Posts Tagged ‘Over-sized Vehicles’


Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice —


9th Circuit Court of Appeals Heard Desertrain vs. City of Los Angeles; Looks Like LA City Living in Vehicle Law is Unconstitutionally Vague

December 6, 2013


Pasadena CA, December 5, 2013— The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments today regarding Desertrain vs. the City of Los Angeles, a Venice Beach lawsuit.

The vagueness of Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) 85.02, the city ordinance making it illegal to habitate in a vehicle, was the main topic for the oral arguments presented by Civil Rights Attorney Carol Sobel.

LAMC 85.02 was used during a concerted Venice homeless eradication effort. This effort included a special Los Angeles Police Task Force that arrested, towed, ticketed, and threatened homeless people accused of living in a vehicle.

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2010 alleging that the City of Los Angeles violated the Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case was not successful in the lower federal court, but was appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by Sobel.

The three judge panel especially questioned the enforcement criteria and lack of duration for LAMC 85.02. “The City Attorney had difficulty answering the questions posed by the judges” according to plaintiff, Steve Jacobs-Elstein.

Venice is a special coastal community historically known for the diversity of its population; a community known for acceptance and tolerance. It is home to one of the largest free clinics in the country and provides homeless services second only to the skid row area in Los Angeles.

As Venice property values continue to soar, comes an influx of newer residents who can afford million dollar buildings by the sea, and hardships increase for those who can no longer afford to be housed in the community.

Surely, with all this new wealth, better solutions can be created.


Justice Committee & Media Group


Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice —


Cops close in on RV at night in Venice - Thanksgiving 2010

Cops close in on RV at night in Venice during sweeps in 2010

Since last night (Friday, April 19 2013), two uniformed LAPD officers –have been escorting a 5-person film crew around Venice; intentionally harassing homeless people and people in vehicles and others –and then extensively filming it.

For example, they woke up several homeless people near the Boardwalk last night for some pretty flimsy pretexts–just to get a rise out of disturbed homeless people on camera, it seems to people who’ve seen it now several times –and even experienced it themselves:

With blinding lights in their eyes –and cameras shoved into their confused faces!

For no rational, or official good policing reason –and yet with these police officers now seemingly ordering it!

Additionally, they somehow got some mysterious complaint lodged with the police that one particular law-abiding female homeless person’s RV here in Venice last night –parked on Rose –was “leaking” into the street last night.

They banged on her door; with cops, lights and cameras –and used it as a pretext to stick the cameras inside her RV last night –as, supposedly, all part of this spontaneous new police “investigation” by these two officers –to catch this poor homeless woman all upset and woke up and frightened and confused for this film crew inside her RV –and then, oh wonder of wonders, determined that “opps” well, no, there was nothing “leaking” into the street from outside her RV anyway.

Then, after getting all kinds of shots of this middle aged homeless woman here in Venice all flustered and such for the cameras in her RV –then the LAPD Officers told her, “Oh, hey, nothing to worry about after all –casuse we aren’t going to ticket you for leaking! So just forget about all this Lady, we’re the LAPD –no worries!”

You can go back to sleep now! and just forget about this!

I personally tracked some of this film crew down today on the Boardwalk; and I myself personally witnessed while they were filming an almost staged outburst of this gadfly from out of Venice –know as “Zuma Dog” –saying that “police should be shot for harrassing the homeless;” as he stood next to a bunch of local homeless, and appeared to be pretending for the cameras to be a part of this shocked local homeless group, that didn’t even know who this “Zuma Dog” guy was!

The crew I spoke to in the midst of this –denied it was staged –but claims that they are filming a pilot that they are “pitiching” to the “Travel Channel.” And they have two LAPD officers they seem to be following. But they wouldn’t tell me much more. So does anybody know anything about this? They seem like they are going to be doing this –harrassing, and entrapping the homeless around here with police escort; and staging such aweful stuff –for at least couple more days here.

This all seems pretty outrageous.

Might we all meet this week –to formulate a community response to this uglyness now being done here against our homeless –for these TV cameras?


David Busch


Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice —


- Diane Butler - Gone But Not Forgotten -

Dear friend, sister, artist, and good spirit, Diane Butler, has spread her wings and is now flying with the angels.

We love you Diane, your (he)art lives on in the Spirit of Venice.   Peace and Blessings, SOV

This Sunday, Feb 19, is the memorial for Diane Butler beginning at 7am continuing until 5pm at the 3 palm trees on the west side of Venice Boardwalk across from the Venice Bistroclose to Dudley Ave intersection.

Also, the Venice Beach Drum Orchestra of which Diane was an original member will begin playing music at noon and in between sets people will be permitted to speak on the mic.


Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice —


One Homeless Man Housed In Venice at a cost of $750,000 (plus hundreds of thousands more in police costs)

Alfred Adkins leaves his bus that housed him for 10 years in Venice to move into a Venice apartment

After months of negotiations, discussions, town hall meetings and rhetoric regarding the removal of approximately 250 homeless vehicle-dwellers living on the streets of Venice, the “Roadmap to Housing” program championed by CD11 Councilman, Bill Rosendahl, as a component of his proclaimed “carrot and stick” policy – designed to persuade said vehicle-dwellers to either move-in to the program or, in his own words,  “move-on” – has finally succeeded in placing one homeless vehicle-dweller, Alfred Adkins, into housing in Venice.

The “Roadmap to Housing” program, implemented by P.A.T.H., under Rosendahl’s  direction,  was funded by a hefty $750,000 from the Venice Surplus Fund, at the Councilman’s behest.  First awarded  to The Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, L.A.H.S.A., a remaining $650,000 was then passed along to P.A.T.H., the agency chosen to offer Rosendahl‘s “carrot” to the much-maligned vehicle-dwellers in Venice, constantly under attack by CD11 and LAPD (collectively, the “stick”), from October 2010 to the present time.  Those vehicle-dwellers who refused the “carrot” (ie. to participate in the “Roadmap to Housing” program) were to be punished by the “stick” – often times in the form of towing the vehicle and arresting the owner.

As the major part of his “carrot” policy, Rosendahl had promised a dual  “safe-parking” program (safe from the “stick”) to those vehicle-dwellers who agreed to participate in the P.A.T.H. program.  But, after much discussion and dispute between West Los Angeles, Westchester and Venice neighborhoods, under the N.I.M.B.Y. (Not In My Back Yard) principle, the “safe-parking” program fell into disarray and has yet to be implemented for a single vehicle dweller in Venice.

Meanwhile, the “stick” punishes vehicle-dwellers in Venice daily. The towing of vehicles and arresting of their owners continues to the extent that the majority of those living in their vehicles in Venice have either moved onto the sidewalk or moved-on.  Nearly half of the roughly original 250 vehicle-dwellers no longer remain in Venice, according to P.A.T.H.  And, a year later, only one, apparently, has even been housed here.

States David Busch, a long-time homeless community advocate: “Those of us in Venice who have witnessed this callous attack on poor and homeless people are shocked that so much time, effort and $750,000 of tax-payers’ dollars, to house just one vehicle-dweller in Venice, is being touted as a success; and, while using the LAPD re-deployment of 21 additional officers here, at the cost of even more hundreds of thousands – to merely push hundreds of them into other neighborhoods – is sanctioned by both Rosendahl and P.A.T.H.”

Adds Busch, “Rosendahl has pushed over 200 vehicle-dwellers into other Los Angeles communities, that now have to deal with the so-called “success” of his effort to cover up the continued homelessness, from his own district, with money that he has overwhelmingly spent to force all but the wealthiest out of this beach community – and onto their less-affluent neighbors.  With the growing lack of affordable housing in Venice, Rosendahl is demonstrating that, in his
district, the beach is being segregated for the rich only – no matter how much it costs the rest of Los Angeles.”

We believe that the rest of Los Angeles should be outraged that any single neighborhood politician could get away with calling this a “success”.

# # #

Capt. Peters Comforts RV Dweller Darlene Knoll

While LAPD officers hassle, harass and harangue the homeless on Venice beach, stealing their meager possessions and tossing them into sanitation trucks, as they did at 3:00 am on the morning of Friday, May 13, 2011 –LAPD Captain Peters appears to have a soft spot for Darlene Knoll, a long-time Venice resident RV dweller.

A disabled paraplegic artist of color was ordered to get up and leave the area. As he struggled to climb into his wheelchair, his lifeless legs dragging on the ground, the LAPD officer told him that if he didn’t move faster he would confiscate all his possessions. The artist continued to struggle but was unable to comply with the officer’s demands quickly enough. He watched in despair as the officer STOLE his bag of painting materials (his very livelihood) and threw them into the waiting sanitation truck. 

While Peters leads the charge against people living in their vehicles and sleeping on the beach, he shows what appears to be a rare moment of sympathy and comfort to Darlene –who was threatened repeatedly with arrest by LAPD officers –for documenting the arrests of poor people and the towing of their vehicles during the police sweep of RVs in Venice over the 2010 Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season.

Abbott Kinney, Founder of Venice of America, July 4, 1905

More often than not, though, Capt. Peters dances to the tune of an elite group of Venice residents who call themselves “Venice Stakeholders Association (VSA)”; whose prime motive appears to be the gentrification of Venice and the destruction of the time-honored free “Spirit of Venice” that has drawn millions of visitors to Venice Beach, California, over the decades, since Abbott Kinney first created his visionary “Venice of America” city out of coastland marshes.

Back in the day, Venice was a place where people came from all over America and the world –to have fun, let off steam and express themselves, as in the case of prominent civil rights leader, feminist Susan B. Anthony; who is reported to have expressed her political views from the west side of Venice beach boardwalk in the area now known as the “Free Speech Zone”.   This tradition has continued to the present time, peaking in the 1990s when artists, entertainers, performers, religious, ideological and political “expressionists” proliferated in the Free Speech Zone.  In recent years the City of Los Angeles has succeeded in turning this once expressive Free Speech Zone into more of a swap meet ambiance by condoning vending of mass-produced trinkets and bric-a-brac that carry little or no intrinsic “free speech” message.

Venice Canals During the 1930s Oil Boom

The community’s tie to the story of the free speech zone continued into the 1930s; Venice property values depreciated dramatically when the oil boom hit the coastal area, continuing into the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

In the late 1950s and 1960s beats and hippies moved to Venice, congregating in coffee shops and low-cost housing. Another history was made, now firmly establishing a tradition of free expression that has carried over to present times.  Young travelers hitch hiked from all over America drawn to the creative freedom of Venice beach; Houseless people found a home on the beach; alternative lifestyle denizens, dubbed “rubber tramps”, parked their RVs and vans on public streets; displaying their artistic creations in the Free Speech Zone.  Long-time residents of Venice, originally drawn by the 1930’s oil boom and the subsequent low property values, learned to live side by side with their eclectic new mobile neighbors, establishing a relationship built upon tolerance and goodwill; further promoting the ambiance of expressive freedom that has historically made Venice what it is.

Venice thereby accommodated low-income and poor people for decades, while neighboring cities like Santa Monica and Marina Del Rey pushed development. Then, in 1976 the California Coastal Act was created –to protect over-development of California coastal areas, subsequently restricting rapid development in Venice, which had lagged behind its more affluent neighbors.  Consequently, Venice continued, through the 1970s and 1980s, to offer affordable accommodation to residents and travelers alike.

Moving forward into the 1990s, Venice continued to attract low-income residents and travelers, thanks to the California Coastal Commission that had created the Coastal Act — and this, together with the Mello Act, a California State Law that requires all development within the coastal zone (1 mile from the coast) to include affordable housing. In 1998, POWER member group Venice Community Housing Corporation, along with other neighborhood associations, sued the City of Los Angeles for not enforcing the Mello Act. In 2001, this group won a settlement –forcing local developers to either set aside 20% of their units as low-income housing or 10% of their units as very low-income housing.

Throuhout, the Venice tradition of serving low-income and poor people was sustained until approximately the year 2000; when the last oil well in Venice (1965-2000) was removed from the beach at Windward Avenue, and its monstrous decoy, the Venice pavilion, was demolished, opening the door to rapid development and gentrification of what had, until then, become a haven for low-income and poor people.

Fast forward now to the present time –as eager developers and corporate entities prepare for the final takeover of what many consider to be the last bastion of freedom on the west coast of California, and possibly the whole of the USA, Venice Beach.  The “people’s beach” — a place where visitors and residents alike enjoy an ambiance of freedom, fun and expression.  Recent attempts by Los Angeles city and Venice gentrifiers to curtail these freedoms, aided by increased police numbers, activity and enforcement, are, today, threatening the very ambiance that makes Venice “Venice”.

Unsubstantiated claims of increased criminal activity in Venice, promoted by mainstream media –and those with a vested interest in gentrifying Venice –have unfairly portrayed the houseless community, young travelers, and people of color as the primary cause.  These houseless, young travelers and people of color, both resident and visitor alike, are now daily targeted by LAPD officers for selective enforcement scrutiny, resulting in an overflowing congestion of the Los Angeles courts and jails.  These houseless and vehicle dwellers are under constant threat of criminal prosecution as the City of Los Angeles continues its heartless persecution of the poor.

Go here to sign our petition:


Many say, however, that Venice will always now be Venice.  And many of those are seen, today, to be taking new actions in that direction.

Their call –against the gentrifiers: Keep Venice Venice!

Diverse, Open and Free!!!


Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice —


Stay in Touch with the Spirit of Venice ~

On Tuesday, April 12, 2011 the Venice Neighborhood Council voted in favor of the amended LAMC 85.11, as presented by Councilman Rosendahl, staff and a PATH representative. It was after 11:00 pm that the final vote was taken following a long evening of discussion and emotional community commentary.

The addition of Penmar golf course parking lot to the new ordinance upset residents in the Penmar area, who complained that they had not been consulted on the plan to place 8 PATH program participants (vehicle dwellers) in the Penmar golf course parking lot, as part of the overnight “safe-parking” (safe from police harassment!) program proposed by Rosendahl back in September 2010.

This vote may or may not have any bearing on how the final LAMC 85.11 reads, given the fact that the city council has the last word.

Stay in Touch with the Spirit of Venice –

April 7, 2011

UPDATE:  At the very last minute this meeting was rescheduled to Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at Westminster School, 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice.  at 7:00pm ~ PLEASE ATTEND.  Thnx, SOV


April 5, 2011

Another  special Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) meeting will be held on Thursday, April 7, 2011 at 7:00pm at Oakwood Recreation Center, 767 California Avenue, Venice.

A previous Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) meeting was held on March 22, 2011 to discuss LAMC 85.11 proposed by Councilman Bill Rosendahl as part of the “ROADMAP TO HOUSING” program (formerly “Vehicles to Homes”), touted by L.A. City as a solution for people living in their vehicles on the streets of Venice. (See video above.)

This program will be run by PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) and requires that vehicle-dwellers who sign on to the program park “safely” in lots adjacent Rosendahl’s council offices in West L.A. and Westchester, respectively.

While, originally, Rosendahl promised “safe parking” in Venice he has since caved in to pressure from the Venice Stakeholders Assoc., headed up by Mark Ryavec – the same Mark Ryavec who tried, unsuccessfully, to bring permit parking to the streets of Venice.

Venice community members, including vehicle-dwellers voiced their opinion and asked questions of City and PATH representatives at the meeting.

March 19, 2011

Editorial Note:  Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, CD11 Moves to Amend “Roadmap to Housing”

Instead of allowing vehicle-dwellers to park safely on the streets of Venice, as originally promised, Bill Rosendahl, once again, caves to pressure from the special interest group, Venice Stakeholders, who call the shots (in the dark) on who can park where, in Venice.

Plans to allow vehicle-dwellers to park safely in Venice parking lots and on Venice streets have been scrapped in favor of using two parking lots adjacent Councilman Rosendahl’s council offices, one in W. L. A. and one in Westchester!  Thus effectively denying poor people who live in their vehicles the opportunity to live in the community of Venice that they call “home”.

This mean-spirited gesture is hardly an incentive for people to sign on to the so-called “Roadmap to Housing” – which is fast becoming reminiscent of the failed “Roadmap to Peace” in the Middle East!


Dear Friends,

As many of you know, my staff and I have been wrestling with the dilemma of people living in their vehicles

Cops close in on RV at night in Venice - Thanksgiving 2010

We have been striving for a balanced approach – one that helps those who need help, and also moves vehicles with people living in them from residential streets.

Last year, the City began enforcing parking restrictions on oversized vehicles on streets where residents and property owners requested such restrictions.At the same, we have been crafting a program called Roadmap to Housing (formerly known as Vehicles to Homes), which provide services, safe parking, and housing placement for people living in their vehicles.

Roadmap to Housing’s main goal is to find permanent housing for people living in their vehicles.The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) has already committed 25 housing vouchers to the program, and the Veterans Administration (VA) has committed to enough vouchers for eligible veterans already canvassed in Council District 11.

Because of aggressive enforcement of parking restrictions, People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) may need some legal public parking spaces for program participants to stay while PATH processes vouchers and makes housing arrangements,PATH would manage the spaces and require participants to follow a strict code of conduct and receive social services.

Earlier this month, the City Attorney released a draft ordinance (LAMC 85.11) that would allow PATH to legally operate such a program in designated public parking spaces.While the intent and particulars of that draft ordinance were distorted as part of a public misinformation campaign, many of the public comments generated raised legitimate concerns. As a result, at next week’s meeting of the Transportation Committee, I intend to ask the City Attorney to amend the proposed ordinance:

–The first draft of the ordinance would have allowed program participants to park on designated street segments.

I will ask City Attorney to delete that provision.

–The first draft of the ordinance would have permitted PATH to operate the program in any publicly-owned parking lot with a proper buffer from residences.

I will ask the City Attorney to restrict PATH to two lots:the municipally-owned lots at my field offices in Westchester and West LA.

–The first draft of the ordinance calls for a 50-feet buffer between any PATH-supervised parking space and a residence.

That buffer will remain in place for the Westchester and West LA lots.

–The first draft of the ordinance would have allowed up to 5 vehicles per PATH-supervised lot.

Since my other amendments will reduce overall parking inventory, we are considering what we should raise the number to for the two participating lots.

PATH will use the parking lot spaces, if needed, but will concentrate its program on street case management and helping people access permanent housing. PATH may not need to use all of the spaces in the lots, and may not need to use the lots at all.

As long as vouchers are available, PATH officials are confident they can place into housing those people living in vehicles who need and want a home. Like any important matter of public policy, this ordinance is a work in progress, and there are many more opportunities to be heard.

Before this matter goes to the full City Council next month, there are three public meetings:

Venice Neighborhood Council March 22, 2011 – 6:30 p.m. Westminster Elementary School Auditorium 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

Transportation Committee (City Hall) March 23rd, 2011 – 2 p.m. 200 N Spring Street, #1050 Los Angeles, CA 90012

Transportation Committee (City Hall) April 13th, 2011 – 2 p.m. 200 N Spring Street, #1050 Los Angeles, CA 90012

We’re almost there, folks! I hope we continue to work together to make this a model the rest of the City will be proud of.


Councilmember, 11th District City Hall

(213) 473-7011 West LA

(310) 575-8461 Westchester

(310) 568-8772

March 11, 2011

VNC BOARD MEETING – MARCH 15th @ Westminster School 1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice –

7:00 pm

Among other agenda items the VNC will hear a presentation from City Council District 11 staff member Arturo Piña on draft Ordinance to allow lodging in vehicles (LAMC 85.11 – Roadmap to Housing Program) rather than amending LAMC City Ordinance 85.02 which prohibits sleeping in vehicles.

The new ordinance is scheduled for a hearing by the City’s Transportation Committee on March 23, and voting by the full City Council on April 6.  The presentation, including an update on the Vehicles to Homes contract between Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) and People Assisting the Homeless (PATH), will take the form of a report to the Neighborhood Council; no discussion will be heard at the VNC’s March 15 Board meeting.

Snacks and coffee will be provided.

A detailed agenda will be posted on the internet at and at posting places in the community.

Note: Depending on the report and proposed revisions to 85.02, a special meeting of the VNC Board may be scheduled in advance of the City’s Transportation Committee meeting to allow time to hear from the public and to consider action.

March 3, 2011

Venice Beach, USA –For All!

Right now –that loving, and world-renowned Venice Beach, USA –that long-time home of a Spirit of Love that has long-welcomed and fostered an inclusive, diverse, creative community and boardwalk of beats, beatniks, hobos, indigenous, squares, earth-lovers, tourists, hippys, travelers, rainbows, poets, writers, sculptors, filmakers, refugees, homeboys, homegirls, straights, gays, trannies and all:

is now under attack!

Venice Love invites you therefore —to especially join with us in this moment: in creating an end to the current attacks on the free speech and loving creative values of all our Venice community, boardwalk –and mother Earth: And always including and respecting (from all the world) the RV-dwellers, the travelers, the poor, the youth, the homies, the diverse, and the homeless who are among all of us: And who are, in their journeys, also always keeping Venice Venice.



Venice Beach Love