Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Please maintain additional police officers in Venice on a permanent basis

The Venice Stakeholders Association joins other Venice neighborhood groups in urging Mayor Villaraigosa, Councilman Rosendahl and Chief Beck to maintain additional police officers on a permanent basis.

Dear Mayor Villaraigosa, Councilman Rosendahl, Chief Beck and Captain Peters:

The Venice Community was very pleased to see that the City of Los Angeles committed 21 additional officers to the community policing effort starting in May of this year. Their presence has made a huge difference to the safety and security of both residents and visitors and we deeply value this increased police presence. However, apparently there is some consideration by the LAPD to transfer these officers out of the community starting in January. We strongly encourage you, Mayor Villaigosa, Councilman Rosendahl, Chief Beck and Captain Peters, to maintain their deployment in Venice on a permanent basis.

Our Community is deluged with visitors, transients and a high level of criminal activity all year long. While the number of tourists may decline in the winter, the number of transients and criminals does not. We understand that in past years that as the LAPD transferred the summer detail out in September crime increased. Without these extra officers, those already in our midst or within easy distance, who are inclined to commit crime, feel less restrained.

Venice produces a very large portion of property and sales tax revenue due to its attraction but bears the brunt of its popularity with intense problems. We are asking for additional permanent policing because clearly we need it and secondly because Venice is a significant source of tax revenue for the City. We believe it is only fair and reasonable that an area that competes with Disneyland as a popular regional destination and with downtown Los Angeles for complex transient problems should reasonably have adequate police support.

Please maintain this deployment so that the great progress that Captain Peters and his LAPD Pacific Division has made can be maintained for the benefit of the citizens of Venice and the many other Angelinos who enjoy visiting Venice.


The Community Organizations of Venice and the Marina Peninsula

Marina Peninsula Neighborhood Association Inc. (Mark Winter)

Venice Stakeholders Association (Mark Ryavec)

Washington Retail and Restaurants (Clabe Hartley – The Cow)

Oxford Triangle (Steve Freedman)

The Venice Canals Association (Renee Kaplan)

Voice of the Canals (Darryl DuFay)

Presidents Row Neighborhood Association (Harris Levey)

Venice Chamber of Commerce (Alex Rosales)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Alleged Dirty Tricks by Mayoral Staffer

The Venice Stakeholders Association today sent a letter to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa calling for an investigation into claims on the website Yo!Venice! that the Mayor’s Associate Director of Transportation, Jim Bickhart, has repeatedly posted hostile and hateful comments on the website under a pseudonym in an effort to discredit Venice Stakeholders and those who support overnight restricted parking in Venice.

“By attributing these highly negative sentiments concerning those who live in vehicles to “the Stakeholders” these posts are a calculated attempt to paint us – and all of our supporters - as hateful and callous,” said Mark Ryavec, president of the VSA. Ryavec noted that he earlier co-chaired a community committee that recommended a “Vehicle to Housing” transition program to relocate vehicle dwellers to remote parking lots and to provide them services.

“Our group has never engaged in the type of hostile name calling that it appears Mr. Bickhart has attributed to us,” Ryavec said.

“This is an ugly escalation in the community debate on this issue,” Ryavec said, “and is inappropriate for any public official.”

The editor of Yo!Venice! has called on-line for Bickhart to claim or deny he indeed is the author of the posts. There has been no reply from Bickhart.

The VSA letter concludes:

“If these posts were indeed made by Mr. Bickhart, we question his suitability for a position of public trust. If he wrote it and believes what he wrote, in our opinion he does not belong in public service. If, on the other hand, he wrote it but does not believe what he wrote, and propagated these remarks to discredit our group (and Yo!Venice! and others who support overnight restricted parking), then his behavior amounts to a political dirty trick, which is intolerable in a public official.”

Attachment: Letter to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

Friday, November 19, 2010

Oversize Vehicle Ordinance Advances

Residents on Over 60 Blocks Sign-Up for the 2 AM to 6 AM Parking Restrictions

View Larger Map

On Wednesday, November 17th, the Los Angeles City Council approved an ordinance to implement in Venice the City’s new Oversize Vehicle restrictions.

The ordinance allows residents to petition to erect signs on their block to ban vehicles over 22 feet long or 7 feet tall from the hours of 2 AM to 6 AM in the areas of Venice west of Lincoln Boulevard.

The VSA also announced that residents of over 60 blocks have turned in petitions, which have been approved by the council office. The petitions have been sent to the Department of Transportation for installation of the signs, pending the Mayor’s approval of the implementing ordinance. The street segments covered by the petitions are the most impacted areas in the Venice community. (See map above)

“We are pleased to finally see some progress on the implementation of this ordinance. It should free up parking for residents and remove these vehicles, which have a long history of dumping trash and human waste on our streets and into the storm drains,” said Mark Ryavec, the president of the VSA.

Ryavec noted that Venice Stakeholders asked over a year ago for the City to amend the language of the Oversize Vehicle Ordinance to change the word “and” to “or” so that it would capture large vehicles that are either over 22 feet long or over 7 feet tall.

Ryavec said that the new signs will only deal with part of the problem residents face with the over 250 vehicles used as living quarters in Venice. “Some of the vehicles are less than 7 feet tall, so they will be exempt. Also, the City Attorney has tentatively decided that those vehicles with handicapped placards or license plates may be exempt from the ordinance, so they are advising the LAPD not to cite them for the time being.”

“We still need to pursue our lawsuit against the Coastal Commission to win the right for overnight restricted parking for residents and we will need the LAPD to aggressively enforce the ban (LAMC 85.02) on using vehicles as living quarters,” Ryavec said.

The map above shows the status of Over-height Vehicle Overnight (OVO) parking restrictions petitions that we are aware. Completed street segments accepted by the council office are listed in red.

If you would like to know about a particular street segment send us a comment using the comment box on the lower right of this web page. We will try to hook people up who are interested in gathering petitions on a particular street segment. If you submitted your petition and do not see your street marked on our map, also please let us know.

NOTE: some segments may only cover one side of a street segment.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Finding Residences for a Street Segment

I've attached a picture with instructions for obtaining the legal address and number of units at properties along a street segment. This can help you know in advance the total count of residences for a street segment with some certainty. The county assessors web site is: http://maps.assessor.lacounty.gov/

Just download a blank OVO petition and you can get started collecting signatures. Please make a photo copy of your petition before submitting it to the city. You can also email us if you have questions about whether anyone else is gathering signatures for a given street.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Applause for City Attorney Carmen Trutanich for Defending Venice's Beach Curfew

Our City Attorney, Carmen Trutanich, has once again come to the aid of his Venice constituents.

As you will see from the attached letter from Trutanich's Office to the Coastal Commission, Trutanich has rejected the attempt by the Commission's staff to force the City Department of Recreation and Parks to apply for a Coastal Development Permit to continue the City's beach curfew in Venice, which would surely be rejected by the Commission.

The curfew was established at the request of the LAPD and local residents more than three decades ago. The curfew is a lawful exercise of the City's inherent police powers, in this instance to prevent and abate criminal and life-threatening behavior at nighttime along Venice Beach.

The City Attorney also suggests that the current investigation of the beach curfew has been instigated by the Commission in retaliation for the City's decision to join the VSA's lawsuit against the Commission for its rejection of overnight restricted parking for residents. The VSA agrees that this is the probable motivation for the Commission's "mission creep" into an area that is traditionally the prerogative of municipal government.

I would encourage you to send an email of support to Mr. Trutanich at ctrutanich@lacity.org, with a copy to his chief deputy, Jane Usher, at Jane.Usher@lacity.org, thanking him for rejecting the Commission's attempt to take jurisdiction for public safety along the beach away from the City and LAPD, which would invite more transients sleeping on the beach and more criminal activity.

Click Here to read the letter.

Prosecution of Culprits in Pacific/Fleet Sewage Dumping Incident

The City Attorney's Office has just provided us with this formal report on the result of the prosecution of the couple that was involved in the sewage dumping incident at Pacific and Fleet on the Venice Peninsula:

Both defendants were arrested on their warrants on Tuesday October 12, 2010. They appeared in court on Wednesday October 13, 2010 for arraignment. The defendants were charged with three counts each (Penal Code 370/372, LAMC 62.80(a), and Penal Code 182(a)(1)). Both defendants pled "Open to the Court" to the following sentence: 36 months of summary probation, Time Served in County Jail, 120 days of county jail suspended (which means that if the defendants violate the terms of their probation the Court will automatically impose 120 days of county jail each), restitution and a stay away (Imperial to the South, Navy to the North, Sepulveda to the East and the Pacific Ocean to the West). We will be having a restitution hearing on November 16, 2010 (to recover the costs of the clean up).
Pleading "open to the Court" means that the Court determines the sentence (after hearing from both our Office and the defense). When pleading "open to the Court" the defendants must plead Guilty or No Contest to ALL charges (in this case there were three charges filed against each defendant).

(This is from Claudia Martin, the Neighborhood Prosecutor assigned to Venice.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rosendahl Calls Town Hall Meeting on Homeless Issues

Councilman Bill Rosendahl's office has announced a Town Hall Meeting on Homeless Issues. We need all Venice stakeholders who care about this issue to please take time to attend this meeting and show express your support for enforcing existing laws and for finding solutions to the real quality of life issues that result from the current homeless situation in Venice.

Rosendahl's press release is as follows:

Public Invited to Discussion on Enforcement Strategies and Social Services
LOS ANGELES – Councilman Bill Rosendahl is holding a Town Hall forum September 23rd to discuss homeless issues in the 11th Council District. The event will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at Westminster Elementary School in Venice.

The session will include a series of presentations on ongoing and new efforts to prevent people from living on the streets or in their vehicles. Those efforts include law enforcement strategies, parking enforcement and the “Streets to Homes” program.

Rosendahl will moderate the session, which will include questions from the audience to officials from the Los Angeles Police Department, the Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, which will manage the “Streets to Homes” program. The program will provide safe parking places and case management to eligible vehicle dwellers.


Councilman Bill Rosendahl, 11th District

Los Angeles Police Department representatives
Los Angeles City Attorney representatives
Los Angeles Department of Transportation representatives
Michael Arnold, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority

Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Homeless Issue

September 23, 2010
7:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M.


Westminster Elementary School
1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291-3312

For more information, contact Arturo Pina by email at arturo.pina@lacity.org or call (310) 568-8772

Monday, September 6, 2010

Implementation in Venice of the “No Oversize Vehicle” Ordinance

Dear Mayor Villaraigosa, dear Councilman Rosendahl,

Starting last week, thousands of Venice residents began circulating and/or signing petitions to implement the new “No Oversize Vehicle” ordinance on their blocks to remove at night RVS and campers, which have been documented dumping and/or leaking sewage on our streets.

I am writing to address several questions about the process for authorizing the signs once the petitions have been submitted.

The City Attorney’s Office has advised us that under the petition process set out in the ordinance, no “implementing ordinance” is required, and that the City Council has the authority to unilaterally authorize the signage for six block areas by Council resolution. Nonetheless, Councilman Rosendahl claims that an “implementing ordinance” is required to install the signs. Any new ordinance is subject to the Mayor’s veto; the Council’s override of a veto is not a foregone conclusion. Thus, we would ask:

Mayor Villaraigosa, will you indeed sign the ordinance?

And, Mr. Rosendahl, have you spoken directly to Mr. Villaraigosa and secured his promise to sign the ordinance?

Finally, Mr. Rosendahl, if the Mayor, who has previously expressed his antipathy to the new Oversize Vehicle Ordinance by refusing to sign it, is not willing to sign your new Venice-specific “implementing ordinance,” why do you not take the City Attorney’s advice and pass several Council resolutions for six block areas that are most burdened by oversize vehicles? We are advised, again by the City Attorney, that this is the quickest means to authorize the signs and this procedure is immune to a Mayoral veto.

I am respectfully yours,

Mark Ryavec, President

Sunday, August 29, 2010


Venice Residents Demand City and Coastal Commission Action to Remove Recreational Vehicles and Stop Sewage Dumping

(August 29, 2010 –Venice Beach, CA) – Representatives of three Venice residents’ organizations today demanded that the City of Los Angeles and the California Coastal Commission take immediate steps to stop RVs, campers and other vehicles from camping overnight in neighborhoods and dumping their human waste on public streets, which endangers residents and pollutes the coastal waters at Venice Beach.

The demand by the Venice Stakeholders Association, Marina Peninsula Neighborhood Association, and Venice Canals Association came in the wake of a widely-publicized incident in which an RV owner uncapped her sewage holding tank and drove north on Pacific Avenue, just a block from the ocean, releasing over 100 gallons of human waste onto the street as she drove. The woman was arrested but subsequently released, and the City of Los Angeles took several days to clean up the mess.

Such dumping incidents are common in Venice. Just a few weeks ago, Robert Feist, past president of the Venice Chamber of Commerce, observed a similar act on nearby Electric Avenue. “I saw a man take off the cap of his holding tank and drive down the street spewing sewage right in front of homes,” said Feist.

In addition to intentional dumping, the decrepit condition of many of the RVs and campers means that such vehicles often leak their sewage onto public streets. In addition, people who live in vehicles lacking toilets – such as cars, trucks and vans – simply relieve themselves on local streets, alleys and in residents’ yards.

Residents say it is time for the City to take firm action to stem the tide of human sewage in Venice neighborhoods. “We have struggled for years to get the City to remove these vehicles from the neighborhood and stop the dumping and other negative effects,” said Mark Ryavec, the president of the Venice Stakeholders Association (VSA). “Now, the councilman of the district is talking about investigating why it took so long to clean-up the sewage, but this is not the answer. The answer is for the City to remove the source of the problem, which is the vehicles themselves.”

Marina Peninsula Neighborhood Association Director Diana Spielberger agreed. Speaking at the site of one of the recent dumping incidents, Spielberger said, “We cannot tolerate this kind of health-threatening pollution and irresponsibility from transients who live in RVs and cars. Our city streets are not campgrounds and what these people are doing is clearly against the law. We need our city officials to enforce the law.”

Ryavec outlined several actions that city and state agencies should take to address the constant intentional dumping and leaking of human waste from RVs and other vehicles used for camping on Venice streets:

1. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl (CD-11) should immediately release petitions for residents to complete to request the posting of “No Oversize Vehicle” signs on their neighborhood streets, which would ban vehicles over seven feet tall and allow police to remove such vehicles. The Councilman should also expedite the installation of the signs.

2. The Los Angeles Police Department should start aggressively enforcing the City’s current ban on living in vehicles (LAMC 85.02), as well as laws prohibiting criminal activity by the owners of the vehicles, including dumping and leaking of sewage, late night noise, drug sales, prostitution, public inebriation and harassment of residents. To support this effort, the LAPD should increase the number of undercover officers in Venice, and the City Attorney should back up the Department by aggressively prosecuting such violations.

3. The California Coastal Commission, in light of its obligation to protect coastal waters from pollution, should reconsider its recent denial of a permit that would allow the City to implement overnight restricted parking in Venice, a measure that would stop camping in any vehicle, regardless of size.

In addition, Venice resident Heidi Roberts called for the LAPD to reverse its plans to redeploy 21 officers away from Venice Beach at the end of the summer season. “The recent dumping incidents and a 240% increase in transient-related crime in Venice, reported by the LAPD’s Pacific Division, makes it imperative that we keep these officers here throughout the year,” Roberts said. Indeed, she noted that the City’s plan to post signs banning oversize vehicles would be ineffective without more officers to enforce the rule.

For more information, see the following links:

Images of 100 gallon sewage dump at Pacific and Fleet:

Video of 100 gallon sewage dump at Pacific and Fleet (requires installation of
Apple QuickTime): http://thestagingserver.com/rv/rvdump.mov

Images of RVs, puddles of sewage and human feces at 3rd Avenue at Rose
and Sunset : http://gallery.me.com/locoroyale/100521

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Call to Release Oversized Vehicle Petitions

Venice Residents Demand Release of

Oversize Vehicle Petitions from LA Councilman’s Office to Remove RVs and Campers from Venice

(August 25, 2010 –Venice Beach, CA) – In light of the recent documented sewage dumping incidences in Venice, the Venice Stakeholders Association today renewed its demand that Councilman Bill Rosendahl release to residents the petitions required to sign up blocks for the new signage banning oversize vehicles, including the types of RVs and campers involved in the dumping incidences at Pacific and Fleet and 3rd and Sunset.

“Bill Rosendahl has repeatedly told us that he’s going to put up the new signs and get these polluting vehicles out of our neighborhoods and away from the beach,” said Mark Ryavec, president of the VSA. “And then nothing happens.”

“This delay has been going on for months,” he said.

Ryavec conjectured that Rosendahl is delaying installation of the signs until his “park and snooze” program – on parking lots near residences in Venice – is operational.

“We were told by a high-ranking City official that Bill was delaying until the parking lots and a social service provider are secured, which in our estimation is many, many months away, considering there are over 250 vehicle dwellers in Venice.” Ryavec said. “Bill also continues to push the community to accept putting the RVs and campers on parking lots in residential areas, such as the median between North and South Venice Boulevards,” Ryavec said.

“Bill doesn’t get that we do not want to be an urban RV campground,” Ryavec said. “We want the RVs and campers out of areas near residences and away from the beach. We support a safe parking program, but at least 300 feet from homes and a good distance from the ocean to prevent the kind of pollution we recently saw on Pacific and 3rd from reaching the beach.”

Ryavec also noted that these vehicles would have been banned from Venice streets over a year ago if the Coastal Commission had not rejected the City’s application for overnight restricted parking (OPDs).

“The Commission has a legal mandate to protect coastal waters” Ryavec said. “If there were 250 apartments in Venice without sewer hook-ups, the Commission would shut them down in a minute. We fail to see how the situation with all these RVs and campers is different. They belong in proper campgrounds.”

Ryavec said that residents have been complaining to City, County and Coastal Commission authorities for years about the dangers of the pollution from these vehicles, and have found that no one has taken the on-going contamination of streets, and ultimately the Santa Monica Bay, seriously.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Request for Proposal for “Streets to Homes” Program

Letter from Venice Stakeholders Association to G. Michael Arnold, Executive Director, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority:

Your agency has invited comment on the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the proposed “Streets to Homes” Program. I am writing on behalf of Venice residents to address several concerns. While we support the program in concept, we find the program design and RFP lacking in several aspects.

1. The program outline prepared by Ms. Sophia Heller, a consultant to Councilman Rosendahl, and the RFP do not reflect that a primary objective of the program is – or should be - relieving residents of Council District 11 of the burden they experience with people living in vehicles on their doorsteps (along with the goal of assisting those living in vehicles find housing). We would ask that this be included as a stated program goal.

2. The RFP does not include any protections for residents in the siting or the operation of parking lots to be used to host program participants. The Report of the VNC Ad Hoc Committee on Homelessness and Vehicular Occupation recommended at least a 300 foot setback between lots used for the program and any inhabited residences. We would ask that this specific language be included in the RFP.

3. The Ad Hoc Committee rejected providing any permit or placard for program participants who continue to park on public streets, yet your program outline proposes to provide placards to those who sign up to be on a waiting list. This will be the equivalent of giving preferential permit parking to vehicle dwellers, a right denied Venice residents by the Coastal Commission. We would ask that you reject this program element and rely upon the obvious identification provided by license plate numbers to record, locate and monitor those on the waiting list.

4. The program outline suggests that the target population is homeless families. Out of over 250 documented occupied vehicles, residents know of only one family, a single mother with two teenage children (who has rejected an offer of affordable housing). The St. Joseph Center’s limited survey of some of the camper population is a more accurate portrait and should be relied upon to explain the target population to CD 11 residents.

5. The VNC Ad Hoc Committee recommended that in the initial pilot program that participants adhere to a set of rules, which was derived from the “best practices” of similar programs in Eugene, OR and Santa Barbara, CA. I have attached them for your reference. We would ask that they be appended to the RFP. Certainly, they can and will be modified as the program evolves, but they, again, offer residents protections from the program parking lots becoming public nuisances. Further, we would ask that the RFP and program outline include in the program rules the requirement that those on a waiting list, i.e., those living in vehicles but still parking on public streets, not park at night on any block that has any residences on it.

6. You have indicated that you believe that a non-profit medical services provider would be qualified to apply for and ultimately run the “Streets to Homes” program. We beg to disagree. The stated mission of the program is to help vehicle dwellers find housing (and to also remove these vehicles from our neighborhoods). A medical services provider by definition has no experience with this mission and should not even be allowed to bid on RFP. A qualified non-profit with extensive experience with coaching homeless individuals to find and move to housing is called for.

Thank you for your consideration of our concerns.


*Mark Ryavec*

Mark Ryavec, President



Report and Recommendations of the Ad Hoc Committee on Homelessness and Vehicular Occupation to the Venice Neighborhood Council

May 8, 2009

Co-Chairs: Carolyn Rios and Mark Ryavec

Members: Mariana Aguilar, Susan Beckman, Steve Freedman, Marie Hammond, Giovanna Imbesi, Michael King, John Meehan, Stewart Oscars and Terry Simons

The program would have the following outline:

1. The City would adopt conditional use permit language (recommended language included) to allow the permitting of public or private lots as transition sites per the proposed attached language. The sites would be at least 300 feet from inhabited residences, exempted from LAMC 85.02, no more than three vehicles would allowed on a site at one time, and participants would be restricted to three month stays and must be of very low income status. (Examples of possible sites are below.) Other provisions are contained in the attached proposed permit language to protect the neighborhoods in which the sites are located.

2. The City would develop and release a request for proposals for non-profit social service agencies to submit proposals to operate a vehicle-to-housing transition program (the service provider). The service provider would recruit vehicle dwellers to participate in the program, provide services required by the participants to facilitate placement in affordable housing, and supervise the sites and assure they are operated in a safe and healthy manner.

3. The service provider would be delegated by the City as the “first responder” in the event the City (DOT, Council Office or LAPD) is notified that someone is living in a vehicle on City streets in violation of LAMC 85.02 (ban on using vehicles as living quarters on public streets or parking lots) and/or 80.73.2 (ban on stays of more than 72 hours). The service provider will notify the vehicle dweller that living in vehicles is prohibited by City ordinance and that they will be cited for violation of 85.02 and/or 80.73.2. The service provider shall offer them overnight accommodations on a permitted parking lot, subject to availability, if they are judged to be very low income, agree to program guidelines and to participate in the transition program to place them in affordable housing. If they are not very low income and/or have no interest in finding housing, the service provider will direct them to permitted camping locations in the County of Los Angeles. If they fail to move their vehicles they will be subject to citation by the police and/or DOT.

4. The program would have the following guidelines:


a. Anyone, individuals or families, living in a motor vehicle (car/truck/van/recreational vehicle) which can be moved to and from the site by its own power, and who is judged to be very low income by a standard set by the Los Angeles Housing Department, is eligible.

b. Only those who have been accepted into the transition program by the service provider may stay on the permitted lot(s) overnight. All others will be cited for trespassing, and towed away if necessary.

c. Participant(s) must sign a contract with the service provider agreeing to relocate to permanent housing, if such housing is affordable to the participant and located within 10 miles of the transition site.

d. Anyone under age eighteen must be accompanied by and supervised by an adult.

e. The vehicle must have current a California license and insurance.

f. Dogs and other pets are forbidden (other than an assistance dog, such as a Seeing Eye dog).

Hours and Length of Stay

a. Vehicles are allowed on the sites overnight only (hours may differ as the lots may have other uses in the early evening or early morning).

b. Individuals and their vehicles are allowed to use the site overnight for a period of three months provided they abide by all program rules.

Support Services/Clean Up

a. Portable toilet(s) and trash bags will be provided by the service provided on-site. Overnight sleepers must use the portable toilet(s) provided or the sanitation system installed on their vehicle. The service provider will also make available shower facilities within a reasonable driving distance of the site.

b. Participants must dispose of human waste which accumulates in their vehicle’s tank at proper disposal sites.

c. Participants are responsible for keeping their space clean and helping to keep the entire site clean.


a. No violent or aggressive behavior, physical or verbal abuse, vandalism, panhandling, gambling or offensive behavior is allowed.

b. No use or brandishing of weapons or carrying of firearms on the site.

c. No consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs or open containers of alcoholic beverages allowed on-site.

d. No loud noises or music.

e. Disputes between participants to be immediately brought to the attention of the service provider for resolution.

f. No children to be left unattended in a vehicle or on the site.


a. Vehicles are allowed only in prescribed locations on the site.

b. Vehicles and possessions are to be kept within the boundary lines of individual spaces.

c. No tents or temporary structures are to be erected on the site.

d. No cooking devices or open fires allowed on site other than those originally installed by manufacturers in vehicles.

f. No pets permitted on site.

g. Any vehicle left unattended for 48 hours will considered abandoned and the process will be started to have it towed away.

h. Program participants are responsible for their guests abiding by program rules. Guests must leave the site by 9 PM.

i. Violation of any of these rules can lead to termination from the program and loss of the right to use the site for overnight parking.

J. As multiple sites are developed, there should be separate sites for single individuals, women, and families.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Sara Wan, the Coastal Commissioner from wealthy Malibu, is a hypocrite.

Malibu, Santa Monica and other nearby cities have forced RVs and campers out and the only place left for them to go near the water is in Venice (see sign posted at the Malibu city limits).

Then Ms. Wan has the audacity to turn around and call the 200-plus RVs and campers in Venice a "social problem" and to vote against the City of LA implementing overnight restricted parking for residents 2-5 AM (an hour when hardly anyone wants to go to the beach anyway).

It's time for Ms. Wan to practice what she preaches and have the Coastal Commission require her city to create street parking on PCH and residential streets for RVs and campers so her neighbors can also enjoy these instant neighbors, with all the related crime, drug and alcohol use, piles of trash, late night noise, loss of parking and dumping of human waste.

Friday, June 11, 2010

California Coastal Commission Rejects Settlement

VSA Press Release

The public has just seen a remarkable and brazen example of deceit by a public body in the actions of members of the California Coastal Commission in their rejection of coastal development permits for overnight restricted parking in Venice.

The Venice Stakeholders Association and the City of Los Angeles participated in several months of good faith settlement negotiations with Coastal Commission staff and the Commission itself, which resulted in a compromise plan to allow Venice residents to finally have control of parking on their blocks overnight, while also assuring adequate beach access for visitors.

In executive session last month the Commission approved the settlement of the VSA lawsuit, which included significant compromises on VSA's part and the part of the City. The City had to significantly increase the early morning parking available for beach visitors, while Venice residents would have to try out an untested new Oversize Vehicle Ordinance before being allowed to implement overnight parking restrictions on their blocks. The attorneys representing all parties signed the agreement and, again, in good faith all the attorneys went into court last week to ask the judge to remand the suit to the Commission to formally adopt the agreed settlement.

However, the commission then at its hearing today reneged on the agreement, and scuttled the permits they had promised Venice residents. They oddly created new demands for the type of application the City must present and set a requirement that the City perform a study that proves that non-resident parking is a problem in Venice. This demand is bizarre as everyone who has visited Venice can see the evidence of the over 200 RVs, campers, vans, and buses that take up hundreds of spaces full time, many of them parking right on residents' doorsteps. Indeed, these vehicles are the primary cause of insufficient parking for beach visitors as they stay parked on city streets near the beach 24/7.

"This 'bait and switch' trick is reprehensible in a public body," said Mark Ryavec, president of the Venice Stakeholders Association. "Throughout this long process the Commission and its staff have acted dishonorably, first saying some years ago that no coastal development permit would be required for overnight parking 2-6 AM since State law had preempted this time period, then later reversing themselves and requiring a permit."

"Now they are setting yet another hurdle," Ryavec said, while expressing doubt that any Commission members or staff have visited Venice to see for themselves the impact these vehicles have on residents."

"Our only recourse is to remove overnight parking in Venice from this arrogant body's jurisdiction by renewing our litigation," Ryavec said.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Call To Action

We are in the final days of our fight to secure Venice residents the right to set up overnight restricted parking on their blocks if we want it.

We need to ask you take three actions:

1. Go on-line by Monday the 7th and sign the petition (text below) to the Coastal Commission to support the settlement of the VSA lawsuit against the Coastal Commission. We will deliver the petition to the Commission. You can sign online here:


2. Down-load the letter to the Coastal Commission, sign it and fax it to: (562) 590-5084. Again, please do this by Monday the 7th. Click this link now.

3. Attend the Coastal Commission hearing on this item on Thursday, June 10th at the Marina del Rey Hotel at 13534 Bali Way. Last year, when the Commission first considered the Venice OPDs, we were over-confident that the staff's recommendation for passage would lead to Commission approval of the permits for the OPDs so many of us did not attend the hearing. This year we cannot make this mistake; we need every OPD supporter present at the hearing. The hearing starts at 9 AM; we will advise you later on the time our item will be considered.

Thank you.

Mark Ryavec
President, Venice Stakeholders Association

Stewart Oscars,
Co-Chair, VNC OPD Committee

Georgann Abraham
Co-Chair, VNC OPD Committee

Giovanna Imbesi
North Venice Coordinator

Text of the letter is here if you'd prefer to copy/paste and modify it:

Petition to Members of the California Coastal Commission

Re: Re: Support for Settlement of Venice Stakeholders Association vs California Coastal Commission lawsuit / Coastal Development Permit for Venice Overnight Parking District/ Application Nos. 5-08-313, A-5-VEN-08-343 & A-5-VEN-08-344

Please support the settlement in the Venice Stakeholders Association vs California Coastal Commission lawsuit.

Many Venetians have had to live for years with the noxious impacts of those who camp on our doorsteps in RVs and campers. We have had to face the frustrations of not being able to find street parking anywhere near our homes, been kept awake at night by running generators and late-night partying, been accosted by drunks residing in these vehicles, and had to clean up the human waste and piles of garbage left on our yards, alleys and sidewalks.

It is time for your commission to honor the requirement in the Coastal Act that the Commission balance resident concerns and needs with those of beach visitors.

This compromise agreement will allow Venice residents to finally exercise control of late-night parking on their blocks and enhance neighborhood security while it also provides adequate beach access for early-morning visitors.

This agreement is supported by the majority of Venetians, as demonstrated by the February 21, 2009 Neighborhood Council plebiscite in which almost 60% of residents voted in support of residents having the option to implement overnight restricted parking on their blocks.

Please vote for the settlement!

Thank you.

Sincerely yours,

[Your Signature / Name Here]

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

VSA Opposes Rosendahl Raid on Venice Surplus Property Fund for RV/Camper "Park and Snooze" Camps

Councilman Bill Rosendahl
Los Angeles City Council
City Hall
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Re: Motion to Allocate $1,200,000 from Venice Surplus Real Property Fund to Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority to Fund RV/Camper Program (Rosendahl/Parks)

Dear Councilman Rosendahl,

I am writing on behalf of the Venice Stakeholders Association to indicate our opposition to your Motion to allocate $1,200,000 from Venice Surplus Real Property Fund (VSRPF) to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) to fund an RV/Camper Program in CD 11 (Rosendahl/Parks).

This proposed allocation violates the intent and letter of the City Administrative Code section which governs the VSRPF.

The Administrative Code requires that the net proceeds from the sale of any Venice properties shall be devoted exclusively to capital or non-capital projects generally within the “Venice area” for purposes which will be of benefit to citizens of the City of Los Angeles or tourists to the Venice Beach area. The perimeters of the “Venice area” are tightly prescribed, and the eastern boundary is Lincoln Boulevard.

The intent of the ordinance establishing the VSRPF was to fund physical improvements from the sale of physical property, so as to not squander these rare assets

The allocation of these funds to LAHSA does not represent a capital or non-capital project. LAHSA is a service provider. There will be no “project” – no improvement, no structure, no physical repairs – from this allocation.

While the Motion’s language calls for the services funded by this allocation to LAHSA to be provided in CD 11, this is not legally permissible under the Administrative Code. Any expenditure outside of Venice would invite legal challenge. To avoid legal action, the City and LAHSA would be forced to expend the $1,200,000 to provide safe parking and services only in Venice for people living in their vehicles as long as they were citizens of any part of Los Angeles or were tourists. This would have the following three results:

1) Fund the placement of hundreds of RVs, campers and vans parking in close proximity to residences, schools, parks, canals, the beach, etc., in Venice.

2) Make Venice the destination RV/camper park for all of Los Angeles, and formally open the door for providing parking spaces and services for a large number “tourists” living in RVs/campers/vans.

3) Violate LAMC 85.02, the ban on lodging in vehicles.

As you know, our organization supports a Vehicle-to-Housing Transition Program, as outlined in the report of the VNC Ad-Hoc Committee on Homelessness and Vehicle Occupation, under a conditional use permit, limits on length of stay, and setbacks from residences of at least 250 feet. There is no definition in your Motion of the proposed program, which gives us serious concerns, as we do not believe that the Santa Barbara model is appropriate in several aspects for the much denser environment of Venice. In addition, LAHSA has no experience in operating a program to assist vehicle dwellers transition to housing.

Further, we understand that the Grand Canal Restoration Project – a capital project in Venice – has an immediate need for $1,600,000 to complete the western side of the Grand Canal from Washington Boulevard to Driftwood.

We would strongly recommend that you revise your Motion to allocate the $1,200,000 to finish this long delayed restoration project, which complies with the intent and letter of the language of the VSRPF.

Sincerely yours,

Mark Ryavec

cc: Mark Winter, Director, Marina Peninsula Neighborhood Association

Members of the Los Angeles City Council

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pacific Legal Foundation support

The PLF has begun preparation of an Amicus Brief to support our legal efforts to protect the rights of Venice residents to control vehicles illegally parked overnight on Venice streets.