July 29, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

The End of the Venice Beach Curfew?

Plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles praised the City Council’s vote on Friday, June 30 to apply for a permit from the California Coastal Commission for its beach curfew and said it could lead to an end of the nightly closures.

The lawsuit was brought by two Venice Beach activists and challenges Los Angeles’ 28-year-old overnight beach curfew, saying it does not conform with the California Coastal Act, which requires the city to get permission for the closures.

The vote directs the Department of Recreation and Parks to seek a coastal development permit from the California Coastal Commission for the closures, although the motion specifically states the move does not mean the city believes it is required to do so.

“The city asserts that it is not legally required to obtain a CDP. Other cities in California have defended this right by applying to the CCC for a CDP under a ‘reservation of rights,’ pursuant to which the cities assert that a CDP is not required,” the motion states.

The plaintiffs called the vote a victory for their side.

“It has taken almost eight years but finally the city has gotten the peoples’ message and is following the law,” said Francesca De La Rosa, one of the lawsuit’s plaintiffs. “Today’s vote validates what we have fought so hard to protect, ensuring our public beaches remain open and accessible for all of L.A. to enjoy.”

The city’s ordinance closing the beaches every night from midnight until 5:00 a.m. makes it illegal for local residents and tourists to fish, surf, walk, stargaze, or otherwise access the beach, according to the lawsuit. In 2014, the city issued 1,265 citations in the Pacific Division area alone for violations of the law, the suit states.

On June 8, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Susan Bryant-Deason handed the plaintiffs a favorable ruling that sparked the City Council action when she granted their motion to dismiss the city’s defense that enforcement of the curfew was not the type of “development” that requires Coastal Commission approval.

The judge agreed with the plaintiffs’ attorneys that the law was a development because it amounted to a change in the intensity of the use of the land by limiting access to the water nightly from midnight to 5:00 a.m. on the city’s 11 miles of coastline. “Your curfew blocks off the entire beach,” Bryant-Deason told Deputy City Attorney Sara Ugaz. The judge further told Ugaz that while as a hard-working lawyer she may be in bed by 9:00 p.m., “there may be others who want to watch the moon move across the sky.”

Lawyers for the city have argued the ordinance is needed to limit vandalism and crime on the beach, and that the curfew is exempt from the permit provisions of the Coastal Act. They also say the lawsuit should have been brought within three years of the curfew’s 1988 enactment. The complaint was brought in December 2015.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Shayla Myers said citizens are permitted to bring lawsuits requesting injunctions against laws that they believe violated the Coastal Act.

“The Coastal Act and the Coastal Development Permit process are critical checks on a city’s power to limit public access to the coastline,” said Myers, an attorney with the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, who represents Jataun Valentine, one of the plaintiffs.

“Beaches are important public spaces, and the right to coastal access matters to everyone in our state, not just to people who live in houses along the beach. The City Council’s decision today ensures the beach closure will be subject to public debate and discussion, and the public’s right to access will be considered by the Coastal Commission,” said Myers.

Related Posts

Opinion: Why the Recall of Mike Bonin Matters

July 29, 2021

July 29, 2021

By Nick Antonicello For the first time in a long time Mike Bonin seems to be actually responding to the...

Police Investigating Fatal Crash, Shooting in Venice

July 28, 2021

July 28, 2021

Details remain murky surrounding Tuesday morning incident  By Sam Catanzaro Police are investigating a fatal car crash and possible related...

Venice Community Housing Receives Honor From American Institute Of Architects: YO! Venice Show – July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Venice Community Housing Receives Honor From American Institute Of Architects *...

Homeless Advocate Arrested Near Venice Bridge Home Shelter on Suspicion of Dealing Drugs (UPDATED)

July 26, 2021

July 26, 2021

65-year-old Garry Featherstone accused of selling meth, PCP By Sam Catanzaro A self-described homeless outreach advocate was recently arrested near...

63-Year-Old Man Killed in Westchester Tent Fire

July 22, 2021

July 22, 2021

LAFD investigating Wednesday night incident  By Sam Catanzaro A 63-year-old man died in a tent following a fire in Westchester...

Opinion: Why Silence the Sheriff? Bonin Bashing of Villanueva Backfires at the Wrong Moment!

July 21, 2021

July 21, 2021

By Nick Antonicello Don’t like the message? Please don’t shoot the messenger! For that seems to be the case when...

Bonin’s Encampment to Home Moves 131 Homeless Into Housing: YO! Venice Show – July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Bonin’s Encampment to Home Moves 131 Homeless Into Housing * LAFD...

Unidentified Skeletal Remains Found in Ballona Wetlands Amid Search for Missing Person

July 19, 2021

July 19, 2021

Authorities make discovery amid search for Kolby Story this past Friday  By Sam Catanzarto Unidentified skeletal remains were found Friday...

Beach Closures Lifted After Sunday Discharge of 17 Million Gallons of Raw Sewage From Hyperion Plant

July 15, 2021

July 15, 2021

17 million gallons of raw sewage discharged from Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant Sunday Night By Sam Catanzaro Beach closures have...

Petition for Recall of Councilmember Bonin Approved for Circulation

July 13, 2021

July 13, 2021

Signature gathering phase now set to begin after Tuesday approval by City Clerk  By Sam Catanzaro The Los Angeles City...

Deadline Extended For Unhoused To Move Belongings Off Boardwalk: YO! Venice Show – July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Deadline Extended For Unhoused To Move Belongings Off Boardwalk * Pedestrian...

Hyperion Spill Discharges 17 Million Gallons of Raw Sewage Into Santa Monica Bay

July 12, 2021

July 12, 2021

Sunday night spillage occurs 1-mile offshore from Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant By Sam Catanzaro 17 million gallons of raw sewage...