Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Legal Issues in Confronting Venice's Transient Crisis Outlined in ABA Journal

The American Bar Association Journal has published a cover story on recent court decisions that have exacerbated a chronic lawless environment at Venice Beach and fueled an increase in assaults, trespass, burglaries, drug sales and use, intimidation and harassment of residents, and public inebriation, defecation and urination in our community.

Cities get mired in civil rights disputes in trying to deal with growing homeless populations

house on venice beach
Photo of Mark Ryavec by Kyle Monk.
Mark Ryavec lives in a beautifully restored 1907 duplex in Venice Beach, the artsy beachfront neighborhood of Los Angeles. 

He's about half a mile from the shore and even closer to Abbot Kinney Boulevard, a trendy artery filled with pricey restaurants and boutiques. Depending on which real estate website you consult, his improvements and recent gentrification in the area have pushed the property's value to roughly three or four times what he paid for it in 1989.

Across the street, one of his sometime neighbors lives in a van. Drinking coffee in his front yard, Ryavec watches a young man slip out. Shortly afterward, the man comes back with a car that jump-starts the van. This is necessary because it's a street sweeping day and the space ceases to be legal at noon. This, Ryavec says, means the van-dweller will take up a parking spot that a resident could be using—in a parking-poor neighborhood that gets 16 million visitors a year.

But this is just the beginning of Ryavec's problems with homelessness in Venice Beach. A much smellier problem is that people living in vehicles have limited access to bathrooms. As a result, he says, vehicle-dwellers routinely relieve themselves behind million-dollar homes.

More at: http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/unwanted_guests