Tuesday, February 20, 2018

VSA Opposes "Miami-ization" of Venice Beach (VNC Agenda 11C), Loss of Traffic Lanes/Overnight Parking on Pacific Avenue (Agenda Item13B)

Dear VNC Board Members,

I am writing to indicate our organization's opposition to motions on SB 827 and changing parking rules for Pacific Avenue.

The Venice Stakeholders Association is a non-profit organization committed to quality-of-life improvements, public safety, and traffic and parking enhancements.

At the very least SB 827 would allow, by right, eight story buildings in all directions one-quarter of a mile from the Windward Traffic Circle and four story buildings one-half mile from the circle.  It also would waive existing parking requirements at a time that parking is scarcer than ever in Venice.

Venice residents have consistently fought to keep Venice's shoreline from being "Miami-ized."  Residents have similarly opposed abandoning the three-story height restrictions of the Venice Local Coastal Specific Plan.

When I ran for City Council last year I consistently heard from residents that they were opposed to the "maxing out" of just the existing three-story building envelope. Almost to a person, there was no support for allowing four story buildings, much less eight stories.  No one favored reducing parking requirements.

Senator Weiner should impose his misguided proposals on his Bay Area district and refrain from attempting to legislate land-use rules for communities he knows next to nothing about.

Within the small number of Venice residents who support SB 827 are likely to be those property owners who would profit by a doubling of their buildable envelope - from three stories to eight stories; I believe that at least one VNC Board member should recuse themselves from voting on this measure as they own property in close proximity to the Windward Traffic Circle.

I also urge your Board to reject changes to parking rules along Pacific Avenue.  Residents and visitors alike sorely need the four lane north-south traffic capacity provided during the day along Pacific, especially on weekends.  And residents sorely need the parking provided over night on weekends and throughout the week. Increased traffic enforcement, added traffic lights and crosswalks, and lower speed limits are all better solutions.

These proposals are ill-advised and your Board would be out-of-step with Venice residents were you to approve either of these motions.

Thank you for consideration of our views on these matters.


Mark Ryavec