Alert! If you have skin in the game regarding the future of Venice, there is something ominous on the horizon that you should be aware of.

If you don’t know this already, read up!

There is a fight under way regarding a proposed mega development for the large parking lot/open space at  Venice Blvd and Pacific.  It has been nicknamed theMonster in the Median.

To simplify:

Venice Community Housing Corp., with Hollywood Community Housing Corporation HCCH as the  co-development partner, wants to build a massive 3 story, block long, retail/residential structure on the city owned parking lot/open space at the west of end of Venice Blvd.  They would have to rezone it,  bypass building restrictions,  and would get be getting  tax payer money for the project. Local politicians Mike Bonin and Eric Garcetti are backing the plan.

Photo courtesy of FightBackVenice.org

The Overview:

It is a development of size and scale never done in Venice,  approximately 122,000 square feet.  It is being presented as Permanent Supportive Housing/retail center that will reduce homelessness in the area.

Photo courtesy of FightBackVenice.org

 Basic questions:

1. Will this development further congest an already dense, heavily trafficked  area

2. Will this actually help the homelessness/housing crisis in Venice?

3. Is the “affordable housing” label being used here to distract the public from the reality of  big time developers getting a gift of prime real estate by buying off politicians?

4. If VCHC, or the city, is concerned with homelessness, or housing people who can’t make rent, why don’t they use their money to fix up already existing structures in less costly areas?  This solution would house exponentially more people and seems obvious.

Photo courtesy of  Venice Community Housing Corp.

Some technical things:

This project will need spot re-zoning, as the parcels comprising the area are currently zoned as an open space.  The project would use tax payer money from the  recently passed  prop HHH.

On average, HHH units cost nearly $500,000 a piece (excluding the value of public land) and that, at the current rate of spending, the city will deliver fewer than 6,000 of the 10,000 units promised to HHH voters in 2016.

When the land value is included, the estimated cost is $700,000 – 750,000 per unit.  The VCHC said you cannot include the land cost because the City owns the property.  Big deception.  For that amount you could buy one or two homes in a less expensive location.

As well, HHH includes repurposing existing vacant commercial buildings, and to date no funds have been allocated for this

With the Monster in the Median, the existing 188 parking lot spaces must be replaced in addition to  parking for the planned retail and residences.

There are no actual homeless services, or shelter in this plan, and it is unable to prioritize Venice homeless in any way.   It will have reduced rent housing for a wait list of people that includes Santa Monica, Malibu, and Beverly Hills, among other areas.

Who is the fighting against this?

There are several  groups that have organized to fight this developement.  Two of them, Fight Back Venice and Oxford Triangle Association filed lawsuits  challenging the PSH Ordinance, which completely strips communities of the right to challenge oversized homeless housing projects.

Here is a message from Fight Back Venice:

If you would like to let Garcetti, Bonin, Feurer et al know how you feel about this proposed development, please click here:   www.fightbackvenice.org/support_for_psh_lawsuit/

Photo courtesy of FightBackVenice.org

Who is trying to build this?

The people behind trying to get this built is the Venice Community Housing Corp. and here is their public facing FAQ on the project

And here is their homepage ,so you can get an idea of who they are.

Want to get ahold of them or be on their email list regarding public meetings on this projects?   Here is the email they have provided for this: [email protected]  

Venice Community Housing

720 Rose Avenue
Venice, CA 90291
Phone: (310) 399-4100
Fax: (310) 399-1130

 

There is no shortage of opposition to the project, and here are a few of the groups:

Fight back Venice

Venice Update Letter to Bonin

venicestakeholdersassociation.org

oxfordtriangleassociation.com

 

What do you think, Venice?  As a tax payer, this is your land.  So, you should have a say!

 

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