Administrative Committee Meeting Minutes Extra Space Storage, Presidents Row Room


SEC. 12.24.  CONDITIONAL USE PERMITS AND OTHER SIMILAR QUASI-JUDICIAL APPROVALS



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 SEC. 12.24.  CONDITIONAL USE PERMITS AND OTHER SIMILAR QUASI-JUDICIAL APPROVALS.


W.     Authority of the Zoning Administrator for Conditional Uses/Initial Decision.  The following uses and activities may be permitted in any zone, unless restricted to certain zones or locations, if approved by the Zoning Administrator as the initial decision-maker or the Area Planning Commission as the appellate body.  The procedures for reviewing applications for these uses shall be those in Subsections B. through Q. in addition to those set out below.
( ) Transitional Vehicular Residency on Parking Lots. Notwithstanding Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 85.02, the use of public parking lots and/or privately-held parking lots overnight as transition sites, with funded services providing for transition to affordable housing, for individuals living in their vehicles, limited to three (3) vehicles or less, with stays of less than three months per year, where the vehicles will be parked at least 300 feet from any inhabited dwelling(s) located on an adjoining or nearby parcel, and the vehicle owner(s)/occupants are determined to be very low income as determined by the transition service provider or the Los Angeles Housing Department, in the CR, C1, C1.5, C2, C4, C5, CM, MR1, MR2, M1, M2, M3, P, and PF Zones, provided that:

 

(a)  Findings.  In addition to the findings otherwise required by this section, the Zoning Administrator shall make all of the following findings:

(1) that the parking lot meets all the requirements of the Los Angeles Municipal Code for lighting, landscaping, filtration of surface water runoff, and walls blocking view from residential areas into lot;

(2) that the proposed use will not detrimentally affect nearby residentially and/or commercially zoned communities in the area of the City involved, after giving consideration to the distance of the proposed use from residential buildings, churches, schools, hospitals, public playgrounds and parks, and other similar uses (this does not prohibit a church parking lot from being permitted as a transition site under this section);


(4) that the service provider retained by the City to operate the transition service agrees to provide overnight:

(a) toilet facilities on-site and access to a shower to the occupants of the vehicles parking on the parking lot;

(b) sanitary disposal of any human waste and/or trash which may be generated by the inhabitants of the subject vehicles;

(c) emergency telephone number, which is answered by a person and not voice mail, prominently displayed on-site for overnight response;

(d) that no guests or visitors are allowed after 9 PM. and agrees to prohibit amplified music, use of electric generators and the sale or use of illicit drugs and alcohol on-site.
HVOC Research Findings (Cont.)

Recommendations to Promote Affordable Housing
The provision of new affordable housing in Venice has been a contentious issue for many years, with claims that the community must provide additional low-income, transitional and permanent supportive housing for the many homeless individuals who dwell on our streets, alleys and parks, with counter claims that Venice already carries more than its fair share of the burden and that proposed solutions, such as the conversion of City parking lots to affordable housing, would hamper the community’s ability to address its chronic parking shortage and place these facilities too close to residences for comfort.
As directed by its mission statement, the Committee met with a wide range of experts, service providers and government officials familiar with these issues (a full list is provided in the Appendix).

One of the most significant facts to emerge is that Venice is, indeed, host to the largest concentration of affordable housing in Council District (CD) 11. Venice proper has 23.3% of all affordable units in CD 11 while its population is only 13.5% of CD 11.*

This does not suggest more affordable housing is not needed in Venice or throughout CD 11, or indeed, the City, County and Nation.  The Los Angeles Housing Services Authority (LAHSA) reports that in 2007 the City of Los Angeles had 40,144 and the County of Los Angeles had over 68,000 homeless individuals on any given night. St. Joseph Center reports that the 2007 Homeless Count conducted by LAHSA found about 1,000 homeless in our community.
Further, the Venice Community Housing Corporation reports that it has not built a new project in Venice since 1998, and the Los Angeles Housing Department reports that no new projects are funded or under construction anywhere in CD 11, largely due to the high cost of land on the Westside.
After many hours of meetings with the various experts, the Committee has learned the most effective approach to serving the homeless is the “Housing First” model, now employed in New York City, Project 50 in Downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica and elsewhere in the Nation. This model focuses on that segment of the homeless population which is most at risk of dying on the street, providing housing first, with various services and support to follow. Thus, the most pressing need in Venice and CD 11 is for permanent supportive housing for these individuals. This is the group which is addressed by St. Joseph's chronic homeless intervention program, which the Committee has recommended for implementation. 

While that program plans to house these most at-risk individuals with the use of supplementary Section 8 vouchers (i.e., those in addition to the vouchers it currently receives) utilizing a “scattered site” model, the better solution is the development of permanent supportive housing locally by purchase or master lease of existing housing, adaptive reuse of existing structures or construction of new housing. This would allow supportive service providers to office on-site and assist several or many clients at the same location. 




While this permanent supportive housing does not have to be located in Venice proper, it would be more effective if it is located on the Westside. Service providers have found it difficult to entice the chronically homeless - those most at risk - to locations far removed from where they have been homeless for many years.
This has led the Committee to recommend that the City accept that it must factor in the high cost of land and provide greater subsidies for areas of the City with high land costs where there are significant concentrations of homeless individuals, such as Venice, to allow the purchase of sites in, or adjacent to, these areas.
On the other hand, the Committee recognizes that beach-adjacent sites are less financially-feasible in most instances and that in-land sites within several miles of the beach, or indeed several miles in-land from Venice, could more effectively meet these needs. This conclusion is based on the experiences of the Ocean Park Community Center, which has developed permanent supportive housing in-land of Santa Monica, some as far east as La Brea Boulevard, and successfully placed homeless individuals from Santa Monica’s homeless population in these units.

________________________

*Without including the 179 affordable units in new developments in Marina Pointe, there are 489 affordable units in the Venice zip code of 90291.  The total in CD 11 is 2102. (Source: Los Angeles Housing Department.) The total population of CD 11 is: 280,500 ±; the population of Venice is: 38,000 ±. Adding in the units in the Marina Pointe area, Venice has more than twice as many affordable units as its percentage of CD 11's population.

As stated above, to be able to acquire or develop affordable housing in Venice, there are only two alternatives: either the City must fund Westside projects at a higher cost per unit, or, the City must allow more units to be built per acre to amortize the cost of the land.

With little funding available, it appears the best way to create more affordable housing now is through limited instances of either creative zoning ordinances and/or variances to allow more units per acre. This would require exemptions from the Venice Specific Plan (VSP) and City code for just these projects.
Thus, only for the purpose of construction or adaptive reuse to create permanent supportive housing or transitional housing for chronic homeless individuals, the Committee supports zoning exemptions to increase the number of units per acre (while maintaining height limits) beyond City code and the Venice Specific Plan, if the units created are vested in perpetuity as very low income by the project developer, whether publicly or privately developed, and located in commercial or manufacturing zones only. In one scenario, this could result in smaller 400 sq. ft. units such as those recently developed in Santa Monica on Olympic Boulevard.
The Committee also recommends that the VNC establish a Committee on Affordable Housing to promote the development of affordable housing. The Committee recommends that the new Affordable Housing Committee provide a public forum to discuss and develop policy and that it consider the following incentives:


  • voluntary inclusionary zoning to allow an additional small affordable unit(s) (400 to 600 sq. ft.) per lot where lot size is adequate (i.e., those which now are allowed two or more units by right).

  • selective re-zoning along major thorough-fares to allow owners the ability to build more and smaller units per acre.
  • Historical Preservation variances that create incentives to retain existing non-conforming affordable housing stock. (However, the Committee does not support the legalization of garage conversions unless code-required parking is provided.)



The City should also consider allowing the reduction - but not elimination - of required care-provider staff parking and occupant parking for facilities which house the previously homeless, including Single Room Occupancy (SRO) projects, and very low to low income projects. For example, instead of the current requirement of one parking space per unit in an SRO project, the City might only require .5 spaces per unit, recognizing that individuals at this income level frequently do not have automobiles.
Specifically, the Committee would support creating a new Single Room Occupancy project in Venice to house the most critically at risk homeless as soon as possible. This suggests either master leasing or purchasing an existing structure as opposed to new development.
To this end, the Committee has looked at several sites and recommends the sites below as examples of appropriate sites which should be given further consideration by the VNC, the Council Office, and LAHD:
585 E. Venice Boulevard (former Samy’s Camera), Zoning: M1-1
4096 South Glencoe, Zoning: CM-2D (storage use)
4230 S. Del Rey Avenue, Zoning: CM-2D (storage use)
These sites already have existing structures that we are told are adaptable to housing by installing partitions and plumbing inside the buildings.

The 18,000 sq. ft. Samy’s Camera building could be subdivided to create approximately 20 to 60 units of permanent supportive housing (a zone change would be required from M to C or R). The 24,400 sq. ft. Glencoe structure would accommodate approximately 30 to 70 units and the site on Del Rey would provide 16 to 50 units. The number of units will be limited by the parking which is ultimately required by City code and Venice Specific Plan. In this regard, a new affordable housing committee might consider a relaxation in the required parking for these projects, but not the elimination of these requirements.

While we were impressed by a transitional housing facility in Santa Monica operated by the Ocean Park Community Center which is situated in a multifamily residential neighborhood, we nonetheless believe that the residents of Venice (and other areas) are best served when residential neighborhoods are protected by the siting of new homeless-serving facilities in commercial or manufacturing areas. Since Venice and nearby areas such as Del Rey still have commercial and commercial/manufacturing zoned areas, we encourage the City to focus on acquiring property in these areas now while real estate prices are relatively depressed.
The Committee does not favor the use of existing City parking lots in Venice for new affordable housing due the need for these lots to eventually be re-developed to provide more parking to address Venice’s chronic parking shortage.
Parking Lots in CD11 for Possible Use as Transition Sites


Location

Notes

Venice




Ross Dress for Less

Large lot behind store. Potentially could be leased by the City for overnight use.

Del Rey, between Washington and Maxella

Much commercial space with large parking lots on east side of Del Rey. Isolated from residential and retail commercial properties.

Marina





Fiji Way west of Lincoln

County lots on state property across from Fisherman’s Village. Limited stay low income RV lots. Sheriff across the street.

Playa del Rey




East of Vista del Mar on Airport land

Where houses have been removed, there are streets and underground services in place. Convert to pads. Could place this adjacent to Hyperion plant near existing RV campgrounds.

West of Vista del Mar, Dockweiler Beach Parking Lot #3 at tower #49

This is the location of the Robin Richards/Theresa Skinner proposal. Services in place.

Westchester Parkway




Buffer zone between Westchester Parkway and Lincoln Blvd

Airport land with removed housing has existing streets and underground services in place.

East of Airport




Off 96th Street

Land with city purchased vacant housing and parking lots adjacent.

Jenny and Manchester


Northeast corner lot.

Arbor Vita and Bellanca

Southeast corner lot.

Arbor Vita and 93rd Street

Much housing taken out of use by city. Potential parking with services.

Westchester




Westchester at Lincoln Blvd

Park has lots as does the land adjacent to the municipal buildings. Services available.

Playa Vista




East of Lincoln beyond present development

Large amount of flat vacant land in preparation for succeeding phases. May be vacant for years.

Marina Freeway




Along Culver Blvd & between the 91 Freeway

State property unused, screened. RV storage lot exists near Lincoln.


Centinela and Rose




East side of Centinela

Ocean View Farms Park. Big, isolated lot with bathrooms nearby.


Sawtelle south of Exposition




405 adjacent

Lot on east side of Sawtelle below 405.

Exposition east of Sawtelle




South side of Exposition between Sawtelle and Sepulveda

Post Office has a large lot. West Los Angeles City Building had a huge parking lot. Possible night use.

Heading north on Sepulveda from Exposition




Between Ohio and Wilshire

On west side of Sepulveda there is a Salvation Army Center with lot, State property alongside the roadway. On east side is a Park. Area has good bus transit connections.

North of Wilshire

At Constitution, west side of Sepulveda at Robinson Stadium: big parking lot. Getty feeder lot. UCLA Mobile Clinics are parked there; isolated with restrooms nearby. VA adjacent for services.

Veterans Administration




West of 405

Many lots, much service, security.

Federal south of Wilshire




On east side of Federal

US Army Reserve Center and National Guard lots. Large parking area available for night use.

Corinth and Iowa Area




Two situations stand out in this area

The City building in which Councilman Bill Rosendahl has an office has much parking including a section that is walled off from view and adjacent to the building making it almost private. The Felicia Mahood Senior Center has a lot behind it. Much potential here.

Pacific Palisades




Above Sunset on Temescal Canyon Road

Park with lots and services.

Above Sunset on Los Liones Dr

Near the trailhead there are several parking lots available for night parking.

Exhibit G – SB1818 Motion & Support Letter

To: City Planning Commission

William Roschen, President

c/o Commission Secretary James K. Williams City Hall Room 272 200 North Spring Street Los Angeles, CA 90012

FAX: 213-978-1029

E-mail: james.k.williams@lacity.org

Cc: City Planners

Sevana Mailian, sevana.mailian@lacity.org Bob Duenas, Bob.Duenas@lacity.org


Reference: City Planning Commission, DIR-2008-1178-DB-SPP & ENV-2008-1179-MND
At its regular meeting of ____________ 2009, the ____________Neighborhood Council passed the following motion:
MOTION: ____________ The Board of the __________ Neighborhood Council supports the stakeholders of Valley Village in regard to their two appeals of [DIR-2008-1178-SPP] regarding the SB1818 development located at 11933 Magnolia Boulevard Valley Village: (1) Dale Neglia et al. ; (2) The membership of the Board of Neighborhood Council Valley Village.

We agree:

1) That there appears to have been a bias within the Department to get this project approved no matter under what code of law and no matter the lack of proper documentation.

2) That the failure of the Director to require review by NCVV prior to approval, and to consider the input of their Neighborhood Council, demonstrates a disregard for the community, and is an inappropriate use of Planning Department discretionary authority.

3) That development of this site does not reflect the prevailing character of the community, and will stand dramatically at odds with adjoining properties. This is a failure of the Planning department to uphold and negotiate vigorously to minimize transgressions of our General, Community and Specific Plans.

4) That the Planning Department did nothing to require adequate documentation relating to economic feasibility or to use any standard by which to determine this feasibility. This impacts precisely on whether the proposed affordable units could be provided with far less density and with some other different concessions that would not trample the General, Community or Specific Plans, and be acceptable to the Neighborhood Council.

5) That the City lacks the process to adequately evaluate either the economic feasibility or the environmental (& health & safety) component. Therefore, the project cannot and should not be approved until such procedures, processes, and protocols are in place.

6) That the excessive height and density of this project will, in the future, be improperly cited as a precedent for variances and exceptions, which by its very outsized presence enable opportunities for projects that are not presently entitled to density bonus and further deteriorating the character of the neighborhood.

7) That there have been many procedural irregularities associated with this Developer’s application with the Planning Department as an abbettor to forward the approval.

8) That the project brings traffic congestion to the substandard surrounding and collector streets -- streets not even included in the “cumulative impact” investigations. Streets which for the most part that have no sidewalks or infrastructure to protect the many bicyclists, children and pedestrians. Traffic mitigations are inadequate and imperil single family neighborhoods with DOT’s noted reliance on additional cut thru traffic.

9) That there was a failure of the Planning Department to defend our General, Community and Specific Plans in extending numerous incentives not even requested.

10) That there was failure of the Planning Department to defend our General, Community and Specific Plans by accepting conflicting, outdated and improper documents from the Developer at face value without any investigation as to their veracity or applicability to the current project.

11) That there was failure of the Planning Department in approving a project that invades neighbors rights to privacy, to the future use and enjoyment of their open space property and common areas.

12) That there was failure of the Planning Department to require mandated downzoning as was called for by AB283 and thereby defend our General, Community and Specific Plans.

13) That the cumulative impacts of this project on the street, the infrastructure, traffic, and other CEQA concerns have not been adequately addressed or mitigated. That a small 3-project inquiry cannot give an adequate picture to the extraordinary overbuilding in the area.

As a Neighborhood Council, we share these grave concerns. They are matters that affect all of us. We consider them unacceptable and support the appellants. Please take this position into consideration when making a decision on this matter.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Sincerely yours,
President, __________________ Neighborhood Council




It's YOUR Venice - get involved!

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