January 21, 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

FDA-Authorized Coronavirus Testing at Santa Monica’s Shore Hotel

January 20, 2021

January 20, 2021

Drive-thru and walk-up testing seven-days a week   The award-winning Shore Hotel, located steps away from the world-famous Santa Monica Pier,...

‘Doctor’s Office on Wheels’ Homeless and Those at Risk of Losing Homes

January 19, 2021

January 19, 2021

Venice Family Clinic launches mobile clinic van aimed at preventing homelessness By Chad Winthrop A Venice non-profit has launched a...

Edify TV: Ticketing Maskless Angelenos?

January 19, 2021

January 19, 2021

Los Angeles lawmakers want to fine people for not wearing masks. Learn more in this video made possible by School...

Missing Man Last Seen in Palms Area

January 18, 2021

January 18, 2021

Chance Olsewski last seen in on the Westside on Friday A missing 20-year-old man was last seen in the Palms...

Video: 25K New Housing Units in LA?

January 17, 2021

January 17, 2021

With a massive spike in homelessness forecasted, LA lawmakers want to build 25,000 new housing units. Learn more in this...

Illegal Marina del Rey Boat Charters

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

The issue of illegal charters brought up at recent County meeting By Toi Creel Officials recently discussed the issue of...

Edify TV: The Westside’s Best Pies

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Here are some of the best pies on the Westside ahead of National Pie Day on January 23. Learn more...

LAPD Arrests Shoreline Crips Gang Member on Suspicion of Murder In Oakwood Park: YO! Venice Show – January, 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * LAPD Arrests Shoreline Crips Gang Member on Suspicion of Murder In...

Popular Coffee Shop Adding New Westside Storefront

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Westside Food Scene January 14, 2021 By Kerry Slater 65-Year-Old Santa Monica Bakery on Verge of Shutting Down  A beloved...

Venice Homeless Encampment Fire Spreads to Boardwalk Building

January 13, 2021

January 13, 2021

Over 100 firefighters respond to Ocean Front Walk fire Tuesday morning By Sam Catanzaro Over 100 firefighters responded this week...

Edify TV: Westside Kids Compete to Keep Beach Clean

January 12, 2021

January 12, 2021

Westside kids are competing to keep the beach clean! Learn more in this video made possible by Santa Monica College.

One Hospitalized in Marina del Rey Fire

January 11, 2021

January 11, 2021

Fire breaks out Monday morning at MDR apartment complex By Sam Catanzaro One person was injured in a Monday morning...