Issuance of Local Coastal Development Permit No. 23-04 Keeps Venice a Continuing & Constant, Containment Zone!
By Nick Antonicello
Despite near universal opposition to the continuance of the Main Street bridge housing by area residents and Venetians in general, the permit nevertheless has been issued.
A copy of the permit can also be found here: https://bit.ly/CDP-100ESunsetBH
A copy of the permit and a Notice of Permit Issuance have been sent to the applicant and to the California Coastal Commission, South Coast District Office. The Coastal Development Permit shall not become effective until 20 working days have elapsed without an appeal following the proper receipt by the California Coastal Commission of the Notice of Permit Issuance. Appeals can be made to: California Coastal Commission, South Coast District Office, 301 E. Ocean Blvd., Suite 300 Long Beach, CA 90802, (562) 590-5071 . The proposed development is within the single permit jurisdiction area of the California Coastal zone.
No additional Coastal Development Permit is needed from the California Coastal Commission.
The announcement was made by Norman Mundy of the LA Bureau of Engineering, Department of Public Works.
Mr. Mundy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and his office number is (213) 485-5737.
The Venice Stakeholder’s Association, more commonly known as the VSA mounted a valiant legal effort to deny bridge housing a seemingly permanent home here in the neighborhood.
Opposition to the facility reached zenith proportions when former LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and former CD-11 Councilman Mike Bonin pushed hard for it’s opening and approval that saw over 500 residents attend a meeting at Westminster elementary. That initiative crystallized support against a Bonin third-term that saw a second recall effort fall short in December of 2021, but had damaged the incumbent so badly politically speaking that he withdrew from the race for reelection in January of 2022.
Venice attorney Traci Park at the time of the bridge housing fiasco was on record opposing the facility, but upon assuming office in December of 2022 inexplicably switched her position and “flip-flopped” to the dismay of many of her most rabid supporters here in the community based on her get tough policies regarding encampments by the beach and around the neighborhood.
Park finished second in the primary to fellow Venice lawyer Erin Darling and ultimately defeated him last year in a close contest by a 52%-48% margin.
The VSA has no intention to appeal this rather misguided permit issuance that flies in the face of local community passions, as many believe the existence of bridge housing is a “magnet” for encampments and RV vehicles throughout Dog Town.
Some view the bridge housing facility as the cornerstone of a “containment” policy where Venice is shouldering much of the homeless population that has locals exhausted.
Outside of Skid Row, Venice has the largest single homeless population in Los Angeles. While Venice continues to be a target for additional housing and beds, neighboring and more affluent locales such as Pacific Palisades and Westchester remain immune from hosting any of the homeless population.
According to LAHSA, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, there was a 73% increase in the homeless population on the Westside and here in CD-11. However, LAHSA has yet to release the year-over-year statistics for homeless here in Venice, something that was made public in previous homeless counts. At a recent meeting of the Homelessness Committee of the VNC, CD-11 staffers Juan Fregoso and Gabriela Medina for Councilwoman Traci Park indicated they would contact the agency and make that data once again public.
As of this writing, those numbers remain unreported.
Mark Ryavec, the President of VSA indicated in a phone interview that his organization’s legal battle is effectively over, and will concentrate on other issues pertaining to homelessness and encampments such as the beautification of Oceanfront Walk and other parcels in Venice that have been affected by this ongoing and mounting crisis on the streets of Venice.
Ryavec, who ironically was an early supporter of Park’s council candidacy in 2022 nevertheless praised the efforts of CD-11 thus far in clearing several encampments such as Third, Hampton, WHOLE FOODS and Flower.
Nick Antonicello is a thirty-year resident of Venice and covers the issue of homelessness and encampments here in the neighborhood. Have an encampment issue on your street or neighborhood, contact the author via e-mail at email@example.com