Facts vs. Fiction

As a Venice resident or business owner, you may have read or heard about The Venice Place Project. There’s a lot of misinformation and flat out lies being spread, and we want to be sure you have all the facts. It should tell you something when a small group of opponents have to resort to these tactics in order to stoke fear about the project.

Fiction: The Venice community has opposed this project since it was proposed 8 years ago.

FACT:

The project has received tremendous support from the community from hundreds of residents, merchants, business groups, community organizations and city decision makers. It’s received more than 800 letters of support from the community and earned the approval of the Venice Neighborhood Council Planning & Land Use Committee (VNC LUPC), the Venice Neighborhood Council Board (VNC), the Venice Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles Business Council.

 

Fiction: The developer has not addressed community concerns.

FACT:

After extensive public outreach, plans were revised in response to community feedback. The project was reduced to a maximum of 30 feet in height to be consistent with the Venice Specific Plan. The project was further modified to design a collection of smaller buildings rather than a single, continuous structure. This resulted in pathways for pedestrian access between the buildings, and almost 40% of the ground floor of the site being publicly accessible or open space. The project design was also revised to increase setbacks, reduce the hotel room count, add an on-site loading zone, and add an additional car lift along with many other changes.

Many of the opposition emails and flyers, in fact, use a 7-year-old massing study that precedes all of the changes listed above and bears no resemblance to the project as currently proposed.

 

Fiction: The project is a mega development that will dwarf other buildings on the street.

FACT:

In designing the project, the team wanted to ensure that it would contribute positively to the surrounding area and would be appropriately scaled for the neighborhood. This proposed 30-foot height is consistent with the heights of existing buildings located along the Abbot Kinney commercial corridor and the residences on Electric.

The project will provide a mix of uses and will complement the character of the Venice neighborhood. It will include a boutique hotel, an expanded central outdoor courtyard for community use, onsite bicycle parking spaces, and new streetscape and landscape improvements including new street trees and a new sidewalk on Electric Avenue. It will also preserve existing architecture along Abbot Kinney Boulevard and existing restaurants and provide a new home for The Cook’s Garden.

In addition to new sidewalks, the project will minimize driveway curb cuts and place utilities underground along Electric, providing a better pedestrian experience for the community.

 

Fiction: The project will have significant adverse traffic impacts on surrounding streets.

FACT:

Experienced engineers studied potential traffic issues extensively in the City’s environmental impact report for the project. Unlike other uses such as offices, apartments or condos, hotel traffic is diffused throughout the day and not concentrated at peak rush hour. By providing a mix of other uses, the traffic is further spread out and creates no significant impact.

With regard to Electric Avenue, the parking system and valet area on Electric were designed to accommodate the project’s demand without cars backing up onto the street. For example, the size of the valet court was increased so vehicles can easily queue onsite and not on surrounding streets.

 

Fiction: The project will not provide adequate parking for its guests.

FACT:

The project will provide ample parking for its hotel guests, employees and visitors. It will include 184 spaces of underground parking for existing and new uses in accordance with all parking requirements of the Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan, Venice Coastal Land Use Plan and the City’s zoning code. All employees who drive will park for free.

 

Fiction: The project’s planning process has not been inclusive.

FACT:

Over an 8-year collaborative and iterative process, the plan has been reviewed and supported by the Venice Neighborhood Council Land Use and Planning Committee (VNC LUPC) and its Board, local residents and community leaders, the Venice Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles Business Council. This process included more than 25 community meetings and hearings, with significant design changes made in response to the community. The team also worked diligently with the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Unified School District to ensure safety and security concerns were addressed.

The project was presented in two public hearings by the City of Los Angeles Zoning Administrator, one in 2016 and the other in 2019, after a full environmental impact report thoroughly analyzed the project and its potential impacts and included community feedback. The Zoning Administrator approved the project, a decision that was upheld by the West Los Angeles Area Planning Commission. To date, the project has received a total of 6 approvals from city planners, and community and business groups.

 

For more project information, please contact us at theveniceplace@gmail.com

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