From the Venice Stakeholders Association:
The U.S. Postal Service has formally denied the several appeals of the Service’s decision to move all retail services from the historic Venice Post Office to the Postal Annex.
“This is an unfortunate decision for Venice,” said Mark Ryavec, president of the Venice Stakeholders Association, one of the groups that had contested the relocation.
“From recent meetings with representatives of the Postal Service, it is
certain that the relocation will lead to the sale of the Post Office,”
Ryavec said, “and we remain concerned that sale will put the structure
at serious risk of eventual demolition.”
Ryavec noted that the Post Office has not provided drafts of the
covenants that they maintain will preserve both the structure and the
public’s access to the building’s foyer and mural portraying Venice’s
heritage by noted artist Edward Biberman.
“We also have been unable to clarify if third parties, such the VSA or
the City of Los Angeles, could bring a successful lawsuit to enforce the
preservation covenants, if a new owner chose to ignore them,” Ryavec said.
The VSA leader also pointed out that the Postal Service has not
performed a calculation under the Venice Local Coastal Specific Plan to
determine if the Annex parking lot is large enough to absorb all current
employee and carrier truck parking as well as the parking demand that
will be transferred from the old Post Office to the Annex.
The denial letter, from David Williams, Vice President of USPS Network
Operations, suggests that while judicial review is not possible for the
relocation decision, there will be an appeal process available if and
when USPS formally moves to sell the Post Office. Congresswoman Janice Hahn, who had also filed an appeal of the relocation, received the same response as the VSA.
“We have suggested to the USPS that they entertain the possibility of a
sale/lease back agreement with a new owner,” Ryavec said, “that would
leave USPS’ retail services in place in the structure.” Under this
concept, the USPS would lease back, as part of the sale agreement, a
much reduced service area in the Post Office, leaving the rest of the
facility for new uses.
“It is only a matter of time before the Postal Service sells the Annex,
too, so they will need a retail location in Venice,” Ryavec said. “What
better place for postal services than in an old, re-configured, Post Office.”
Ryavec said the question is whether the USPS can think creatively to
meet not only their financial needs to downsize, but also the desires of
the community and the imperative to preserve the building and historic
Click here to download the USPS PDF.