Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Statement of Venice Stakeholders Association President on the City Council Move to Gut LA's "No Lying, Sitting or Sleeping on a Sidewalk" Ordinance

"The Motion by two City Council Members to ask the City Attorney to prepare language to gut the city's "No Sleeping on a Sidewalk" ordinance (41.18) is misguided and premature.

"Instead, the City Council should be instructing the City Attorney to prepare and file an Amicus brief supporting the City of Boise, ID, in its appeal of the ridiculous decision of the 9th Circuit Court in the Martin v. Boise case.

"The deadline for filing of initial briefs has been extended to September at the request of Los Angeles firm of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, which is representing Boise.  If the Supreme Court accepts the case, it is likely a decision will be rendered next spring, which suggests amending the ordinance is unnecessary at this time.

"Further, the 9th Circuit decision was extremely close and there is speculation that it is ripe for reversal by the Supreme Court.  The decision, which found that for any city to enforce a similar "no sleeping" ordinance the jurisdiction would have to have as many shelter beds available as it has homeless.  To meet this threshold Los Angeles would have to build 36,000 beds before it could enforce its "No Sleeping on a Sidewalk" ordinance.

"Based on the recent $60,000 construction cost per bed of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s first Bridge Housing project (El Pueblo), the city would have to spend $2,160,000,000 to provide temporary shelter beds for the entire 36,000 homeless population.  That is equivalent to one-fifth of the city’s 2019-20 budget – and does not include any operating costs. 
"Permanent, brick-and-mortar housing units, at the current average $525,000 cost per unit, would cost the city $19 billion.

"If the Martin decision is not overturned on appeal every jurisdiction in the nine western states under the 9th Circuit will lose any ability to control its streets, sidewalks and open space."

Mark Ryavec, President
310 871 6265

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