After receiving word from the Venice Stakeholders Association earlier today announcing that the longstanding OPD (Overnight Parking Districts) lawsuit in Venice had been dismissed, I wrote the Council office asking for comment.
I am determined to dramatically improve the condition of Venice Beach and the quality of life in our neighborhoods, as well as to successfully move homeless people from our neighborhood streets into the housing and services they need and deserve. These goals will not be served by renewing and repeating an angry and divisive ideological battle regarding OPDs.
While I have long been a opponent of OPDs because I do not feel they would address homelessness OR quality of life issues, the City pursued OPDs vigorously and repeatedly on my predecessor’s watch. The City lost, three separate times, and it is time to move on.
Since the Coastal Commission first rejected OPDs, the City instituted oversized parking restrictions in requested areas, and launched a groundbreaking program that found homes for more than 120 people living in their vehicles. Those solutions worked — and I intend to secure resources to continue them.
A far more pressing, far more comprehensive, and far more real parking issue for our neighborhood is the need for daytime preferential parking districts for residents suffering from the parking shortage caused by tourists, beach visitors, and customers of our bustling commercial areas. Addressing this issue will require some combination of three things: 1) the creation of more public parking spaces; 2) the facilitation of alternative means of transportation, such as shuttle or bicycle; and 3) the certification of a Local Coastal Plan, which would allow our city to create parking and transportation solutions that meet Venice’s needs. I am committed to these three goals, and I believe the most productive path forward is to focus on these solutions.