January 17, 2022 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Corbin Smith: “Hotel Opponents Distort and Misrepresent the Facts”

(Disclosure: Dan Abrams, the developer of the Abbot Kinney Hotel, made me aware of this letter at the Mayor’s “Share Your Ideas” website.)

Hotel on Abbot Kinney: Abbot Kinney Front View 1Rendering: proposed Hotel as seen from Abbot Kinney

Abbot Kinney Hotel Opponents Distort and Misrepresent the Facts

I am a 15 year resident of Venice Beach and happy to be a part of this vital and resilient community. But last week I found a flyer on my doorknob full of misleading, inaccurate and inflammatory information regarding the proposed hotel at 1033 S. Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. That information is very similar to the January 1 and 2, 2014 posts on this website in “Share Your Ideas for LA” which at least had the decency to identify the writers. On the flyer other than the address “saveabbotkinneyblvd@gmail.com”, there is zero indication of who is responsible for producing and distributing it, so there’s little recourse to them to object to their lies.

Initially, I opposed the proposed hotel because I had only seen the information distributed by the opponents to the hotel. Once I read the public documentation and learned more specifically what the proposal contains, I have become a strong supporter. The block on Abbot Kinney where the hotel would be located is specifically designated for such use in all documents and plans whether from the Coastal Commission or the city itself. The developers and architect for the proposed hotel are long-term residents and business owners in Venice, and are very clear that they treasure the character and nature of the community and of Abbot Kinney.

I am pleased that the Land Use and Planning Committee of the Venice Neighborhood Council has voted to recommend that the hotel be approved with certain conditions. The VNC will consider that recommendation at its February 18, 2014 meeting. In their motion to approve, the LUPC noted that the proposal has been under consideration since August 2012 and has had ample community input, some of it resulting in significant changes to the original plans. The conditions the LUPC included with its approval specifically address the opponents’ concerns about parking and deliveries and noise and about impacts on students at the neighboring Westminster School.

Opponents claim “complex legal maneuvering” in the planning for the hotel. As far as I have been able to learn from a careful reading of the public documentation to date, there has been no such maneuvering.

Opponents claim that the hotel will generate “24-hour-a-day traffic” (whatever that means) and create gridlock. If they had looked at the LA Department of Transportation report, as amended in December, they’d find that 6 intersections were studied, including Pacific and Rose, Main and Rose, Pacific and Brooks, Main and Brooks, Westminster and Abbot Kinney, California and Abbot Kinney, Venice and Abbot Kinney,and Pacific and Westminster, and determined that there would be NO significant impact from the almost 700 trips a day that the proposed hotel is projected to generate. That finding was not challenged by anyone. In addition, conditions requiring dedications on Westminster, Broadway, and Electric were stipulated before the project could begin.

Opponents claim that the hotel doesn’t comply with the Venice Specific Plan and is too tall and out of scale as compared with anything else on Abbot Kinney. On the contrary (and I quote from the city report), “The adopted Venice Specific Plan expressly permits the height of buildings to be 35 feet, provided they are 30 feet in height at the front yard and stepped back at least one foot for every foot in height above 30 feet (Sec.8-G,3,a). The project complies with these requirements.” Its scale and size do not exceed current zoning laws. Opponents are relying on a misuse of building elevations to make their point. The elevations, used eventually to instruct construction, show the building from a viewpoint that one will never have from the street. That’s what elevations are for, but not for showing how a building will actually be seen. And predicting that allowing this hotel to go forward would trigger “neighborhood-busting development all over Venice” is sheer fantasy.

Disagreeing about facts is one thing. Not having the facts right in the first place is dishonest, and distorting the facts to suit a particular position is really unfortunate.

Corbin Smith

Related Posts

NYC-Based Developer Finalizes Acquisition of Westside Residential Development Site

January 14, 2022

January 14, 2022

Tishman Speyer to begin construction in late 2022 on its first LA-area residential project By Sam Catanzaro An NYC-based developer...

Hurry Curry Returns!

January 13, 2022

January 13, 2022

Westside favorite to open in March on Ocean Park By Dolores Quintana Former Sawtelle favorite Hurry Curry of Tokyo will...

Column: Let’s talk About the Soil

January 12, 2022

January 12, 2022

Everyone knows that we are undergoing a climate change not seen on the earth before. We all understand what is...

Opinion: A Call to Public Service: U.S. Army Veteran Mat Smith Makes Longshot Bid for the LA City Council

January 11, 2022

January 11, 2022

Mat Smith has no illusions when it comes to his bid to unseat CD-11 incumbent Mike Bonin.  A combat veteran...

23 Park Projects To Receive $113 Million in State Grant Funding

January 7, 2022

January 7, 2022

State and County funds to create new parks and improve existing ones By Dolores Quintana $548 million in new grants...

Opinion: Attorney General Spurs on Big 2022 Housing Battle

January 7, 2022

January 7, 2022

By Tom Elias, Columnist There will be plenty of political battles next year, starting with likely reelection challenges to Gov....

Killer Cafe Relaunched as Killer Shrimp

January 5, 2022

January 5, 2022

24-hour American diner to become sushi restaurant By Dolores Quintana In the former Killer Cafe space in Marina del Rey...

Food Review: Go Go Bird Brings LA-Style Fried Chicken to Westside

January 5, 2022

January 5, 2022

Chef Brandon Kida’s Go Go Bird comes to Citizen Public Market By Dolores Quintana Culver City’s Citizen Public Market has...

Opinion: What can Venice Expect in this New Year?

January 3, 2022

January 3, 2022

Bonin, COVID-19, crime, homelessness and the recall should continue to dominate the Venice landscape in 2022! By Nick Antonicello Just...

Should California Have a Formal Right to Shelter?

January 3, 2022

January 3, 2022

By Tom Elias, Columnist On a de facto basis, Californians have had a right to shelter for many years. But...

Yo! Venice’s Best Westside Dishes of 2021

December 28, 2021

December 28, 2021

By Sam Catanzaro Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner or anytime in-between, the Westside has no shortage of world-class food to...

Langer’s Expands Delivery Service to Westside With Hefty Price Tag

December 22, 2021

December 22, 2021

$74 for two sandwiches  By Dolores Quintana Langer’s Deli, the venerated and 74-year-old institution, knows what the Westside has been...

Popular Venice Burger Joint Opens Silverlake Location

December 21, 2021

December 21, 2021

Plus free udon with ugly sweater, Tyra Banks Closes Santa Monica Ice Cream Shop Westside Dining Scene December 23, 2021...

No Gold for Venice When It Comes to the 2028 Summer Olympics?

December 20, 2021

December 20, 2021

Santa Monica to host beach volleyball, surfing, skateboarding and 3×3 basketball, Long Beach To host handball, water polo and BMX...

280,000 Square Feet of Office Space Nears Completion in Culver City

December 18, 2021

December 18, 2021

Mixed-use development with offices and retail almost done By Dolores Quintana An 11-story, 280,000 square foot office building in Culver...