, the result of a lawsuit contending it is cruel and unusual punishment to forbid people from sleeping on the street if there not enough housing or shelter. As part of the legal agreement, the City has effectively allowed sidewalk homeless encampments to spring up throughout the City. The Bonin motion asks city officials to explore whether the constitutional mandate could be better met by providing alternatives to sleeping on the sidewalk — such as shared housing, bridge housing, or transitional shelters.

“It is unconscionable that our default policy is to tell 29,000 people to sleep on the sidewalk,” Mike said. “We have effectively created a city of encampments, and we have focused our policy discussion on the right to sleep on the street. That does a disservice to people who are homeless, and it does a disservice to our neighborhoods. We need to raise the bar of our policy and of our humanity and spend more time, energy and money accommodating the right to sleep in housing, and the right to shelter.”

Units for the Coordinated Entry System
In recent years, government agencies, philanthropic organizations, businesses and individuals have rallied behind the principle of “Housing First,” and have worked together to develop a “Coordinated Entry System (CES)” to help move people from the streets and into housing and proper services. Huizar and Bonin introduced an earlier motion to make CES an official City policy. The strategy is smart and promising, but relies on an adequate supply of available housing, which does not yet exist. Bonin’s second motion asks officials to determine if the City can require or incentivize that affordable housing units being built as a result of state “density bonuses” can be used for the placement of homeless people via CES.

Flexible Housing Program
The County of Los Angeles has a successful program, granting rapid housing to homeless people who are frequent users of the County’s Department of Health Services. The program saves the County money, and helps house the chronically homeless. With some Los Angeles Fire Department and Los Angeles Police Department units facing significant call loads to respond to homeless people in distress, Bonin’s third motion asks the City Administrative Officer to negotiate with the County to determine if the City can buy into the “Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool,” or start a pilot program in certain neighborhoods with large chronic homeless populations.

Starts Homeless Working Group for Venice
In January, Councilman Bonin started “Venice Forward,” a gathering of dozens of government agencies, social service providers, local businesses, neighborhood leaders, and elected officials to form an organization to focus specifically on ending homelessness in Venice. Inspired by organizations such as Hollywood 4WRD and Home for Good, the organization’s mission statement and goals are simple:

VENICE FORWARD is a collaborative effort to end homelessness in Venice by:

    Creating a functional Venice-centric casework collaborative, supportive of and integrated with the SPA 5 Coordinated Entry System (CES) and a Housing First philosophy, that rapidly moves the Venice homeless population into housing and supportive services.

    Creating a network of willing community partners to support such a collaborative and secure additional resources, such as housing vouchers and affordable housing.

    Sharing success stories publicly to create community awareness of progress and engage more people in problem solving.

Venice Forward has been meeting monthly, focusing attention on the quickest and most efficient ways to get people off the street and into housing.

See some of the success stories from agencies participating in Venice Forward.

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

Planning to Hear …

2815 Ocean Front Walk will be heard 27 May, 10 am at West LA Municipal Building, 1645 Corinth Ave., 90025.

Owner want to conversion a storage room into a third dwelling unit (DU), within an existing duplex, on a lot that is approximately 2,520 square feet (2,856 square feet including one- half the alley); the resulting density would be approximately one DU for each 952 square feet of lot area.

Venice Specific Plan Exemptions would be:

    From Section 10.F to allow three (3) dwelling units in lieu of the maximum two (2) dwelling units on RD1.5-zoned lots.

    From Section 13.D. and E. to allow a total of six (6) parking spaces: two (2) for each dwelling unit, in lieu of providing a total of seven (7) required parking spaces: two for each dwelling unit and one (1) Beach Impact Zone (BIZ) space.

Comments or questions can be addressed to Kevin Jones at 213-978-1361 email: Kevin.Jones@lacity.org. Reference case Number APCW2014-3157-SPE-SPP-CDP-MEL and ENV2014-3158-MND.

665 Vernon Ave will be heard 28 May, 9:30 am by Deputy Advisory Agency at Los Angeles City Hall, 200 North Spring Street, room 1050, Los Angeles 90012.

Owner wants a ‘small lot’ subdivision to subdivide one lot into two ‘small lots,’ with one dwelling unit each, in the RD1.5-1 Zone, a Zoning Administrator Adjustment for ‘early start construction’ to permit a front yard prevailing setback of 10 feet in lieu of the required 15 feet; 5 foot side yards in lieu of the required 6 feet for buildings 3-story in height; and a rear yard setback of 5 feet in lieu of the required 15 feet; also, an adjustment to a permit a subdivision with less than the required minimum lot area of 5,000 square feet after dedication, and a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) for the construction of two dwelling units in the Coastal Zone, and Mello (MEL) Determination for the demolition of a 930 sq. ft. single family dwelling.

Comments or questions can be addressed to Kevin Jones at 213-978-1396 email: Kevin.Jones@lacity.org. Reference case number AA2014-1082-PMLA-SL, ENV-2014-1083-MND, and ZA-2014-1084-CDP-ZAA-MEL.

1141 Cabrillo Ave will be heard 21 May, 10 am at West LA Municipal Building, 1645 Corinth Ave., 90025.

Owner wants to demolish an existing single-family dwelling and construct a new 35-foot tall, 3,337 square-foot single-family residence with an attached 405 square-foot garage located on a 2,550 square-foot lot zoned RD1.5-1-O and within the single-jurisdiction area of the California Coastal Zone.

Comments or questions can be addressed to Kellen Hoime at 213-473-9769 email: Kellen.Hoime@lacity.org. Reference case number ZA2014-1346(CDP) and ENV2014-1347-CE.

Comments–19 May 2015

Keep Neighborhoods Free
Latest on short-term rentals.


Heather Kahler
Rescued this kitty from 101 Freeway, this morning during rush hour and rainy traffic! Three other lovely ladies were pulled over, and as a team we got him. He will need a home. With his exciting harrowing ordeal, I know YOU are just dying to take him home. Right? Seriously, kitty needs a home.

Kerjon Lee, Public Affairs Manager, LA County Public Works
Oxford Basin letter size_visitors_smDear Neighbor,
Behind the green fence on Washington Boulevard, a transformative project is taking place. A 56-year-old flood control basin is being renovated to become a healthier, more-vibrant ecosystem with new opportunities for recreation and observing wildlife in a natural setting.

The $13 million Oxford Basin Multiuse Enhancement Project will increase flood protection for neighboring properties and provide park-like amenities; a lush, native plant habitat and improved water quality within the basin. Other key project elements include an illuminated walking path, bike lanes, decorative fencing and the replacement of non-native and diseased vegetation with 730 native trees and more than 45,000 native plants. Attached are two renderings of the project.

Construction at the project site will resume in the latter part of May or early June with trucks removing wet sediment and soil from the basin. LA County Public Works will work closely with the contractor and neighboring communities to limit the temporary increase in dust, noise and traffic.

The project is on target for completion in spring 2016, and Public Works will provide regular email updates on its progress. For more information, contact Vincent Yu at (626)300-3203 or VYU@dpw.lacounty.gov.

Roxanne Brown
Article talks about Santa Monica and San Francisco lack of ability to enforce short-term rental laws that have been passed. Article claims San Francisco has removed 925 to 1960 units off the market.

Kathy Knight
Reminder of Sierra Club Airport Marina Group meeting May 19 at 7 pm, Burton Chace Park, 13650 Mindanao Way. Speakers will be Jon Nahhas, Nancy Marino, Dan Gottlieb, Douglas Fay, and Armaiti May. See 12 May issue of Venice Update.

California Dreamin’


Homeless Man Killed on Windward

Townhouse restaurant on Windward, site of the shooting.

All eyes were on Venice last week after homeless man Brendon “Dizzle” Glenn, 29, from Troy, New York was fatally shot by a police officer in front of the Townhouse restaurant on Windward. LA Times article.

Eyes on Venice

The LAPD hosted a community meet Thursday to answer questions to a standing room only audience of angry homeless people and residents.

LA Times article. Venice Patch article.

There was a protest Wednesday on Abbot Kinney and a memorial and candle-lite vigil Saturday on Windward.

Campbell Pleads Not Guilty

Nathan Louis Campbell, 38, pleaded not guilty to one count of murder with a deadly and dangerous weapon in the death of Alice Gruppioni, 32, who while honeymooning was struck by a car on Ocean Front Walk in Venice in August 2013. Campbell also faces 17 other counts of assault with a deadly weapon. LA Times article.

Latest from City Attorney Mike Feuer …

My office has filed a civil lawsuit against Wells Fargo, alleging the company has victimized consumers by opening customer accounts, and issuing credit cards, without authorization–then failing to inform customers of the alleged misuse of their personal information or to refund fees for unwanted services.

Consumers should be entitled to expect that major financial institutions would treat them fairly. Our lawsuit alleges that in Wells Fargo’s push for growth, the bank often elevated profit over its customers’ legal rights.

Standing-up for consumers is a major focus of my administration and I need your help. If you are a Wells Fargo customer please review your accounts and answer the following:

* Have unauthorized accounts been opened in your name?
* Have accounts you’ve closed stayed open?
* Have you received debit or credit cards you didn’t request?
* Has a line of credit been opened that you didn’t ask for?
* Have you been charged fees for any of these unauthorized activities?

If you find discrepancies please contact our dedicated hotline at 213-978-3393.

Whaler Heard Again Tuesday

Whaler, Rudy Alegre
(Rendering of Whaler Restaurant courtesy of Rudy Alegre, architect.)

“We will take this neighborhood to a new level,” Mike Dobson, CEO of Whaler wrote in a letter to Robin Rudisill, chair of the Land Use and Planning Committee for the Venice Neighborhood Council. We will make it “great for local residents and proud of the world class destination that it is.”

The Whaler was reviewed by LUPC last Tuesday after being the subject of the previous LUPC meet. The restaurant wants to serve alcohol in their downstairs patio. This would not allow for an increase in the number of patrons.

To mitigate the sound, the Whaler plans to install a sound-deadening awning along with glass that is sound protecting. The Whaler group also verbally committed to installing an awning in the upstairs patio. Downstairs patio awning would be closed by 10 pm Sunday thru Thursday and 11:30 pm on Friday and Saturday. Decibel levels are to be taken at 8 and 11 pm and recorded in a log.

The Whaler group has security that would use a clicker to monitor number of patrons. Once at the max of 214, admittance would go to “one in, one out” policy. The security would also patrol the area until 3 am.

The Whaler restaurant at the end of Washington has long been a subject of distain for local residents. Many of the residents attended the previous meet and expressed their concern regarding drunks walking in the neighborhood making noise, defecating, and in some cases destroying private property.

One resident expressed an additional concern regarding alley north of Whaler. Darrell Preston, Whaler operations manager, and resident checked out the situation after the meet. Alley commercial owners had lights but they were not on. Preston said he speak with the owners. One resident said all resident owners should have lights on in the alleys.