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.