Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Bridge Housing Must Obtain Coastal Development Permit, Coastal Commission Declares

Coastal Commission Announces Venice Homeless Shelter Must Meet Coastal Act Requirements

The California Coastal Commission announced Monday, September 17, that any new homeless shelter proposed in the Coastal Zone of Venice will be required to obtain a Coastal Development Permit (CDP).

This statement came in an electronic message to John Henning, attorney for Venice Stakeholders Association.  Henning had earlier written to the Commission to ask for confirmation of the VSA’s opinion that nothing in the State’s new emergency shelter statute exempts shelters from the Coastal Act, which requires a Coastal Development Permit for any “development” in the Coastal Zone, however minor.

“The proposed Venice Homeless Shelters are not exempt from coastal development permit requirements.  Each proposed project will require some type of Coastal Commission review,” stated Charles Posner, Supervisor of Planning for the commission, in his message to Henning.

Mark Ryavec, president of Venice Stakeholders, said, “We are encouraged by this confirmation of the Coastal Act’s jurisdiction over such a large development as the 100-person shelter envisioned by Councilman Bonin for the former MTA bus lot on Main Street. “

“The CDP requirement will automatically trigger an environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act and force the city to quantify and mitigate effects such as traffic, public safety, aesthetics, and noise, especially night time noise, and parking demand.”  

“Considering that some of the 100 homeless will include “car campers” who arrive with their vehicles, the City will have to provide a place to park them without taking street parking from visitors and existing residents.”

The CDP and CEQA processes will also force the city to consider alternative sites and give residents a formal hearing in which to comment on the proposal, which Councilman Bonin has to date refused to allow.