Sunday, August 22, 2010


VENICE ACTION has started to send out Informational Emails about the implementation progress of the Streets to Homes program. Here is our first one:


If you would like to receive these emails, contact us: Yes, I want to be informed.

Friday, July 23, 2010


On July 13, after the City Council approved an ordinance that would allow individual council members to establish districts to install oversize vehicle restrictions on the streets of Los Angeles, the Mayor again returned an ordinance without signature. He had done this as well with the settlement with the Coastal Commission on Overnight Parking Districts. The Mayor urged Los Angeles to work harder on finding workable solutions for the growing population of homeless. Here is his letter and VA's response to his welcomed action:

Read Mayor's Letter

Read Venice Action News Release

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Helping Homeless Makes Good Business Sense

Oregon also has one of the first Safe Parking Programs in the country in the city of Eugene.

Read the article

Thursday, July 1, 2010



June 29, 2010, Venice, Calif.—The Los Angeles City Council today voted to pass amendments to the Oversized Vehicle Ordinance (OVO) drafted at the request of Councilmember Bill Rosendahl. This “enabling ordinance” sets out the procedures for creating districts that restrict parking of oversized vehicles. An “implementing ordinance” will be crafted to determine the precise locations of the districts.

Because the ordinance impacts a large vulnerable population, Venice Action is gratified with Councilman Rosendahl’s repeated promise to implement the oversized vehicle restrictions only in conjunction with a Safe Parking Program for vehicle dwellers.

“Venice Action has always supported the use of the OVO in tandem with a Safe Parking Program,” said David Ewing of Venice Action.

Councilman Rosendahl has repeatedly referred to the OVO as necessary in his “carrot and stick” approach to the problems of homeless people forced to sleep in their vehicles. The “carrot” is the Safe Parking Program, currently being outlined by the councilmember’s office and for which he has secured $750,000 in funding. He has requested Venice Action’s input regarding the locations of potential parking spots for the RV’s. Additionally, the councilman has sought the opening of the public restroom facilities at the beach in order to alleviate some of the sanitation concerns associated with homeless people.

We need to understand that the population of people living in their vehicles is diverse. Many people living in their cars are veterans and senior citizens who need a safe place to park and the right connection to services. Many are economically disadvantaged, in need of help getting back on their feet.” Councilman Rosendahl said in an earlier statement.

At the City Council hearing today on the “enabling ordinance”, members of Venice Action expressed various public policy concerns that will need attention in the implementation phase. The ordinance gives tremendous latitude to each council member in determining the procedures, as well as specific criteria and standards for districts. In fact, according to the DOT, a parking district could theoretically be created for the entire city.

“Where the rubber meets the road is the ‘implementing ordinance,’ said Ewing, “and we look forward to working with the Council office on crafting that.”

Monday, June 21, 2010


Thumbnail image for lakeview dispensary rv.gif

​Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa recently expressed his opposition to a deal that would have allowed Venice residents to create overnight parking...

Here is the Mayor's letter in its entirety. Mayor's Non-Signing


by Tibby Rothman

June 21, 2010. Venice-- Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has added his name to the California Coastal Commission's in rejecting an agreement that would pave the way for permit parking in Venice.

His actions add a new player to the highly contentious permit parking battle. A debate that has seen

Thursday, June 17, 2010


“What we are being asked of is to approve a restriction in the Venice area. That restriction, in my view, does in fact limit access and I’m not convinced we need to do that at this point,” Coastal Commissioner Mark Stone said.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


By Dennis Romero, LA Weekly

The issue has been a political fault line in Venice, often with newer homeowners backing parking restrictions in an effort to keep RVs and other potential outsiders at bay, and longtime, liberal residents saying permit parking in the community would not reflect its open, bohemian roots and would restrict access to the coast.

The group Venice Action Alliance praised the commission's 6-3 vote as a move that would preserve access to the coast:

Saturday, June 12, 2010


By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times

June 12, 2010

...But Commissioner Sara Wan said the commission's vote was justified.

"We were essentially rehearing the original permit requests," Wan said. "What the city was trying to do was use preferential parking to solve their social problems. They need to deal with their own social problems.",0,2002637.story



June 10, 2010, Venice, Calif. The Venice Action Alliance today lauded the decisive 6-3 vote by the California Coastal Commission to reject the City of Los Angeles' second attempt to impose overnight permit parking districts on Venice. The group, part of a broad coalition of Venetians supporting solutions instead of restrictions, called it a triumph of wisdom and good policy.

"The Coastal Commission once again recognized and carried out its mandate to protect coastal access against attempts to make the beach less available to the general public," said Chris Plourde of Venice Action.

“The problems created by homelessness in Venice are real," added Plourde, "and we look forward to working with all Venetians to put a real solution that addresses the needs of all--a Safe Parking program--into place.”

The decisive vote followed a 4-1/2 hour hearing at the Commission's meeting held at the Marina del Rey Hotel in Marina del Rey, the same site where overnight permits were rejected the first time almost exactly one year ago. As many as 99 people signed up to testify, more than three-quarters of them in opposition to the permit scheme. Presentations by the City of Los Angeles, the Venice Stakeholders Association and the Venice Action Alliance set the stage for the long public session.

"No one with an open mind could have sat through that array of technically cogent and sometimes moving testimony against permit parking and come away thinking it was a good idea," said David Ewing of Venice Action. “We completely support the need to deal with bad and criminal behavior amongst vehicular dwellers and the general population and will keep working with the City and others in the community to find effective ways to do so. Permit parking isn't one of them."

"The arguments for permits came across like pleas for using parking restrictions to fight crime," said Karen Wolfe of Venice Action, "while those against permits sounded like a community trying to defend its diversity and a tradition of embracing the public.”

The issue was back before the Commission thanks to a lawsuit by Venice Stakeholders Association, which is now expected to go back to court as a result of the Commission's decision to reject permit parking. That lawsuit is currently backed by the City of Los Angeles and the Pacific Legal Foundation, the latter a notorious antagonist to the Coastal Commission having filed or participated in many lawsuits attempting to constrain the Commission's authority to protect the California coast.

Venice Action will continue to work with Councilmember Bill Rosendahl's office, and invites the Venice Stakeholders Association to join them, to expedite the creation of a "safe parking" program intended to get vehicle dwellers off residential streets in the community and begin moving them toward services and housing opportunities.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010


The Coastal Commission hearing is next Thursday, June 10. It is important that they hear from all of Venice not just the few who claim to speak for the rest of us. 

WHAT CAN WE DO? Come to the hearing. Speak or just let them know you care. 
Tell them that beach access is important to Venice and the solution to a problem is not to impose restrictions on the residents.That all of Los Angeles needs to find a compassionate and humane answer to the homeless that also protects and supports the needs of the homed and Venice is ready and willing to find that solution. But OPDs are not that solution. We don't need to place impositions on access for the rest of Los Angeles to accomplish this. Tell them that you think this is a bad settlement, that it weakens their ability to protect our coast, that it imposes an unnecessary burden on the residents and would not offer the solution that the few are seeking.

Marina del Rey Hotel
13534 Bali Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
9:00 am

Hearing starts 9 am. Come early to submit a speaker's card. As of now, this is the last agenda item..

If you cannot attend, please fax your comments NOW to:
Send your comments to them.
Fax to 
Peter Douglas, Executive Dir, 
California Coastal Commisssion
FAX (415) 904-5400

Re: June 10. Item 14a-c

Email your comments to us at


The thinking behind these measures turned Santa Monica into Orange County - New York City into New Jersey. Don't let it happen to Venice. There is only one way to have a vital progressive community and that is to preserve opportunities for people at all economic levels. Poor people and even those living on the edge of the law make a contribution to maintaining a sustainable economy. Realtors take note - it's the pot shops (not the economically unstable boutiques) that have been keeping the commercial real estate market in Venice healthy. We may not like it but shady characters have their place in keeping Venice from becoming Irvine.

For all the newly bourgeois artists out there... remember we owe a debt to the dirty freaky characters of Venice. The very people the new parking laws are seeking to eliminate. They helped to keep the squares out of our neighborhoods and kept Venice a place we could live and work. When the freaks, gangsters and the lower income families (that kept the peaceful balance) got kicked out by "reformers" or got priced out by greed so did we. Many of us had to move to the east side to get cheaper rents. The ones who have managed to stay have to be careful. Get rid of all the "undesirables" and you will kill the economic opportunities for people who want to start interesting things in Venice. A certain amount of shit creates fertile ground for ideas. Don't forget that.

Meg Cranston
(Meg is a world-reknowned artist who lived and worked in Venice for many years)


It impacts everyone who goes to the beach--whether it's for a day of fun with your kids, dinner or a glass of wine with friends, or if you live in our colorful community.

There has been a movement by a small secretly-funded group to heavily restrict parking in Venice, creating what the LADOT calls "essentially gated communities," all in an effort to get RV’s off our streets. That's not what Venice is about. It's always been a welcoming place. If you've read enough, sign the petition now!

If you want more info, read on:

·Venice residents are being tricked into restricting YOUR access to the beach.

·You won’t be able to park for free on Venice streets.

·You might not be able to find spaces at all because residents will get preferential parking. Unless they move their cars out of your way at 5am, you’ll be waiting in line at beach lots and paying top dollar for a day at the beach.

·You won’t be able to park in Venice at all overnight.


·OPD’s are a regressive tax on renters and low income residents.

·OPD’s create virtual gated communities (according to LA DOT).

·OPD’s are expensive – the fees only cover 47% of the cost and the fees ALWAYS go up.

·Walk Streets don’t get a vote at all for their block.

·OPD’s only save your space from 2-5am. They don’t solve business parking congestion or free up your parking at the end of the day.

·Even if each block gets to decide, the domino effect will be endless. If your block says no, but the next block says yes, your neighbors and their guests can park for free on your street instead of paying to park on theirs.

·Forget spontaneity! – you’d better plan ahead to have any overnight guests so you have a permit for them.

Sign the petition:

This Thursday, come to the CCC hearing and tell them No! Do not restrict public access to Venice Beach! Marina Del Rey Hotel, 8:30am 13534 Bali Way, Marina Del Rey

If you can’t attend Email the CCC: and sign the petition now.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Special interest groups attempting to circumvent the long-respected protections of the California Coastal Act have found a disturbingly effective tool in the term “nuisance abatement”—many with the help of the right wing, anti-environmental Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF).

Under the provisions of the Coastal Act, cities get leeway to restrict beach access if they’re doing so in order to address a “nuisance”. Four recent cases demonstrate the argument.

In the most recent instance, the Venice Stakeholders Association has argued in its pending lawsuit against the Coastal Commission, that restricting public beach access is necessary to address the nuisance of homeless people sleeping in vehicles on nearby streets. The nuisance claim is new in the VSA case, brought in after the PLF joined their case.

In Eureka, a citizens group represented by the PLF sued to block the Coastal Commission from acting on a Coastal Development Permit (CDP) on the grounds of nuisance abatement. That February, 2010 case followed the public outcry against a proposed development on wetlands. A group claiming to have no connection to the developer of the project pushed for a clean-up effort on the site, which had formerly been used as a railroad yard. They claimed this nuisance abatement entitled the city to act without Coastal Commission review.

Last month, Dana Point filed suit against the Commission when the panel said the city exceeded its authority by closing a beach access pathway in a luxury gated community. That city is claiming the closure is an attempt to reduce crime.

The nuisance abatement argument was also made in Laguna Beach when the city passed an ordinance in March 2010 to shut down its beaches between 1am and 5am, claiming it was an attempt to reduce the number of calls to the police regarding beach camping and vagrants. The Coastal Commission intervened stating that such a change in beach use required the city to file a CDP. In March, Laguna Beach compromised with the Coastal Commission, exempting certain recreational activities like jogging, fishing and diving from the ordinance, but also putting on the record their refusal to accept the CCC’s jurisdiction in the matter.

Venice Action is concerned about this trend.

“Unless it’s clearly defined, ‘nuisance’ is in the eye of the beholder,” said Venice Action spokesperson Chris Plourde. “This trend could justify everything from parking restrictions to dress codes at the beach.”

The Venice case will be heard by the Coastal Commission at its June 10, 2010 hearing in Marina Del Rey. The Coastal Commission can be reached at Telephone: (562) 590-5071, Fax: (562) 590-5084.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


The COASTAL COMMISSION will be meeting in Marina del Rey, Wednesday-Friday, June 9-11. Meetings begin at 9 am.

On Thursday, June 10, the VSA application for OPDs in Venice will be heard. Attend and be counted. 

Please plan to be there if you don't like legal coercion,
think poor people should be treated fairly,
don't want permit parking,
and/or believe in access to the beach
and coastal zone for all.

Marina del Rey Hotel
13534 Bali Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292

 a. Appeal No. A-5-VEN-08-343 (City of Los Angeles, Dept. of Transportation, Los Angeles) Appeal by Peggy Lee Kennedy et al and Executive Director, Peter Douglas from decision of City of Los Angeles granting permit to City of Los Angeles, Dept. of Transportation to establish Overnight Parking District No. 523 (in the Venice area) with early morning parking restrictions, exempting vehicles with District No. 523 permits, City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County. (CP-LB)
b. Application No. 5-08-313 (City of Los Angeles, Dept. of Transportation, Venice) Application of City of Los Angeles, Dep. of Transportation to Establish Overnight Parking District No. 523 (in the Venice area) with early morning parking restrictions, exempting vehicles with District No. 523 permits, City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County. (CP-LB)
c. Appeal No. A-5-VEN-08-344 (City of Los Angeles, Dept. of Transportation, Los Angeles) Appeal by Peggy Lee Kennedy et al and Executive Director, Peter Douglas from decision of City of Los Angeles granting permit to City of Los Angeles, Dept. of Transportation to establish Overnight Parking District No. 526 (in the Villa Marina area) with early morning parking restrictions, exempting vehicles with District No. 526 permits.  City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County. (CP-LB)
This is the last agenda item for the day but it could be moved elsewhere. We will let everyone know asap.  Please attend. Everyone is important.


This afternoon, in a special agenda item, the City Council heard public comment and voted 12-0 to accept the City Attorney's and Mark Ryavec's settlement terms with the Coastal Commission.

This was expected. Rosendahl led them all in thinking that all concerns of all Venice residents were being met in this settlement agreement. He assured his colleagues that he was providing programs to address the homeless, though gave no specifics nor how they would fit into the trial period. A few councilmembers asked questions about how the homeless would far with the limited number of 24 hour parking lots that will be changed per the agreement. One asked why see this to trial - no response to that one.

But we still have time - albeit only 7 more days - to change the tide. Write your letters to the Coastal Commission. Come to the meeting, speak if you can, or just come to show that Venice cares about beach access and how all people are treated. That compassion and enforcement of the law can be mutually applied in Venice; that we can protect our residents and provide for the homeless and poor by other means. Not something that places a burden on all and interferes with access to the beach for everyone but some of the means that are being designed now.

And certainly not with a settlement agreement that ties the hand of the one agency that is mandated to protect the coast. Be there next Thursday and tell the Commission that you support them in their job and encourage them to not accept the terms of settlement.


We don't have much time. The City Council will be meeting in closed session this afternoon (1:15 pm) to discuss the VSA settlement.
Fax Patrice Lattimore: 213 978-1040 to reach all Council members by 1 pm.

Here are some points:
We don't want to see OPDs in Venice.
We want to see a humane and compassionate program for the homeless and RV dwellers but want to see our community safe from the criminal element.
Say no to the proposed settlement. It doesn't address the issues facing venice but would impose an unworkable unmanageable system of restrictive burdensome parking on all residents.
Say no to undermining the Coastal Commission's mandate to protect out coats and the keeping beach access for all.

Email your statement to us.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Here is another site that has news and information about the settlement.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Who We Are

A lot of positions have been mistakenly attributed to Venice Action. This is who we are and we invite all to join us in working for a better Venice. 
  1. We are not opposed to restrictions on camper/RV parking in Venice.
  2. We think that Overnight Parking Districts are a stupid way to deal with the camper problem. They inconvenience all vehicle owners instead of targeting campers.

  3. Like Mark Ryavec and other members of the Venice Stakeholders Association, we support the creation of a Safe Parking Program modeled on those in Eugene OR and Santa Barbara.  Like those VSA members, we do not believe Venice should bear the entire brunt of this problem. We believe it is a citywide problem that requires citywide leadership. Unlike VSA, we believe that since the problem is concentrated here, we should take leadership instead of waiting for the City Council to wake up and smell the coffee.

  4. We think it is irresponsible to institute parking restrictions without addressing the problems of those in campers who need and would accept help. We invite those who want restrictions to join us in doing both at the same time.

  5. We believe less draconian approaches, such as those employed in Santa Barbara and particularly in Eugene in tandem with safe parking programs, can be very effective in resolving the problems the community is now experiencing with campers.

  6. We know there has been a lot of talk about those who would reject help, but let’s not engage in collective punishment of all for the behavior of some. It is simply bad government to push a problem from one neighborhood to another without doing anything to address it. According to Shelter Partnership, as quoted in the AARP Bulletin, “In Los Angeles, hundreds of people are living in their cars because shelters can accommodate only about a third of the city’s estimated 73,000 homeless population.” So let’s not pretend that all homeless are criminals any more than we should pretend that no criminals are homeless. Painting all vehicle dwellers with that brush makes it easier to justify harsh treatment, but it’s dishonest. Let's face our problems and tackle them in ways that are both humane and effective. That is not an oxymoron. Other cities do it.  We can, too.

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Venice Action Alliance succeeded in making public the terms of the settlement between Mark Ryavec / VSA v. Coastal Commission and City of L.A. Now on Wednesday, those terms will be discussed and voted on by the City Council.

These are no terms for the good of Venice or for L.A. Parking access will be hampered for both Venice residents and for visitors to our beaches. The terms of the settlement make the OPDs all but inevitable after allowing 6 months for "experimental" parking measures.

This is an issue that should be decided by all of Venice not just one person setting the terms. Let the Council know what you want.

Read the documents (see previous post) and come out to City Hall and Say No to the council. Don't let them make parking a burden for everyone.

City Hall
200 N. Spring Street
Los Angeles

Session begins at 10 am

(call Councilman Rosendahl's office for a parking pass)

What We Do

Venice Action Blog provides information about the fight to keep the streets of Venice free and open for the residents and the beach-going public.

We have successfully advocated for the terms of the settlement in the case of Venice Stakeholders Association v. Coastal Commission to be revealed to the public and will continue to advocate for Venice's right to unrestricted parking at the City Council and Coastal Commission. Posted here are the settlement terms and the times and places where it will be heard in City Council and at the Coastal Commission.

Friday, May 28, 2010


 On Wednesday, June 9 at their Marina del Rey meeting, the Coastal Commission will consider the settlement terms of Mark Ryavec for his lawsuit Venice Stakeholders Association v. Coastal Commission and City of L.A. Anyone may make a comment during the General Public Comment:
GENERAL PUBLIC COMMENT. Public comments will be heard at 9 a.m. for no more than 30 minutes. For attendees who are unable to attend the early comment period, there will be a second comment period prior to or after the lunch break. Agenda items will begin or resume after public comment.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


On Tuesday, May 25, the City Council voted to waive their confidentiality in the matter of Venice Stakeholders v. Coastal Commission and City of LA thus allowing all Venice stakeholders a chance to view the settlement agreement and to speak during public comment at the scheduled council meeting. We need everyone to speak or write to the involved representatives (see sidebar for the names).

Here are the proposed agreements:
Agreement to Remand Order
Summary of Terms
Draft of Amended OPD

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Call or Email City Councilmembers and ask them to support Tuesday's motion by Rosendahl to make the terms of the OPD settlement public. Bring it out from behind closed doors where people can see the impact it will have on residents and beach goers access to the coast and our own parking places. No more back room deals:





Terms—and they’re not pretty—to be made public at LA City Council hearing by May 25 and CCC hearing June 9-11 in Marina Del Rey

May 19, 2010, Venice, Calif—The terms of the settlement in the lawsuit brought against the California Coastal Commission regarding its June 2009 rejection of Overnight Parking Districts(OPDs) in Venice soon will be open to public scrutiny at the Los Angeles City Council rather than being discussed solely in closed session.

“Every Venice resident—as well as public beachgoers—who care about keeping Venice a community open to the public while creating legitimate solutions to the problems of the homeless should take the time to find out what this settlement will inflict on all of us,” said Venice Action’s Karen Wolfe, “and then they should let the City Council and Coastal Commission know how they feel.”

Under severe pressure from Venice Action, the community alliance that has rallied opposition to the imposition of permit parking in Venice, City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl today committed to allow the public to know the content of the proposed settlement. “Now we, the people, will be able to see how we are being sold down the river,” said David Ewing of Venice Action. “The plaintiff tried hard to keep it a secret from Venice.”

Under the terms that Venice Action members have obtained, the City’s existing oversized vehicle ordinance, including the installation of signage, will be in place for six months and have to be shown to be unsuccessful in providing residents relief from nuisances currently alleged to be the result of poorly behaved vehicular homeless persons before OPDs could be implemented with no further Coastal Commission review. The criteria to determine whether the oversized vehicle ordinance has failed or succeeded are unknown at this point. Additional parking meters will be installed in key locations where parking is already in scarce supply.

“It’s criminal that the settlement has been concocted as a pathway to OPDs,” said Ewing. “Six months is not enough time to determine the effectiveness of the proposed enforcement program and OPDs are not an appropriate solution to the problem people are complaining about. They’re a ploy to force residents to pay to park in their own neighborhoods and that’s not what most Venetians want. Even the plaintiff admitted he’d prefer a better solution.” Venice residents voted in April 2010 in what amounted to a referendum on the issue. The election, which drew one of the largest voter turnouts in the history of L.A.’s neighborhood council program, was won by a substantial majority of candidates opposing OPDs. Venice Stakeholders leader Mark Ryavec, who filed the lawsuit against the CCC, lost in that election by a large margin.

After lobbying extensively for an open process, Venice Action learned from the Council Office that an agenda item, serving the sole purpose of waiving attorney/client privilege in the matter, will appear Friday, May 21 or Tuesday, May 25 in Council.

Venice Action also learned that Councilmember Rosendahl will try to push the settlement through the City Council in time for the Coastal Commission to vote on it at its June 9-11 meeting in Marina Del Rey, even though the CCC did not plan to include the issue on its June agenda. The timing will allow one week to ten days of public comment on the settlement terms before the full Commission votes at the public meeting.

“We’re happy to see this secret deal dragged into the light, and to enable all the citizens of Venice an opportunity to be heard on this contentious issue,” said Venice Action spokesperson Chris Plourde.
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