Posts Tagged ‘Rosendahl’

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Stay in touch with the Spirit of Venice — spiritofvenice.net

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An interview on KPFK’s “Uprising” with Sonali Kolhatkar

Residents and activists in Venice beach say police are harassing community members and the homeless as a new wave of gentrification hits the city, best known for its eclectic beach-loving population. Last Wednesday dozens of homeless people lost their personal belongings when the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, in cooperation with the LA Police Department, raided a homeless encampment at Third Street between Rose and Sunset Avenues in Venice Beach. Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl said the city was conducting a “sanitation action” that was only meant to sweep up abandoned property.

The homeless disagree, and say their personal items, including prescription medications, wallets, and clothing, were indiscriminately collected and immediately dumped into garbage trucks. Adding to the outrage of the community is a feeling of betrayal, because police began directing the homeless to the Third Street encampment when the city began enforcing a no camping ordinance on the boardwalk, which displaced many homeless individuals. Venice residents from the Oakwood neighborhood and others also report an increase in community members being ticketed by police for small infractions, such as not having the fence around a home properly painted.

GUESTS: David Busch, an activist with the Spirit of Venice Coalition, Maria Fitzsimmons, and organizer with People Organized for Westside Renewal, or POWER, and Kendra Moore, a POWER leader and president of the Holiday Venice Tenant Action Committee Visit http://www.power-la.org for more information.

There will a direct action training in relation to the Venice area activism on April 14-15, 2012. For more information, visit http://www.99spring.com.
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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

June 21, 2010
Breaking News
by Tibby Rothman, Venice Paper

Venice– Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has added his name to the California Coastal Commission’s in rejecting an agreement that would pave the way for permit parking in Venice.

His actions add a new player to the highly contentious permit parking battle. A debate that has seen charged rhetoric from those at its edges but calm discussion and disagreement amongst the preponderance of ordinary Venetians both for and against. While some Venetians see permit parking as a tactic to end the practice of mobile homes plaguing the area, others have protested it as an unwelcome layer of expense and bureaucracy.

On June 17, Villaraigosa rejected city council approval of a plan that could lead to permit parking in the area. (The Coastal Commission had rejected the same plan a week earlier.) His measured letter to the council stated that homelessness was a city-wide problem that needed to be addressed on a city-wide level. He also sought to differentiate between those on the streets because they had been hit hard by economic conditions, and those who simply sought it as a lifestyle.

The development pits the Mayor’s office against City Attorney Carmen Trutanich who had sided with the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation on the issue. The foundation is part of a law suit which supports permit parking in the area. The foundation is a strange bedfellow for supposedly liberal Venice. Amongst its other issues, the foundation is supporting legal efforts to repeal the recently passed federal health care reform bill.

Here’s the text of the Mayor’s letter to the City Council stating his position:

June 17, 2010

Honorable Members of the Los Angeles City Council
clo City Clerk
City Hall, Room 395
Re: CF 10-0843. Venice Stakeholders Association v. California Coastal Commission; City of Los Angeles v. California Coastal Commission; Settlement Agreement

Honorable Members:
Today I return without signature Council File 10-0843, which approves a settlement agreement that would allow for the initiation of overnight parking districts (OPDs) in the community of Venice in West Los Angeles.

I am taking this step in light of the June 10, 2010 decision of the California Coastal Commission to reject the City’s latest application for the establishment of Overnight Parking Districts in the Venice coastal zone. This decision has the practical effect of voiding the settlement agreement and making the City Council’s action moot.

Though technically a parking issue, the underlying issue is the growing number of residents that dwell in vehicles on our City streets. As a City, I believe we have the ability to differentiate between the needs of those legitimately suffering from economic dislocation who are in need of safe places to park and help in obtaining services and housing, and those who are taking unfair advantage of both the system and the historically welcoming tradition of the Venice community by creating nuisances and sometimes committing crimes. We can combine compassion and pragmatism with appropriate measured law enforcement to avoid the further victimization of both the housed and the un-housed populations of Venice.

Homelessness and economic dislocation are issues in every part of Los Angeles, not to mention the region, state and nation. I applaud Councilman Rosendahl for his efforts on issues of homelessness and support his proposal to create safe-haven public parking areas for people who are willing to accept homeless-related services. Programs in Eugene, OR and Santa Barbara, CA have been very successful at bridging this gap. Such a program could provide a number of locations that are dispersed throughout the region, where services could be provided and allow for people to impose overnight parking restrictions without taking away some of the last housing options that some people have.

In this case, and all over our City, it’s time we embraced the challenge and began working toward real solutions, not those that push problems from one block to another, from one neighborhood to another. We can do better, and we must do better.

Therefore, I am returning this file without signature and hope that we can work together to find an appropriate solution for this important and growing problem.

(more…)

Venice, CA, Sept. 5 – More than 100 individual appeals have been filed opposing the city of Los Angeles’ plan to impose Overnight Permit Parking Districts (OPDs) in Venice, according to Julie Van Wagner of the city’s Bureau of Engineering.

The restriction of coastal access was the overriding concern of many of the appeals. It would be nearly impossible to find free parking on public streets in Venice from 2 – 6am if the OPDs were implemented. This would force many very low-income residents who live in their vehicles to leave the coastal zone. It would also prevent evening shift workers from coming to the beach and surrounding area after they get off work.

The OPDs were vigorously opposed at the only public hearing on the matter, which was held in Venice on June 26. Opponents noted that the hearing was not even mentioned in the Decision issued by the Bureau of Engineering on Aug. 26. Appeals pointed out that this might be a violation of state law. In addition, the conduct of the hearing was contracted out to a Boston-based firm, Camp, Dresser and McKee Inc. and no transcript of the hearing was made.

Other issues included lack of exemption of vehicles with handicapped placards, inability of residents living west of Speedway to obtain parking permits, a possible conflict of interest by the city of Los Angeles which filed the application for the OPDs and stands to make about $1 million per year from selling the $35 permits, plus revenue from citations for not having a permit. Alan Willis, Principal Transportation Engineer at the Dept. of Transportation, who filed the applications on behalf of the city, claimed that the OPDs were needed because of “overnight parking of commercial vehicles and abandonment of vehicles.” Opponents say these are fabricated excuses for establishing the permits.

According to Peggy Lee Kennedy of the Justice Committee and Venice Food not Bombs, the OPDs are aimed at those who live in RVs. “The city, along with a few homeless haters came up with this scheme to drive the poor and disabled vehicular housed homeless people out of our community.”

Steve Clare, executive director of VCHC, a neighborhood based non profit housing corporation located in one of the OPD’s, said VCHC’s appeal focused on issues of “fundamental fairness”. “The public should have the right to use the pubic streets that we all pay to maintain. And no-one should be denied the opportunity to come and enjoy Venice beach whenever they can find the time.” Clare said.

Jim Smith, a participant and former chairperson of the Venice Town Council, said “Nothing in recent years has united opposition of all groups in Venice like the OPDs have. It has brought together homeowners, renters and the homeless to oppose OPDs, which seem so wrong for so many reasons. Unfortunately, the anti-RV crowd has convinced Councilmember Bill Rosendahl to go along with the OPDs in spite of community opposition.”

The appeals will now be reviewed by Van Wagner, who said it may take more than a month since there are so many of them. Meanwhile, opposition to permit parking continues to grow in Venice.

Dear Friends,

We have received the following update on the Venice Overnight Parking Districts.

Today, the Bureau of Engineering (BOE) issued its Notice of Decision and Final Staff Reports for the 5 Overnight Parking Districts (OPD) for the Venice area. These documents are available for your review at http://eng.lacity.org/techdocs/emg/Environmental_Review_Documents.htm.

The five areas are:
Oxford Triangle Area (OPD No. 520)
East Venice Area (OPD No. 523)
West Venice Area (OPD No. 522)
Presidents Row Area (OPD No. 521)
Villa Marina Community (OPD No. 526)

The Notice of Decision for each is being issued today by BOE and the notices are being mailed out to all interested parties (everyone who has contacted the consultant or Bureau of Engineering about the Coastal Development Permits).

This starts a 10 calendar day appeal period.

Following that, the Board of Public Works has 30 calendar days to hear the appeals and make a final decision on the local permits.

Then everything is sent to the California Coastal Commission (the Commission). There is a 20 working day appeal period, which starts the day the notice is received by the Commission. The Commission also will need to issue permits for the East and West Venice OPDs. They generally hear and decide on the appeals and permits at the same time.

The Commission meets monthly, but the meetings alternate between northern and southern California locations. We have requested that this matter be heard at a Southern California meeting, which may extend it a month.

If you have any questions, please contact Dorothy Meyer at (949) 930-7259, or if you require an appeal form, please contact Julie Van Wagner at BOE, (213) 485-5754 or via e-mail at Julie.VanWagner@lacity.org

Thank you,

Nate Kaplan
Communications Deputy
Office of Councilman Bill Rosendahl
213.978.0770
213.400.1142 (cell)
www.councilmanrosendahl.com

June 12 – A press conference today kicked off a new recycling effort with 12 sparkling-clean blue bins for glass, plastic bottles and aluminum cans, “clean” paper, and other metals and plastics. Appearing at the press conference were Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, Venice Neighborhood Council President Mike Newhouse, and various officials from Chrysalis Enterprises, which will collect the recyclables. 

Once you toss your trash in the bins, its gone forever since the bins are locked, in contrast to the existing bins which will now hold only non-recyclable trash, according to the plan outlined today.
There was confusion about how Chrysalis would be paid, how many times it would empty the bins and even how many bins had been placed along the Walk. Neil Guglielmo, Director of the city’s Sanitation Dept. Recycling program, who was not at the press conference, later told the Beachhead that the funding for the bins was from Senate Bill 332, which provides grant money to the city in the amount of $1 million per year through the state Dept. of Conservation.

Patrick Shandrick, a Chrysalis spokesperson, told the Beachhead that his organization would be compensated from the proceeds of the recycled trash. Bill Rosendahl said the proceeds would go to the city’s general fund, however, he later said he could be mistaken. Newhouse said the city would subsidize Chrysalis for their trash pickups. 

A city official said the bins, which can be found every two or three blocks beginning at the Santa Monica border, said the bins would be picked up daily, however, Shandrick said the bins would be serviced twice a week. 

Newhouse, who said there were 11 bins, credited the VNC with getting the bins placed in Venice. He said there is still funding for placing 50-55 more bins on Rose Ave., Abbot Kinney Blvd. and Washington Blvd. Shandrick said Chrysalis is working to get the program expanded beyond Rosendahl’s Council District 11. Rosendahl wants to expand the program to Pacific Palisades, Brentwood and Westwood.

It’s a win-win program for nearly everyone. But the homeless who live around the beach and rely on the collection of cans and bottles to buy food have just had their lunch money taken away. For now, the only way to help the homeless get a meal, other than through panhandling, is to put your cans and bottles in the old receptacles where they can be recycled the old fashioned way.

Another city “improvement” is coming to Windward Avenue where pay stations are being installed to replace the parking meters on the street.  
Written by Peggy Lee Kennedy for Venice Beachhead