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Top 5 Westside Stories: Venice Zip Line, Robotic Garage, Mountain Lion

Here are the top stories from the Westside Patch sites from Jan. 20-26.

Close out your weekend with a recap of the newsiest and most popular Patch articles from last week. Here are the five stories that topped the headlines on Westside Patch sites:

  • The first robotic garage on the West Coast, below the UCLA Santa Monica Outpatient Surgery Center, is pretty cutting edge but it's a little glitchy. Developers say they are still debugging new control software for two robotic arms that grab, store and return vehicles to docking bays without human assistance. The $8 million garage has been in use since the spring. In Los Angeles, others are planned at West Hollywood City Hall and at an affordable housing project in Chinatown. Miller said he intends to build more in Santa Monica, including at a proposed mixed-use housing and commercial project at Sixth Street and Colorado Avenue.
  • Join the conversation: The L.A. City Council approved the placement of a shipping container at Venice Beach to store the belongings of homeless people while they stay in a winter shelter. The Venice Neighborhood Council voted in favor of the pilot program, but their vote came after it was implemented and councilmembers were not pleased. The Venice Stakeholders Association, however, is threatening to sue the city over the container, contending it requires permits and the approval of the California Coastal Commission. The container will be in place in Venice until approximately March 8, as the winter shelter closes March 1. 
  • In other Venice Beach news, the California Coastal Commission will vote on a proposed zip line attraction Feb. 8. The ride is expected to generate about $150,000 during the pilot period. Two-thirds of those revenues would be allocated to improving Venice Beach facilities, such as restrooms and trash bins. The zip-line could be up-and-running by July 1. 
  • A mountain lion was spotted in Pacific Palisades recently—the first reported sighting in Pali since April 2011. Workers said the lion was on the hillside above Avenida de Santa Ynez at Avenida de Cortez. The sighting was reported to the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife and state park rangers at Will Rogers and Topanga.
  • Check out this Santa Monica home currently listed for just shy of $35 million. It abutts the Riviera Country Club and boasts seven bedrooms, two kitchens (one for catering), a library with a fireplace, an indoor basketball court, gym, spa, a dining room that seats 25, a 2,500-square-foot master suite, screening room and 15-car garage. According to LA Curbed, the home was listed in 2010 before it was finished.

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Captain Liberty January 28, 2013 at 04:49 PM
Who is it that wants to destroy our quality of life in Santa Monica? And why? The city has undertaken a program of "traffic calming" which translates into making the vehicular part of the street smaller so fewer cars can go though. At the same time the city is approving massive new housing developments which will add thousands of more cars to our "calmed" streets. The result is already visible. Traffic jams and congestion. Take Ocean Park between Lincoln and Main. The beautification process reduced the number of lanes and now during the day there are long lines of cars jammed on the south side of the street. What used to take a minute now takes five. What used to take ten now takes forever. The traffic is calm but the drivers and residents are not. If we had subways we'd be just like NY on a smaller scale. But we don't. Way to go Santa Monica. Keep up the good work.
Jill January 29, 2013 at 12:37 AM
The current history of SM goes back to the seventies when SM was being trashed by developers, and renters stood up and fought. Santa Monica since deregulation of rent control has chosen it's path of rich but bland. I don't care how many trains you ride to Santa Monica but being bland is a sin. How many bike paths are north of Wilshire???
Brenda Barnes January 30, 2013 at 01:33 AM
Good comments. I was noticing on my street, Colorado, there is no way to reverse the center lane for rush hours the way they do in DC and other places because there are medians every few blocks with ridiculous bland flowers in them. Those are from the traffic-calming mode, but then the City approved so many developments west and north of us that our street is now clogged with commuters two hours or more of every morning and afternoon. And if we want to go east because an event has a starting time like 7 p.m., forget it. All the traffic from SM backs up all the way across Mar Vista, Playa Vista, then Inglewood, and finally fans out and away. SM is disgusting in continuing to do both "street beautifying" aka "traffic calming" and also approving every development any developer proposes. Every cut they take of a development has to be spent trying to make up for now about 50 mistakes in approving past ones. The City Council who voted for this just has to go and be replaced by people who have a real plan to run the City on something other than developer dollars. That is everyone who voted for LUCE--O'Connor, Holbrook, O'Day, and Davis. Go calm and make up for mistakes somewhere where it doesn't affect all of us SM residents.

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