News Alert
Jury Awards Giants Fan Beaten at Dodger Stadium…

Venice Boulevard Development Faces Opposition

The project could bring 12 townhomes to the corner of South Venice Boulevard and Ocean Avenue

The Venice Neighborhood Council on Tuesday voted to oppose a proposed housing development at 522 S. Venice Blvd.

The developer’s plan to build 12 two-story single-family townhomes on three lots has been met with resistance since it was introduced to the community in June 2011. VNC board members and the Venice Land Use and Planning Committee do not support the project because they want the developer to build affordable housing units on-site, maintain the adjacent lot as public property and they find the building design incompatible with the neighborhood.

On the other hand, the property owner, Len Judaken, wants to acquire the adjacent lot at the corner of South Venice Boulevard and Ocean and Mildred avenues that is currently owned by the City of Los Angeles and build affordable units off-site.

For years, local resident Robin Murez has been advocating for the city keep the corner lot in public hands and develop a community park, rather than sell to the developer. In 2009, she applied for and received a $10,000 city beautification grant to landscape the proposed park on the empty lot.

“Just as we were about to get started, they told me our grant had been put on hold because the property owner had filed to acquire the parcel,” Murez said.

Murez said she and other residents were concerned over the mass and scale of the project and that it would adversely impact visibility and traffic congestion. She said a couple of her neighbors were hit by cars, and in addition to safety concerns, she thought that it was important for the community to have more green space.

“We bring you a good project,” said Allan Abshez, the developer’s attorney. “And [the Land Use and Planning Committee] errs in saying that the project is more dense than adjacent properties.”

Abshez listed several two-story apartment complexes nearby.

At an October Venice Neighborhood Council LUPC meeting, Judaken offered to match the city’s grant up to $50,000 for a sculpture garden at Centennial Park, located just east of the library. Judaken said if the city sells him the adjacent lot he would build two affordable housing units at another site in addition to the sculpture garden.

“What he presented was his offer to buy me off,” Murez said.

However, Jeff Norman, founder of the Veterans Project, which helps veteran adjust to civilian life, favors the project.

“I understand that you want public space, but how is that more important than space for veterans,” he said.

The project also requires that the L.A. City Planning Department allow variances from the Venice Specific Plan, which sets guidelines and restrictions for developers in Venice. The VNC appealed this exception, but the city denied their request. The Planning Department will review the developer's plan again sometime early next year.

sheila ginsberg December 19, 2012 at 05:47 PM
These new developments are ugly modern industrial. Redesign in the following styles and there will be fewer objections: Spanish colonial.Cape Cod style, or English row house style.Include underground parking as a requirement and provide low cost extra parking available for lease by neighbors. Of course, there must be parking for guests sufficient to prevent visitors from pure frustration.Venice has a severe parking problem.This could be a benefit for all.Do not approve any plan which does not take the parking crisis into acount.
Ray Davis December 19, 2012 at 06:09 PM
You are right on, Saltwater.
Sean December 19, 2012 at 07:54 PM
too dense keep public land public 9 units is enough
Scott December 19, 2012 at 11:12 PM
My understanding is the city lot was acquired by the city from Judaken's family through imminent domain during the reconstruction of Ocean Ave.. Since the leftover land was not needed for reconstruction it seems to me Judaken has a viable claim to the land. There is quite a bit of public land right across the street that would benefit from some beautifying with a sculpture garden that would be seen by more passerby's.
Brenda Barnes December 23, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Always when developers propose more than they are allowed, they whine when people don't want it. It is cities' constant caving in to let every developer build more than allowed under general plans that ultimately makes areas impossible to drive or park in, and destroys paradise. Every single development should have to fit into the plan, which always is on the developers' side to begin with. No land should go for "affordable" or "veterans"" housing or any other special needs group until the entire community surrounding the development signs off on it and a responsible group in the neighborhood is given the right to monitor compliance. As Saltwater said, it is just a few years of no monitoring by cities until market rate sale or rental of those "affordable" or "special needs" houses occurs. Santa Monica is notorious for not monitoring development agreements like this one, and it is a small city. Getting LA to monitor it must be 100 times the nightmare. Bottom line: once public space is gone, it is gone, whatever the development agreement claims.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »