Posts Tagged ‘lawsuit’

On April 5, 2016 the Venice Coalition to Preserve our Unique Community Character (VC-PUCC) Led a Walking Tour Illustrating Their Lawsuit Against the City of Los Angeles’ Flagrant Disregard for Its Own Planning Policies

SaveVenice

Venice, CA: Tuesday, April 5th, 2016 – Acclaimed land use attorney, Sabrina Venskus, explains in detail the “Save Venice”  lawsuit to community members and media on a walking tour through Venice highlighting, not gardens, but over-sized construction that has relied on Los Angeles Planning Department’s illegal development approval procedures.

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES CASE NO.:
BC 611549 – COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF FOR VIOLATIONS
OF PLAINTIFFS’ CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS UNDER THE CALIFORNIA
CONSTITUTION (Cal. Const., art.1, para.7), THE CALIFORNIA COASTAL ACT (Pub. Resources Code, para. 30000 et seq.), THE VENICE LAND USE PLAN (Los Angeles Planning and Zoning Law), and CALIFORNIA CODE OF CIVIL PROCEDURE para. 526a

For years, the City of Los Angeles Planning Department has ignored planning and zoning laws regulating the Venice Coastal Zone. The City has approved huge development projects through the “Venice Sign Off” or VSO procedure, which effectively allows developers to side-step their responsibilities under the California Constitution to construct large developments without first notifying neighbors or holding public hearings regarding potential projects.

The City of Los Angeles Planning Department’s VSO procedure fails to ensure that developments comply with the Venice Land Use Plan requirements that all development respect the mass, scale, character and landscaping of existing neighborhoods. Additionally, the City of Los Angeles Planning Department has illegally issued hundreds of Coastal Exemptions, which has enabled developers to by-pass important protections imposed by the California Coastal Act.

As a result, huge construction projects have spread across Venice, substantially and irrevocably destroying the character, density, and charm of Venice neighborhoods; blocking airflow and sunlight; destroying vegetation; obstructing picturesque views; and eliminating affordable housing units in this fragile and unique coastal zone.

These projects have completely blindsided residents, who often do not realize that construction has been approved on their streets until bulldozers arrive at 7 a.m. and it’s too late to raise their voices. Today, the Venice Coalition to Preserve our Unique Community Character says enough is enough. It’s time for the City to honor Venice
residents’ Constitutional rights, comply with the law, and respect the neighborhoods and communities that make Venice unique.

HELP US SAVE VENICE – DONATE TO THE SAVE VENICE LEGAL DEFENSE FUND –

save-venice

CLICK HERE TO DONATE TO THE SAVE VENICE LEGAL DEFENSE FUND – THANK YOU!

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CityWatchL.A.: VOICES OF THE PEOPLE–The big-bucks three-story duplex looks like a boxy alien spacecraft that strayed off course and crash-landed among the row of bewildered 1940’s bungalows in Venice. Standing across the street from this monstrosity, long-time Venice resident John Galbraith tells a visitor: “This kind of construction is happening all over Venice. This isn’t even the worst of it.”

Still, this duplex in the 600 block of Broadway Street has gained a certain notoriety. (Photo above.)

A recent lawsuit cited the structure as a prime example of a dysfunctional system at City Hall. The lawsuit, filed by a Venice advocacy group, alleges Los Angeles city officials have illegally permitted hundreds of properties to be built or significantly remodeled in Venice.

“The laws are on the books to deal with projects like this but no one’s enforcing them,” Venice yoga instructor and former land-use attorney Max Sloves said as he stopped riding his bike to talk to a visitor. “Venice is so far away from City Hall. We feel disconnected. These buildings go up so fast that before anyone knows it they’re built.”

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save-veniceDONATE TO THE SAVE VENICE LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

The California Coastal Commission released its revised findings for their June 10, 2010, denial of permit parking in Venice. The report, issued last Friday, cites the availability of preferable alternatives to solving the problems associated with homeless people sleeping in vehicles.

The findings refute two key claims repeated by the City and the stakeholders group in their lawsuit against the Commission. First, they provide evidence that parking does indeed meet the definition of development according to the Coastal Act, and repeated application of that doctrine up and down the state creates ample precedent to justify the Commission’s decision.

Second, the findings contradict Bill Rosendahl’s “equal rights” claims that Venice is being unfairly targeted by the Coastal Commission. Rather, there appears to be a pattern of the City failing to properly present an OPD application before the Coastal Commission. Venice’s own Land Use Plan, which Venetians rely on the Coastal Commission to uphold as a safeguard against overdevelopment, requires 1:1 replacement parking in order to adopt restricted parking. Venice Action’s review of surrounding coastal communities revealed that Santa Monica, Hermosa Beach and Capitola all replaced visitor parking at a 1:1 ratio. The City’s two failed tries for Venice are just the most recent. Previously, the City failed in its application for Santa Monica Canyon/Pacific Palisades by ignoring the same requirement to provide adequate replacement parking.

Finally, the Commission suggested implementation of programs targeted at alleviating problems associated with homelessness and the use of vehicles as housing before considering measures that would threaten public access to the beach. Streets-to-Homes (S2H) is part of a comprehensive program to provide off street parking and services in exchange for compliance with strict community safeguards and police oversight.

To read Venice Action’s news release on this subject, click here. To read the Coastal Commission’s findings, click here.

Contact the Coastal Commission to support the revised findings at their September 15 meeting.

From Venice Action Alliance