Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Venice Stakeholders Attorney Calls for Coastal Development Permit for Will Rogers Beach Shelter Plan

Pacific Coast Highway, and Will Rogers Beach Parking Lot, proposed site for homeless shelters

The Venice Stakeholders Association has submitted a legal brief to Los Angeles' Chief Administrative Officer that establishes that any use of the Will Rogers Beach parking lot for homeless shelter will require the city to secure a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) due to the loss of coastal scenic resources and the inability of up to 500,000 people a year to visit the popular beach.  Further, the letter states that one of the purposes of the CDP process is to identify measures to mitigate the loss of up to 500 parking spaces, such as paving over existing sandy areas to provide replacement parking.

In the letter, VSA's attorney John Henning states, "As the Coastal Commission and its staff have repeatedly recognized, any reduction in public parking in the coastal areas of the City of Los Angeles manifestly has a negative impact on visitor access to the beach and coastline.  Thus, the permanent removal, 7 days per week and 24 hours per day, of some or all of the present 500-plus parking spaces at Parking Lot #2 East from the parking supply available to beachgoers would constitute “development” under the Coastal Act.  Before removing these spaces from the public parking supply the City must obtain a Coastal Development Permit from the Commission."

"The VSA opposes any use of the Will Rogers State Beach or its parking lot (or any other beach or beach parking lot within the City) for this purpose," said Mark Ryavec, VSA president. 

"Indeed, our organization is concerned that the use of Will Rogers State Beach for shelter would set a precedent that could soon be applied to open Venice's three beach parking lots to shelter structures without the necessary consideration of the impact to beach access, coastal views and other environmental and safety factors," Ryavec said.

Ryavec added, "If the city fails to apply for a CDP, the VSA is prepared to file a lawsuit to force compliance with the Coastal Act."

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