By Greta Cobar
Another development project approved by the Land Use and Planning Committee that does not seem to reflect the wishes of the community is headed to the Venice Neighborhood Council for a vote by the Board. It is located at 320 Sunset, right across the street from Google’s proposed development at 320 Hampton.
A restaurant seeking a permit for a full line of alcoholic beverages is proposed. Currently there are no other restaurants or bars on that street. Predominantly residential, with artist studios and a few offices, the character of the block will be changed by the proposed development. With no parking spaces provided by the proposed new restaurant, it is a matter of certainty that the surrounding residents’ parking problems will be exasperated.
Another undesirable effect of this development is that it will set the pace for change in the area. The gentrification factor will kick in, real estate prices will rise, and the surrounding artist community will be driven out. This will be a most unfortunate effect, as the studios on that block are a huge part of the artistic heartbeat of Venice. That short block is the center of the ArtBlock, Art Walk and it hosts dozens of art shows and art parties per year. Obviously the proposed development is not set to cater to the artistic community that lives and works there, nor the art lovers who visit.