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VNC Town Hall : Should We Legalize Sleeping in Vehicles on Venice Streets?

On March 22nd from 6:30 PM until 9:00 PM, the Venice Neighborhood Council will host a town hall to discuss a possible change to 85.02 (which prevents people from sleeping in cars on City streets) with the new 85.11.

VNC

This meeting is only one day before a hearing regarding the proposed ordinance which is scheduled by the City’s Transportation Committee on Wednesday, March 23 at 2 PM.

Residents are urged to attend both meetings and email Councilman Rosendahl’s office with their individual opinions, as the VNC is stating that “The Venice Neighborhood Council’s opinion regarding the ordinance may play a larger than usual role because the proposed ordinance covers Council District 11 only.”

Mike Bonin, The Chief of Staff for Council District 11 Representative Bill Rosendahl and Joel John Reynolds, Executive Director of People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) will give short presentations at the beginning of the meeting to provide information about the ordinance and the Roadmap to Homes Program. They will take questions from the public after the presentation.

The only business items to be considered at the meeting are the presentation (and Q & A) followed by board discussion about possible recommendations concerning the proposed ordinance.

85.11 has been proposed to allow RV Dwellers to sleep on city streets while specifically being enrolled in the “Roadmap to Housing” (aka the “Streets to Homes”) program. Critics say that changing 85.02 is a “slippery slope” that may create legalized “RV parks” on the streets of Venice.

Critics of 85.11 also point out that it is unacceptable that this law only be made for Council District 11, which includes Venice, rather than the entire City of Los Angeles. Critics say that if it were put forth for the entire City, it would most certainly be voted down, but since Venice has active and vocal social service industry lobby groups (including a Neighborhood Council Board largely comprised of members with social service industry ties) they may be able to get it passed for Council District 11.

Further concerns against 85.11 that have been raised are that it will allow legalized RV Dwelling 50 feet from residential housing, the LAPD has not been consulted about which, if any, streets they would find acceptable for the program and lack of community input on where the program may place these vehicles.

It is likely that any attempted change to 85.02 will result in a collective of Venice property owners bringing suit against the City of Los Angeles, as the proposed legalization of sleeping on City streets will certainly devalue any property that has a legalized “RV Zone” placed in close proximity to it. Homeowners concerned with the values of their properties and safety of their streets have been called “haters” and “gentrifiers” by social service lobbyists.

Click here to read more about the proposed 85.11.

Venice Neighborhood Council Board Meeting
Westminster Elementary School Auditorium
1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd (enter from Westminster)   
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
6:30 PM until 9:00 PM

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