The Hotel Project – Where are we now?
This project is really The Electric Avenue Hotel. If this design moves forward the damage it will do to Oakwood and Venice will be felt forever. There were many design decisions which could have been made to avoid this inevitable destruction to a quiet community. The city’s Planning Department had an opportunity to insist on truck traffic and patron traffic mitigation. They know about the traffic congestion we have in Venice.
Instead, Planning did what it always has done — it ignored clear and obvious future problems and simply made more business-as-usual decisions. A little controversial risk taking and a few out in front thoughtful community oriented decisions were needed. That has not happened. Now this project will be dumped in the lap of the Zoning Administrator for scrutiny and public comment.
We foresee devastation to the now quiet Oakwood community. Truck and patron traffic will inevitably use Oakwood streets instead of Abbot Kinney. Oakwood will become an alternate route to avoid the current traffic backups now a daily occurrence on Abbot Kinney. Since all the hotel and restaurant ingress and egress is on Electric Avenue, expect gridlock on Electric. The inevitable new traffic route through Oakwood residential streets will slam this neighborhood.
As of now, no Zoning Administrator review and public hearing has been scheduled. There is no final sign-off from Planning. The final information for the environmental report has still not been submitted for Planning’s review. We do not know what the hold up is. There is still no truck off-street loading and unloading with driveways designed to direct the trucks for a return to Abbot Kinney.
This hotel project could have been good for Venice. Instead its design and use all of legal loopholes to circumvent the spirit and intent of the Venice Specific Plan was the order of the day. “Putting neighborhoods first” was not its mission as it pushed forward with determination to get max profit potential as it built to the “hotel model.”
A brilliant opportunity has been lost. Venice will pay a big price for this immense failure of vision if this project is built as presently designed.