Venice’s real estate oriented neighborhood council seeks motion to undermine SurveyLA’s research recognizing historical significance of Venice properties. In October, VNC also organized a “community outreach” in regarding the SurveyLA topic, however they only invited select people to attend.
The “Staff Report – SurveyLA Community Impact” just released by VNC’s Land Use and Planning Committee is to be voted on this Thursday January 12th,2016 at their meeting. Once voted on at their meeting the motion will be voted on at the February Venice Neighborhood Council Board meeting.
The motion they are putting forth basically seeks to undermine SurveyLA, a study the City did in cooperation with the Getty Trust to identify and document neighborhoods and structures that have a historic importance to Los Angeles. Venice has three such neighborhoods and many individual homes and other landmark buildings that meet the requirements. The VNC is painting it as property rights issue and are falsely suggesting that SurveyLA impinges on, prevents development, and reduces property values.
The AdCom (Administration Committee) which designates items for the monthly VNC Board meeting and is led by president Ira Koslow, did not think that a more open and transparent process was necessary. This is very likely an attempt to prejudice the writing of the Venice Coastal Zone Local Coastal Plan by excluding the ability to preserve the architectural and social diversity of our neighborhood.
Mind you the current Venice Neighborhood Council Board and Land Use & Planning Committee members, many of whom are professional developers and/or architects stand to benefit directly and/or indirectly from discrediting the City’s work and removing the City’s ability to preserve the character of our neighborhood.
Selective “Community Outreach” Event in October of 2016
LUPC staff hosted a “community outreach” presentation on October 13th of 2016 by Ken Bernstein, head of the Dept. of City Planning’s Office of Historic Resources. A community member who attended this meeting at Westminster School indicated that when asked, Bernstein understood the meeting to be a VNC event. To add, the VNC’s Vice president was very prominent in managing the stage at this meeting and there was no public notice of this meeting by the VNC. The community member also said they received notice by word of mouth.
This is a complex issue with very important repercussions for all of Venice. It deserves thorough and judicious consideration in a real, properly convened forum or process. Survey LA should be part of this process as well, as should the LA Conservancy. A disingenuous town hall attended by opponents of the survey and packed with their allies does not qualify and should not stand as the primary event provided for community participation.
VNC President Ira Koslow Dismissive of Concerns
One of the few VNC members with integrity proposed that a holding a community meeting that was well publicized and of ample notice was the right thing to do, President Koslow dismissed these concerns. Clearly some want this motion to go through with minimal community discussion and dialogue. How can such a major endeavor that impacts all of Venice get so far without public transparency, dialogue, and given more public notice?
Please attend the LUPC meeting this Thursday to voice your concern over these exclusionary behaviors. Please write and do whatever you can to partake in bringing accountability to these shenanigans by the VNC.
Let’s be sure that we have an opportunity for all community members to participate in a fair, transparent and public hearing. We cannot let this go through in such a rushed manner and without more educated discussion and comprehensive process.
- Demand VNC remove the item (LUPC Staff – SurveyLA Impact Report) and facilitate comprehensive community input meetings regarding any action motions regarding the SurveyLA study.
- Demand the VNC President publish as a Public Records Act document on the Venice Neighborhood Council website, the letter from the City Attorney addressing potential conflict of issue concerns with the current Venice Neighborhood Council Board, Land Use & Planning Committee members, and other committees members, many of whom are professional developers and/ or architects who stand to benefit directly and/ or indirectly from their votes.
Emails to contact:
- VNC President Ira Koslow: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vice-President George Francisco: email@example.com
- LUPC Chair: firstname.lastname@example.org
Feel free to CC email@example.com , e-mail and/or call additional people regarding these issues.
Thank you your continued attention and constructive energy toward creating a beautiful community for all residents original and new.