VENICE ACTION FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Karen Wolfe (310)460-9644
Christopher Plourde (310)701-0652
VICTORY FOR PUBLIC BEACH ACCESS!
Venice residents cheer California Coastal Commission for reaffirming its stand against restricting overnight parking, Councilman Bill Rosendahl and the Venice Neighborhood Council for seeking real solutions despite lawsuit by so-called Venice Stakeholders Association
November 18, 2009, Venice, Calif–Venice Action, a diverse group of Venice residents, salutes the California Coastal Commission for adopting its revised findings in support of its previous denial of the applications submitted by the City of Los Angeles to establish overnight parking districts throughout Venice. The overnight parking districts were originally sought in order to prevent people living in vehicles from parking on Venice streets. The Commission, after a public hearing on June 11, 2009, determined that the proposed overnight parking districts would adversely affect coastal access and would exclude the general public from parking on the public streets. The Commission found that there are alternatives that would accomplish the goals without adversely impacting coastal access.
One such alternative has been working its way through the Los Angeles City Council guided by Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, whose district includes Venice. Rosendahl’s proposal, which passed through the Homelessness Committee with Councilmember Jan Perry’s support, would change current law to allow council districts to designate discrete areas where people staying in vehicles can lawfully park overnight.
“Criminalizing people who live in their cars and campers is wrong,” Rosendahl was quoted as saying in an Argonaut newspaper article. “What we need to do is to find places where people living in their cars and campers can go
to get proper outreach support and wraparound services.”
Venice Action commends Councilman Rosendahl for taking this progressive stand in tackling some of the social problems of homelessness on a regional basis, rather than pushing the homeless from “neighborhood – to-neighborhood.”
Further, Venice Action applauds the Venice Neighborhood Council for voting to support Councilmember Rosendahl’s City Council motion. The issue has remained in the news because of a lawsuit against the Coastal Commission brought by a group calling itself the Venice Stakeholders Association (VSA). Recently, VSA was joined by the right wing, anti-environmental Pacific Legal Foundation which has attempted for years to dilute the safeguards of the California Coastal Act. This partnership finally brings clarity to the real intentions of the VSA which have been obscured by confusing legal maneuvers and misleading public statements by VSA’s spokesperson, Mark Ryavec.
“The saying goes that if you put three Venetians in a room you’ll get four opinions,” said Venice Action spokesperson Christopher Plourde. “That’s reflective of the creativity and diversity of our community. Venice Action believes that Venice can and should be the place where we create solutions that the rest of the world will follow, not where we follow the stale,
failed solutions of master planned communities.”
VENICE ACTION is a group of residents of Venice, California who would rather be surfing, jogging, cycling, dining, shopping or otherwise enjoying Venice’s many charms.
“If Jesus were bodily present today, he would be working not just for, but with the people sleeping on Skid Row, being displaced by gentrification in Boyle Heights and Downtown LA, and being told they cannot even sleep in their cars in Westside LA.”–Roger Cardinal Mahoney
# # #