Thursday, December 6, 2018

Post Your Opinions on the Future Development on the MTA Lot

Whatever occurs with the temporary - and misguided - Bridge Housing proposal for the former MTA bus lot on Main Street at Sunset, the MTA will eventually collaborate on a joint development of the site with a for-profit developer; i.e., on a bricks-and-mortar housing complex.

I encourage you to let your views be known to the MTA.  This project will have a tremendous impact on the surrounding area, and will either fit in and complement the current housing patterns or be, as Prince Charles said of an overly large and modern development in London, a "carbuncle" on the face of Venice.

The MTA is soliciting residents' views at:

I recently learned Councilman Bonin and homeless advocates are soliciting people outside of Venice to participate in the survey and ask that the future project be 100% permanent, supportive housing; i.e., populated entirely with people recently homeless.  This is counter to the MTA guidelines which call for not more than one-third affordable units in these projects and which is counter to "best planning practices," which encourage a mix of market rate, work force and affordable units, only some of which would usually be permanent, supportive housing.

Here are some of the other points that I made:

1.  Comply with the height and density limits of the Venice Specific Plan, at least on the perimeter where the project faces existing two and three story residences.
2. Consider replicating the historic Venice Craftsman architecture, such as the two story apartment buildings on Horizon.
3.  Do not close off the project from the surrounding area, but instead continue a walk street from Pacific to Main Street.   
4.  Comply with the parking requirements under the Venice Specific Plan and add additional parking for visitors and for residents, preferably in a subterranean, automated parking structure.
5.  Include some artists lofts as part of the affordable units to re-establish Venice's art colony, and limit affordable units to one-third of the project.

Of course, these are my preferences; let the MTA know yours.
The survey closes this week, so do it as soon as possible.