Development/Gentrification

We Need An Interim Control Ordinance.

by Lydia Ponce

For the love of Venice and for how kooks call themselves locals after paying millions of dollars and living here 4 years… We need an ICO. We need an Internal Control Ordinance on all proposed projects that require a MELLO determination. Mike Bonin can pen one in an hour… He can have it voted on in one week.

The housing crisis in our City of Angels calls for it, and is deserving of having FEMA here to assist in California. We need to feed hungry people. We need to house them.
While there is so much posturing in current events, like at the townhall at Westminster Elementary, to ‘combat’ the Homelessness in Venice. Ask yourself, what great timing this is as the BID, Business Improvement District Ordinance is finished for the Ocean Front Walk, (OFW) one mile stretch of our public beach, presented by…. Carl Lambert, Venice Chamber of Commerce President. Timing is everything!

Hey what about that open sewer problem at OFW? There’s a private company trying to fix the shit problem because the pipes burst and can’t handle all the offices and crap thru our city sewage system. It’s being pumped into the ocean directly! There’s a reason for an ICO, a health hazard! Gajillion dollar properties and the human waste stench, priceless!

There are enough reasons to have an ICO for Venice for all MELLO determinations, all within our coastal zone. The biggest reason is 99 % of these MELLO determinations are decided by the owner affadavits. The Renter’s information is typically not in the file or available to determine if there was an affordable unit to be replaced. The renter’s information to decide this is the rent amount they were last paying and or their income verification. Can you imagine, not one unit recently has been decided without an appeal… has been found affordable? We’re talking extremely low, low and or moderately priced? When was the last time it was determined that a replacement unit was financially feasible to replace within the two miles it was demolished? Within the coastal zone? Never! We all know how very affordable the 90291 was and just recently!!!! So it’s been 15 years and counting these MELLO determinations have been corruptly decided and typically favorable for the person applying to build a new single family dwelling. For all the Venice love we have for people over profits, for humanity and not just talk about it but being about it, we require an emergency ICO on everything MELLO.

After all, there is zero requirement for anyone to be a nice person on the applications for the faux ‘remodels’ as described on recent applications, spare us all, it’s a freakin’ demolition. All the volunteer and kind hearted work that anyone does is not part of the application process… If the current laws were enforced we, locals, wouldn’t have our displaced friends and neighbors vanished from our community. Where is the humanity when people lie on their applications?

Speaking of new laws, the new MELLO Ordinance is penned with an in lieu fee. Yes. So the City Of LA can collect funds paid by developers to wiggle out of their responsibility required by MELLO to replace the affordable unit they are erasing from the rental market. The City collects, interest on these funds are favorable, and it’s for affordable housing in the near future. How near is near? We don’t know, we asked for a timeline at the townhall and never got an answer. The answer: How about the in lieu parking fees collected in the last 15 years? How is that being handled and how many parking structures have we built within the 2 miles the funds were collected? If there were ever an in lieu fee – make it a million bucks! There is a viable and feasible solution!

Did anyone ask you about the in lieu fees? How about the BID(s)? The VNC approved the proposed BID presented by a defunct Business Committee and an illegal vote took place. This Business Committee has yet to post their minutes from 8 – 9 months ago and post the required BROWN ACT notifications for their public meetings, info such as meeting location, date and time. Thanks VNC President Newhouse for ‘looking into this… ‘ it timed out and this activist requested this to be placed on the agenda for March and it was denied. Yes, the vote was not legal and my inquiry failed. Tell us how this is legal again in our bylaws? Please ask VCHC and LACAN about BIDS. This OFW BID will further privatize our public beach and criminalize the homeless people. Just like DTLA and Hollywood – criminalize the very people the City Gov’t Reps claim to assist.

There was a list of promises in the town hall offered by CD11- but these promises cannot be held true without controls placed to tighten up the current laws. Nothing new needs to be written… These promises are empty without slowing or stopping the current rubber stamping of proposed development applications – we need an ICO on all MELLO applications. We need an ICO for a year.
The system is beyond rigged and beyond corrupt. It’s also glaring how CD11 chooses to communicate with the community…‘Combat Homelessness…’ Perhaps a thesaurus can be of help to offer a kinder and more humane support. Are we at war with homelessness?
Don’t just talk about it – be about it!

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