Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin (District 11):
Los Angeles Department of City Planning (DCP), Director and Zoning Administrator
West Area Planning Commission (WAPC)
Venice Land Use and Planning Committee Members (LUPC):
Venice Neighborhood Council Board Members (VNC):
Application by Carl Lambert, of Venice Suites, LLC as Owner of 417 Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291 for a Zoning Variance for Change of Use from an existing 31-unit rent stabilized apartment building to transient occupancy use (City Planning Case: ZA-2015-0629 CDP (ZV) (ZAA) (SPP) (MEL)
We, the undersigned residents, displaced residents and supporters of the Venice community STRONGLY OPPOSE the request for after-the-fact approval to convert 417 Ocean Front Walk (Venice Suites), a 32-unit Rent Stabilized (RSO) apartment building, into a hotel.
We implore you to deny approval of this request for a Zoning Variance for Change of Use from an existing 31-unit rent stabilized apartment building to transient occupancy use (City Planning Case: ZA-2015-0629 CDP (ZV) (ZAA) (SPP) (MEL) because the LUPC and VNC is tasked with protecting the unique and diverse character of our coastal community, which is being deluged by a tsunami of unpermitted conversions of rental housing to short-term rentals and de facto hotels.
We need to Preserve and Protect our Neighborhoods and our Homes
Venice is recognized as a Special Coastal Community, pursuant to Chapter 3 of the California Coastal Act — it is a stable, economically and ethnically diverse neighborhood with a hundred-year history of social diversity that is unmatched in the California Coastal Zone.
The existing rent stabilized housing supply is our reservoir of diversity. It is being critically impacted by illegal conversion to hotels and other short-term rentals, which some property owners use as an under-the-table shortcut to rent deregulation and quick profits. This has contributed to a larger speculative boom and has further diminished our housing stock.
Our neighbors, friends and families are being replaced by lockboxes, cleaning crews, loud parties and a constant revolving door of strangers in our residential neighborhoods. Long-term tenants face harassment and loss of their homes, and receive offers to move out quickly for cash or face eviction. This phenomenon is destroying the very unique and special character of Venice that makes us a popular destination in the first place.
Approving this project would set a significantly injurious precedent that would lead to Venice being further transformed into a neighborhood without neighbors –a virtual city of strangers. The very character of our community, that is to be preserved and protected under the Coastal Act, would be wiped out of existence by the cumulative impact of illegal conversions to hotels of rent-stabilized apartment buildings that should be our homes. The owner of 417 Ocean Front Walk has done one unpermitted conversion after another. It’s time to say NO MORE!
We respectfully ask for your “No” vote on this.