Edition 13
June 13, 2014

Simple Solutions to Complex Problems

venice_historical_shuttle_smDon Novack of Hal’s has an idea on how we can reduce traffic congestion on Abbot Kinney and its surrounding streets. Sitting with Don in The Gallery at Hal’s, he told ImagineVenice about his investigation into getting the Venice Historical Society Shuttle up and running again. He thinks it can happen. Don thought the Abbot Kinney Merchant’s Association might want to support a free shuttle. A free shuttle operating on Abbot Kinney may just be one fun and nifty ticket to solving at least one piece of our parking and congestion problems. We would like to see an Abbot Kinney shuttle operate nights and weekends.

To pull this off, we need a place where diners and shoppers can park and pick up the shuttle. The most obvious satellite lot is the huge parking lot at Westminster School. We need our council office to run interference for us with LAUSD and effect an arrangement attractive to both Westminster School, LAUSD, and the city with some fair split of parking revenue. This won’t be easy but we believe our council office can pull this off.

ImagineVenice asks our council office to open up a line of communication now with LAUSD and make this uncomplicated and cost free solution a reality. It’s not too often that the city is asked to make something important happen which won’t cost the city a dime and this is one of those times!

Sometimes there are simple solutions to complex problems.


Welcome to Our World

Does anyone not understand why so many of the original members of the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) and it’s important Land Use Committee (LUPC) were
either not re-elected or voted out? They were replaced with residents who are fed up with the attitude of business as usual. May 18th was a resoundingly loud and clear expression of the community’s discontent. The community wanted off its current path of exemptions, exceptions, and destruction that the prior VNC and LUPC were on. The massive no vote was a loud cry to take back our neighborhoods and put them into the caring hands of those who want to preserve Venice.

A skeleton now remains of 1353 Abbot Kinney. The first near-total destruction on Abbot Kinney of one of the street’s original brick buildings has been accomplished. A ghost of its former self remains. How sad for Venice.

Despite many people sounding loud alarm bells nothing stopped Mr.Shabani’s demo team. They turned one of our key brick buildings with its amazing leaded glass clerestory windows, original wood detailed facade and perfectly scaled shop windows into something common. Dear reader, if you would like to see what a thoughtful quality restoration looks like, take a look at the the work being done right now at 1103 Abbot Kinney, the Junk Food Clothing Co.

A LUPC member actually wrote Councilman Bonin’s office defending this massacre as merely a “repair” of the facade. Is there any wonder why Venice residents demanded
the VNC regime change?

We hope that the Venice Historical Society will strongly focus on protecting the rest of Abbot Kinney’s historic brick buildings now that one of the first brick buildings on the street has been destroyed. Who better to protect the heritage of our community than the Venice Historical Society?

As we move forward, optimism has replaced a sense of doom. We now hope that a project which damages our community and contradicts our Venice Specific Plan’s intent, will not be approved by the VNC or the city. Venice residents expect all future project approvals to be based strictly on what our local land use plan intended for our community. It won’t be easy to reverse course with Planning or with VNC’s criteria for approving projects. The broad interpretation of our Venice Specific Plan used by city Planning and our VNC must cease.

The people have spoken. Now it’s time for VNC and city planning to listen.