Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Oppose Stripping of Environmental Protections from Los Angeles Residents

Dear Ms. Limon,

I am writing to express the opposition of our organization to AB 1197.

The Venice Stakeholders Association supports slow growth, the protections of the limits of the Venice Local Coastal Specific Plan, neighborhood safety, improved traffic circulation, increased parking for residents, neighborhood beautification, historic preservation, habitat restoration and protection of coastal waters.

AB 1197 would rob residents of Los Angeles, and in particular, residents of highly impacted coastal districts of Los Angeles, of rights enjoyed by all other Californians under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The housing of the homeless in Los Angeles should not come at the expense of our neighbors' quiet enjoyment of their homes, the loss of their parking, an increase in crime, or the further pollution of Santa Monica Bay caused by yet more encampments that leach human sewage and food waste directly to the ocean during wet season.

All permanent supportive housing facilities and emergency shelters must fully assess impacts under CEQA and mitigate those impacts to assure that helping the homeless does not come at the expense of residents who happen to reside - through no choice of their own - right across the street from these facilities.

To remove these protections from just residents of Los Angeles would be highly discriminatory.

Thank you for your consideration of our views on your legislation.

Please add this correspondence to the official file for AB 1197.

Thank you.


Sincerely,

Mark Ryavec, President, Venice Stakeholders Association, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization

You may register your opposition to this unfair and misguided bill by writing to: 

Marilyn.Limon@asm.ca.gov
Ashley.Ames@sen.ca.gov

Ben.Allen@sen.ca.gov.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Please Take the VNC Survey

The Venice Neighborhood Council has an online survey for stakeholders about issues they feel the new Board should focus on over the next two-year term. It can be found at:
  venicenc.org/survey

Please take the survey and share your thoughts.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Please Support Our Appeal of the City's Approval of the First Four-Story Building in Oakwood

Please send the following message to the Coastal Commission supporting our appeal of the City's approval of VCHC's oversized and under-parked project at 718-720 Rose Avenue.

Thanks for helping stop this classic example of over-development, which would set a dangerous precedent for Venice.  
 

Send to:  southcoast@coastal.ca.gov

Subject line:  I Support the Appeal of the City's Approval of the First Four-Story Building in Oakwood

Appeal No.: A-5-VEN-19-0020 

Project name:  Venice Community Housing Corp.

Dear Members of the California Coastal Commission,

I am writing to urge a finding of substantial issue in the above case.

The proposed four-story building is incompatible with the mass, scale, and character of the Oakwood district, which is almost entirely one and two story residential structures, and provides insufficient parking for its density and extensive office uses.  Further, the gift of 10 feet of the adjoining public sidewalk is misguided and should be rejected in light of the need for expansion of Rose Avenue to provide a proper bike lane.

Thank you for considering my views on this matter.





Thursday, May 23, 2019

Reminder: Venice Neighborhood Council Election Is Sunday, June 2nd from 10am-6pm at the Oakwood Recreation Center.

With several over-size projects threatening to bust through Venice's three-story height limit, the upcoming Venice Neighborhood Council election may be definitive in preserving our low-rise, bedroom community atmosphere.

The election will also signal our community's desires on public safety, city response to encampments, and many other quality-of-life issues. For example, should the city make it easy for residents to install planter boxes on sidewalks to beautify our neighborhoods, address global warming and act as buffers between encampments and vulnerable residents?

I urge every Venetian to put the election on your schedule for Sunday, June 2nd.

Anyone who lives, works or owns property in Venice may vote.

But you must bring the proper identification:  drivers license or utility bill for residents, check pay stub showing local address of your employer for employees, and property tax bill or utility bill for property owners. 

To clarify for whom you may vote:  

electors may only vote for one of the 40 Community Officer candidates for the 13 community officer positions, 

and vote for the executive positions of president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, outreach chair, communications, and chair of the Land Use and Planning Committee.

Please message me at delphiassociates@ca.rr.com for my recommendations.

Finally, I am a candidate for Community Officer.


 

Friday, May 10, 2019

Monday, May 6, 2019

Tell State Senator Ben Allen to Vote No on SB 50

Please call Senator Ben Allen to register your objection to SB 50, which proposes to change zoning to allow for taller buildings and denser building anywhere there is rail line or a bus line operating every 15 minutes or less (think Venice!).  Under some analyses SB 50 will allow five (5) story buildings next to historic one-story craftsman homes within a quarter mile of bus lines in Venice. It's a mad idea and will make our lives even more difficult. (More details below in interview with former councilman and supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.)

BEN ALLEN  # 310  318 6994  

Just give your name and say that planning should be controlled at the local level, not statewide. 

Please send to others that are like-minded about protecting Venice's low-rise, residential street scape.   Thank you !!
 
Zev Yaroslavsky: Why SB 50 is Not Right for LA
In an interview with NBC4’s Conan Nolan, former LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky spoke about the status of SB 50’s impact on Los Angeles. SB 50, proposed by Senator Scott Wiener, has passed out of the Senate Housing and Governance and Finance Committees thus far. SB 50 will allow increased development densities and loosen zoning restrictions not just near transit stops, but extends to basically every significant bus line in the LA basin. Yaroslavsky, now the Director of the Los Angeles Initiative at the Luskin School of Public Affairs at UCLA, talks about the bill’s problematic “one-size-fits-all” structure and its potential to cause irreparable harm to Los Angeles’s landscape, all while not addressing the lack of affordable housing. TPR presents the following transcript of their conversation, edited for clarity and syntax.

Zev Yaroslavsky
"There has to be a more intelligent way to do this. Not with a meat axe, but with a scalpel. I’m hopeful that the Legislature will come to its senses. If not, on their watch, they can say they’ve destroyed cities and communities up and down the state of California."- Zev Yaroslavsky
Conan Nolan: The UCLA Quality of Life Index, released this past week, indicates that over half of LA County residents have considered—or know someone within their family—leaving the state of California as a result of the cost of living. Zev Yaroslavsky, the cost of living and rent is a big problem. Has it gotten worse? 
Zev Yaroslavsky: It has gotten worse every year. The cost of living is the category that people are least satisfied with in Los Angeles County. The single biggest factor in the cost of living is the cost of housing. The cost of housing is a far greater concern than taxes or gasoline prices.
The costs of housing look like they are plateauing a bit. The rate of decline has slowed, so I hope it declines. There is a lot of construction of housing going on in this city. Most of the construction is market-rate, so it is not going to address the affordability crisis directly.
There has been a lot of state and local legislation to encourage more residential development. These bills are beginning to have an impact. 
Conan Nolan: Senate Bill 50 is a bill that would allow for significantly increased developments, such as Culver City’s Ivy Station, to be built near transit stations. This would allow four, five, six story apartment buildings. The argument of the State Senator behind this bill, Scott Wiener, is that California need something drastic because we need 3 million units and we want them near transit.
Zev Yaroslavsky: First of all, the city of Los Angeles—where I governed for 40 years and where I come from—has transit-oriented development proposals and mechanisms that they are implementing as we speak. The Exposition Light Rail has a Specific Plan that encourages more development near stations.
The problem is when we talk about transit-oriented development is that when people think of mass transit, they think of the subway and light rail lines. This bill extends to basically every bus line in the LA basin. So it is not just the Red Line station at Universal City, it is the bus stop at Melrose Ave and Gardner St. That intersection is a very middle-class area with no big job magnet around it. Any single-family home within a quarter-mile of a bus stop would be rezoned for multifamily. SB 50, Senator Wiener’s bill, is an overreach. I think most people understand that.
Los Angeles has exceeded its state imposed housing goals for the past several years. Just last year, the city of Los Angeles approved 27,000 new apartment units. That is the single biggest number of approved units since 1981. So the current bills are working.
Conan Nolan: Now, what about the cities that have not fulfilled their housing construction goals? For example, you’ve got the state suing Huntington Beach currently.
Zev Yaroslavsky: I am not here to discuss Huntington Beach. I am from Los Angeles, and the problem with the Wiener bill is that it treats every city the same. 
If you want to create affordable housing, don’t exempt the affluent cities. He has made value judgments and political judgments.
There has to be a more intelligent way to do this. Not with a meat axe, but with a scalpel. I’m hopeful that the Legislature will come to its senses. If not, on their watch, they can say they’ve destroyed cities and communities up and down the state of California.
We don’t need to do that. It’s an overreach. There’s a middle ground that he is not interested in exploring, because he is carrying the water for an industry that serves to benefit.ment
Conan Nolan: Can we at least agree that the housing crisis needs to be addressed? There is a generational issue where young people cannot afford property here.
ev Yaroslavsky: Absolutely. Young people, people of middle and low incomes, and renters. Those are who we call in our recent study, “the struggling group.” This is the 35% of Angelenos who are struggling economically. Those are the people who are on the bubble, and those are the people we ought to be focused on.
We don’t need to be focused on the folks coming into the state to take high-paying tech jobs paying them $150,000 or $200,000 per year. They can pay for the market rate housing. It is the people who are leaving town that need our focus.
In Los Angeles, we have a centers concept. Over the past 50 years, our city has developed around these centers of life and jobs: Centruy City, Westwood, Downtown, Hollywood, Universal City, and there are others. 
We also need to have non-centers, and balance between high-density, medium-density, and single-family home density neighborhoods. You don’t, with one broad brush, destroy all of that. It’s suicide from a land use point of view.
One example: Angeleno Heights, the first historic preservation zone in Los Angeles with the highest concentration of 19th century Victorian homes. No one in their right mind would want to raze that. It is less than a quarter-mile from Sunset Blvd. Sunset, according to state law, is a high-frequency bus corridor and under SB 50, that whole neighborhood would likely face destruction to make room for expensive, market-rate apartment buildings. There are plenty of other HPOZs that would be similarly affected.
It’s just wrong. The committee that approved SB 50 did so last week without even having the text of the bill in front of them. Not one member, aside from Scott Wiener, really knew what was in the bill. There is a lot wrong with the process and the substance of SB 50. 
Editor's note: After NBC4's interview aired, TPR posed the following question:
TPR: Zev, what would you propose to address the affordability crisis?
Zev Yaroslavsky: I can only speak for our region. More than half a century ago, Los Angeles articulated a long-term land use objective called the “centers concept.” The idea was to develop centers with high density commercial and residential construction, as well as medium and lower density areas. If you have centers you need to have non-centers. Not every neighborhood in the city should be a center. As UCLA Urban Planning Professor Michael Storper has said, we should develop in density clusters, not density corridors. We need zoning and planning; one without the other will create irreversible adverse consequences. 
In that context, when we increase zoning to allow for high density residential development in our city, we ought to do it around those centers, around areas planned for medium density, and around fixed rail stations. But here’s the rub: when we upzone a property we are increasing its value with a stroke of the pen. The landowner hasn’t earned that increased value; he or she happens to have been at the right place at the right time. My single family home will increase in value under SB 50. If I choose to develop it as a 7 story apartment building, the city has a right to demand that I set aside a meaningful percentage---say 50%---of the new units for low and moderate income tenants. The allowable density will rise exponentially, so in exchange it is not unreasonable to require that society get something in return for this newly created wealth. Developers will make money, low and middle income persons will get housing, and neighborhoods will truly become more diversified. Setting aside 10 or 15 percent is an insult; worse yet, being able to buy one’s way out of this responsibility by paying an in-lieu fee, is doubly insulting.
If we want to use zoning to generate more affordable housing, this concept of inclusionary zoning and value capture is the way to do it. If we fall short of the mark, this whole concept is a sham and a gift to landowners throughout urban California. We have unutilized zoning capacity in Los Angeles—hundreds of thousands of units' worth—and there are rational ways to increase residential zoning without taking a sledgehammer to almost every neighborhood in the basin. That’s why I am more than skeptical of SB 50’s intentions and ultimate effect. It functions more as a real estate give away, not as a solution to the state’s affordable housing crisis.
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Sunday, April 21, 2019

Venice Photographer Leases Out Two Campers Parked on Venice Streets as Airbnb Units

Residents in the eastern walk streets of Venice have just this weekend uncovered two campers that are stationed on their residential streets and rented out as Airbnb accommodations.

Joseph Levy, a walk street resident, initially found that a camper squatting on Linden just south of Superba was leaking sewage into the gutter and taking up two parking spaces where there is not enough parking for residents.  Linden is also sub-standard in width so the width of the camper made it very awkward for cars to pass each other on the street.

As a residential area, this location is off-limits to vehicle dwelling under city law, but the Airbnb guests initially refused orders from the LAPD to leave the area - probably because it was not their vehicle.

Below is the Airbnb advertisement for the camper.  It was being rented out for $54 a night.  I have underlined the warning about maxing out the sewage holding tank.  This suggests that at over 75% capacity the tank leaks sewage into the street, which is what Mr. Levy witnessed.

Eventually the camper was removed from Linden, but watch for it to show up elsewhere in Venice, since its owner lives here.  (We know his name and profession from the Airbnb ads, which have been given to the LAPD.)

 

LAZY DAZE 22' SOLAR MOTORHOME RV TWO OR THREE BEDS SUPER COOL 70’s STYLE
PRIME VENICE LOCATION NEAR DEUS EX MACHINA, 1/2 Mi TO SHOPS/RESTAURANTS ON ABBOTT KENNEY, 1 Mi TO ROSE AVE, 1 MI TO VENICE BEACH AND BOARDWALK
The 70's interior is an open and bright layout that sleeps 4 Full size bed over the cab and there are two more twin beds (32"x79") in the rear that can fold into a luxurious king size bed (72"x79") with large wraparound windows. Kitchen-Bathroom-Shower-Furnace-Dining Area
 
The space

Cheap, bright, and airy 70's Style Space:

Venice Beach is an amazing location and This Solar RV is Super Cool if you like vintage style. He comes loaded with Jackery 240 Lithium Power Station with 110V Outlet and (2) 2.4A USB Outlets for Charging your devices, 24" Smart TV With Roku (Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime Movies Available), Kitchen Utensils, Cookware, Board Games, Bedding with Pillows and Sherpa Throws, 200W Solar System, Pelican 30qt Extreme Cooler, Bluetooth Speaker, French Press, Fresh Coffee, Tea and More! He is currently parked about a mile from the sand, near Lincoln Blvd and Venice Blvd but I can deliver to Parking Lot at Venice Beach for $25 Daily (No Overnight Parking at Beach).  The 70’s style interior is in good shape but is not perfect and has a few tears in the sofa. The RV is loaded with Solar, Kitchen, Furnace, Shower, Toilet and More! The outside is not perfect but is presentable...

Guests must not allow holding tanks to get over 75% capacity under any circumstances. The water tank is 25 gallons so you will need to try to conserve water whenever possible. The hot water heater is 6 gallons so you have to be very efficient when showering, etc. if you run out of water during your stay I need to dump the first water tanks and fill them with fresh water. Dumping can only be done at certain times and requires briefly moving the rv to the dump station. Power is provided by solar so you also have to watch your energy consumption, as well. There is a Bluetooth app and meter to watch the battery level but I might need to start the rv and charge the batteries during your stay, as well. It is a little tricky if you have never stayed in an rv before but it is easy once you figure it out. I am happy to help with whatever you need during your stay.

The same photographer also rents out this camper van on Venice streets:


1987 SOLAR DODGE CAMPER VAN TWO BEDS LOADED WITH EXTRAS
PRIME VENICE LOCATION NEAR DEUS EX MACHINA, 1/2 Mi TO SHOPS/RESTAURANTS ON ABBOTT KENNEY, 1 Mi TO ROSE AVE, 1 MI TO VENICE BEACH AND BOARDWALK
Full size bed with folding memory foam mattress on top and the Sofa folds into another full-size bed Solar Nespresso Machine, 24” Smart TV with Roku, Solar Fan, Bluetooth Speaker, Lithium Power Pack with 4-USB and 2-110v Plugs, Sink, 2-Burner Stove and more!
 
The space


Venice Beach is an amazing location and This Solar RV is Super Cool if you like vintage style that is non-luxury. He comes loaded with Jackery 240 Lithium Power Station with 110V Outlet and (2) 2.4A USB Outlets for Charging your devices, 24" Smart TV With Roku (Netflix, HBO, Hulu, Amazon Prime Movies Available), Kitchen Utensils, Cookware, Board Games, Bedding with Pillows and Sherpa Throws, 200W Solar System, Ice Cooler, Bluetooth Speaker, French Press, Fresh Coffee, Tea and More! It is currently parked about a mile from the sand, near Lincoln Blvd and Venice Blvd but I can deliver to Parking Lot at Venice Beach for $25 a night (emphasis added).

These clearly illegal appropriation of public parking for personal profit raises the question if there are other vehicles used as dwelling units in parking-short Venice for personal gain.  There have been reports for years of several mobile Airbnbs around the Venice Post Office.