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HYPER-GENTRIFICATION OF VENICE

BY STEPHEN GRIES

I urge you to look into this very alarming situation that is taking place in my community of Venice Beach CA.  Actually it has been, and is also still taking place up and down the entire California Coast for quite some time. I observed this personally at the March 2014 California Coastal Commission meeting in Long Beach CA.

Venice is the number one tourist destination in Southern California.  We consistently bring in the most tourist revenue to the state.  With over 40,000 homeowners on lots currently valued at $ 1.8 million, we as a community are worth approximately $60+ Billion Dollars, richer than Beverly Hills.  Add in the billions already paid in as taxes as a mixed income, mixed race community over the years, probably another 4 to 5 Billion Dollars, and yet we are being treated as if we don’t even exist.

Currently approximately 20% of all new current and pending development in Los Angeles is taking place here in an area of 3 square mile with around 40,000+  residents, which is less than 1% of Los Angeles.  In addition 5 times the amount of Beer/Alcohol applications then the rest of Los Angeles,  are currently pending here.

Residents who have gone to commission and council meetings protesting this carpet bagger speculator boomtown mentality have been met with complete and total indifference.  I feel that they are laboring under a false sense of entitlement, immunity, and impunity. The same attitude and mindset also exists with The Planning Commission, and Building and Safety. Where is the political oversight???  Where is our equal protection under the law?

I understand the the city/state has offered tax incentives to these developers/builders. (which is our taxpayer monies).  I can only imagine that they think that any future property tax income from ”new” housing and future 200-300% increase in homeowner taxes will offset any future lost tourist income revenue lost as a result of changing the look and feel of existing beach communities. Even if that was to be the case down the road, it still does not explain or address how and why residents, communities and neighborhoods have been put off or cast aside.  In fact,  we are all being denied our pre-existing rights under the law.  We have not been contacted in advance on projects and therefore have not given our informed consent. We have not been offered financial recompense from builders to those on all sides of construction, which is also required by law.

It seems to me that the city/state, in their fervor to create an express check out line for developers and builders, with Over The Counter Waivers (OTC aka VSO’s), Plan Check and Open Permits have failed to take into account all other homeowners/ residents of streets and areas permanently affected rights. I have not seen one person from any agencies (except assigned inspector) personally come down to Venice, take a tour and inspections and see for themselves. This is seemingly all done by forms and computer over the internet.

It is almost as if the powers that be have gone and granted a kind of private eminent domain to builders.  Instead the Planning Commission and the California Coastal Commission are there to run 100% interference for the developers and against existing taxpayers.

Many of my 1000’s of neighbors want to file against this practice in The Supreme Court, if this is not immediately stopped.  More


320 SUNSET AVE. APPLICATION ON HOLD

September 4, 2014 - City Planning Zoning Administrator, Maya Zaitzevsky informs the applicant and the Venice community that the Coastal Development Permit (CDP) application has been put "on hold" until the applicant, Fran Camaj of Gjelina on Abbot Kinney Blvd., has submitted the following:
  • Revised Master Land Use Application and findings
  • Photographic proof of the posting of a Notice of Intent with the updated project description (LAMC Section 12.20.2-E)
  • A Dept. of Transportation Referral Form analyzing the traffic and access for the proposed project
  • If the project results in any potential significant traffic or access impacts the MND must be recirculated for 30 days
  • BTC receipt for the mailing of the new hearing notice
  • Updated radius map and labels
Ms Zaitzevsky went into considerable detail (4 pages) as to why the 320 Sunset project has been put on hold and will require a new hearing. Download a copy of the letter here.


From a neighborhood resident:


"The applicant, who also owns Gjelina's on Abbot Kinney and next door, GTA, has caused serious problems to the surrounding neighborhood for the past 7 years!

He exploits the neighborhood for his own financial gain, and has no regard or concern for how to be a good neighbor...and it looks like he's planning on doing the same and possibly MUCH more in this quiet corner of Venice, one of the last original Venice artist communities.

He has misled the neighborhood from the start, leading them to believe he was opening a local "bakery", while ALL ALONG he was planning a fully licensed restaurant seating 90 people, with outdoor patio dining, and a staff of 30 employees per shift.

He plans to open 19 hours per day, from 6AM to 1AM, with full bar AND OFF-SITE (takeout) beer & wine sales. A fact that was NEVER divulged to the community by him or VNC/LUPC, which will drastically change our neighborhood FOR THE WORSE.

His restaurant will have an open air patio at the rear of the building, on the 12 ft alley which backs immediately onto apartment buildings abutting the alley on residential Vernon Avenue. This out of character development will ruin residents daily lives due to noise pollution from patrons, equipment and traffic.

Not to mention the acute lack of parking which all the neighbors experience...and he has no intention nor obligation to provide any!"  Go here for more and to sign the petition.

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GET INVOLVED - STAY INVOLVED - SIGN THESE PETITIONS

A MORATORIUM ON SMALL LOT SUBDIVISIONS
AND MANSIONIZATION IN VENICE



Sign the petition here

OPPOSE DEVELOPMENT AT 1414 MAIN STREET, VENICE

Sign the petition here

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