October 31, 2020 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Fee on Venice Developments to Reduce Traffic?

City Council’s Westside Mobility Plan 

By Sam Catanzaro

In March, a study proposing a $4 fee for commuters entering the Westside grabbed headlines across the country. The proposal, which was intended to reduce congestion, was met with mixed reactions from lawmakers and the public but it was only a study, not policy. Now, Los Angeles lawmakers are exploring a similar idea, but instead of charging people entering the Westside, LA City Council is looking to levy fees on developers West LA, including Venice, to ease congestion. 

Unlike in other areas of the City, in certain Westside neighborhoods including Venice, the City assesses special development fees on projects and uses those fees to pay for transportation improvements that would otherwise not be funded. On April 30, City Council unanimously approved a motion that expands these fees for all developments in Venice and the Westside, including market rate and rental housing. 100 percent affordable housing is exempt from these fees. 

“For years, there has been such a fee on commercial development — and Mike [Bonin] is expanding it to cover market rate and rental housing,” reads Councilmember Mike Bonin’s April Newsletter. “It will fund projects to install new signals, fix bottlenecks, improve rapid transit service, launch new shuttles and circulator services, improve safe routes for bicycling and walking, and calm neighborhood cut-through traffic.” 

The fees will also fund projects to green, beautify and make major corridors safer for pedestrians. 

In Venice,  Mar Vista, Westchester, Playa Vista, Playa del Rey and the Marina Peninsula, the Coastal Transportation Corridor Specific Plan allows the City to levy these fees.  In Brentwood (south of Sunset), Mar Vista (east of Centinela), West LA, Century City, and Westwood, the West Los Angeles Transportation Impact and Mitigation Plan allows the City to leverage fees on developments. 

The two zones on the Westside where these fees will be levied. Photo: Mike Bonin.

Expanding these fees will significantly increase funding for transportation projects on the Westside, according to Bonin.  The costs for each development will be based on trip generation rates and market conditions. 

“These fees address cumulative transportation impacts and are above and beyond any mitigation required for individual development projects,” reads Bonin’s website. 

Under this motion, the fees will charge $8,847 for single-family projects, $4,646 for apartments 10 stories or less, $2,804 for multifamily rental units of more than 10 stories, $6,248 for condos, $3,044 for high-rise condos and $5,452 for hotels. In a letter to LA City Council, Tim Piasky, CEO of the Building Industry Association of Southern California, said these fees would reduce the housing supply on the Westside. 

“To enact these fees is counterproductive to the economy and the production of critically needed housing, will add another layer of cost for the LA City renter or homebuyer, and will ultimately exacerbate the Los Angeles housing crisis,” Piasky said. “This is a 3,000-8,000% increase, respectively, from current fees. Now is not the time to be increasing fees, as a project can only absorb so much cost before it becomes unprofitable, ensuring that the project simply will not be built. We cannot afford to stifle any form of development during this crisis.” 

Councilmember Bill Rosendahl initiated the Westside Mobility Plan in 2007 and continued by Bonin who worked under Rosendahl.  Between 2010 and 2012, the City Planning Department and Los Angeles Department of Transportation hosted more than 50 community engagement events. In 2014, there were two scoping meetings before the preparation of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR), and the draft EIR was reviewed at public hearings in 2016. A final public hearing was held on the Westside in June 2016, which was noticed to everyone living within the boundaries of the specific plans by U.S. Mail. At its meeting on March 8, 2018, the City Planning Commission heard additional public comment and voted to recommend approval of the plan. Approval by the City Council is the final step in this decade-long process.

Related Posts

10 City of LA Hotels and Apartments to be Converted Into Interim Housing

October 30, 2020

October 30, 2020

Los Angeles City Council approves $100M purchase By Toi Creel The City of Los Angeles is spending over $100 million...

What was the witch’s favorite school subject? Spelling

October 29, 2020

October 29, 2020

By Nick Melvoin LAUSD District 4 Board Member Board District 4 What was the witch’s favorite school subject? Spelling. Classes...

City Council Delays Vote on Encampment Ban

October 29, 2020

October 29, 2020

Controversial proposal delayed until November 24 By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles lawmakers have delayed voting on a bill that would...

Edify TV: Have You Tried These Westside Donut Spots?

October 29, 2020

October 29, 2020

National Donut Day is Thursday, November 5th. Have you tried these doughy delights across the Westside of Los Angeles? Video...

LA County Considering Allowing Restaurants to Implement COVID-19 Surcharge

October 28, 2020

October 28, 2020

Plan would allow restaurants, breweries and wineries to add COVID-19 surcharge By Kerry Slater Los Angeles County is considering allowing...

Edify TV: Halloween Amid COVID-19

October 27, 2020

October 27, 2020

With LA County health officials prohibiting many Halloween activities and discouraging trick or treating, costume stores like Ursula’s Costumes in...

Local Spa Owner Admits Price Gouging in Sale of Scarce N95 Masks

October 27, 2020

October 27, 2020

Niki Schwarz, owner of Tikkun Holistic Spa, pleads guilty to federal charges A local day spa owner was charged this...

Reese-Davidson Project Hearing Postponed: YO! Venice Show – October, 26, 2020

October 26, 2020

October 26, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Reese-Davidson Project Hearing Postponed * Early Voter Turnout Close To 50,000...

Two Developments with 100+ Units Underway Near Venice High School

October 25, 2020

October 25, 2020

Duo of multifamily apartments on Venice Boulevard beginning to rise By Kerry Slater Over a year after breaking ground, a...

Edify TV: Development Replacing Local Car Wash

October 25, 2020

October 25, 2020

A Sawtelle lot that once held a car wash will soon be the site of a multi-family housing development. Learn...

‘Recall Newsom’ Head Hanging From Venice Ballerina Clown

October 21, 2020

October 21, 2020

Cardboard cutout of Gov. Newsom’s head hanging from iconic Venice art installation By Sam Catanzaro A cardboard cutout painting of...

L.A. County COVID-19 Cases Partly Driven Teenagers

October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

68 percent of new cases among people between ages of 12 and 50 By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County health...

Free Flu Shots at Palms Middle School for Students and Family

October 20, 2020

October 20, 2020

Los Angeles Unified and Health Net offering free vaccinations for seasonal flu to students and families By Chad Winthrop Los...

Mark Twain Middle School Community Raising Money to Restore Mural

October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020

Colorful mosaic mural in front of school in need of repair By Sam Catanzaro Mark Twain Middle School community members...