VNC Administrative Committee Meeting Agenda

11/10/2008 - 7:00pm
11/10/2008 - 9:30pm

Administrative Committee Meeting Agenda
Extra Space Storage, Presidents Row Room
658 South Venice Blvd, Venice, 90291
Monday, November 11, 2008 at 7:00 PM

Note: The Administrative Committee does not address or consider the merits of proposed agenda items. Its function is to determine whether a proposed agenda item will be placed on the next Board meeting agenda, postponed, referred to a specific committee for review and recommendation, treated as an announcement, or considered and resolved as a non-Board administrative matter.

1. Call to Order and Roll Call

2. Approval of the AdCom Agenda

3. Approval of any outstanding Administrative Committee minutes submitted by the Secretary

September 8, 2008 Administrative Committee Meeting Minutes
(see http://venicenc.org/files/081013VNCAdComMinutes.doc)

4. Announcements & Public Comment on items not on the Agenda (15 min, no more than 2 minutes per person)

5. Old AdCom Business

A DeDe Audet (310-821-4417; dd1audet@verizon.net): As ex-president who often represents VNC at extra-VNC groups, I request guidance on (a) reporting from these groups, (b) representing position of VNC and position of other VCs as in West L.A. group to oversight committees. I am currently taking the position that extra VNC groups serve as clearinghouses for VNC.
[Committing VNC not authorized; can submit Committee Report; JDM to prepare proposed standing rule]

B Stewart Oscars (310-305-8248; stewart.oscars@gmail.com): Request ad com to look at board member attendance at board meetings and see if all board members are fulfilling their attendance requirements. if they are not let us consider replacing them. backstory: with all the interest in becoming board members it behooves us to elect members who will participate in our meetings. request joe murphy to bring attendance records to ad com meeting.
[JDM to prepare attendance report]

6. New AdCom Business

A Form of ballot to vote on Board Vacancies: to fill 2 vacant Community Officer positions on the Board.

B Form of ballot to vote LUPC Vacancies: to fill 2 vacant positions on LUPC.

C Ira Kowslow: Candidates appearance before VNC?

D Ivan Spiegel: request for 10 minute “recruiting recess” to occur immediately following the Board elections.

E Ivan Spiegel: Bylaws changes to be made prior to June 2009 to bring VNC Bylaws into compliance with new City voting schedule and City Clerk default values.

F Consideration of DRAFT November 18, 2008 Board Agenda (see below)

7. Announcements & Public Comment on items not on the Agenda (15 min, no more than 2 minutes per person)

8. Adjourn

Draft – Board of Officers Meeting Agenda
Westminster Elementary School (Auditorium)
1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, 90291
Tuesday, November 18, 2008 at 7:00 PM

1. Call to Order and Roll Call

2. Approval of the Agenda

3. Approval of any outstanding minutes submitted by the Secretary

October 21, 2008 Board Meeting Minutes
(see http://venicenc.org/files/081021VNCBoardMinutes.doc)

Committee Reports are provided in written form when available

4. Scheduled Announcements (no more than 1 minute per report unless otherwise stated)

A DONE, LAPD, and other Governmental Reports

B James Murez (310-399-6690; murez@venice.net) & Jed Pauker (310-839-9209; jed@jed.net): Presentation of a case tracking system for LUPC (15 min) – See Exhibit A [Postponed to November 18 Board Meeting]

C Linda Lucks (vp@venicenc.org) regarding need to take required Conflict of Interest Training: You may take the required Conflict of Interest Training from the comfort and privacy of your own home! Sit back and listen to the melodious voice of Sec. of State Debra Bowen as you re-fresh your memory about the rules that govern us as NC leaders. Since the City Council is seriously considering putting teeth into this mandate and may also require us to file an annual personal financial disclosure form, I urge those who have not yet complied to do this soon. It makes us look credible to the City and it does help. You can take the training in small bites, or do it at one 2 hour sitting. It is well worth the effort. http://ethics.lacity.org/education/ethics2007/?audience=done

D Marcia Hanscom of Celebrate Ballona (310- 823-7040; wetlandact@earthlink.net) (5 min)

E Isaias Cantu (213-473-6804; isaias.cantu@lacity.org) of Neighborhood Council Election Unit:

The City Clerk – Election Division is making preparations for the 2010 NC Elections. In this respect, we wanted to make sure that we meet with NC Leaders and invite them to participate in the NC Election Development Group.

As we prepare for the elections, we want to ensure that NC Leaders are kept abreast of critical information and their feedback incorporated as we move forward. As such, we are contacting you as a leader of a Neighborhood Council Coalition group to request an opportunity to visit your next meeting and address your membership. Some of the key items that we would be covering would be:

- General Election Process – Regional – NC Election Preparation (Bylaw Adjustments) – Participation in the NC Election Development Group – Approximate Election Timeline and Benchmarks (Candidate Filing, Vote-By-Mail)

We would appreciate an opportunity to get to provide this information to your coalition membership at your next meeting. More importantly, we would like the opportunity to personally invite your coalition membership to participate in the NC Election Development Group.

Please contact me to discuss the possibility of attending your next meeting.

Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you!
Isaias Cantu, Sr. Project Coordinator, Neighborhood Council Election Unit. Service Center Manager
City of Los Angeles, Office of the City Clerk, Election Division

F Mohammad Blorfroshan (310- 823-7040; mo.blorfroshan@lacity.org) of Department of Transportation/Western District Office: Would like to discuss and answer questions in regards to the Department of Transportation’s proposal to install a “Scramble Crosswalk” Operation at the intersection of Pacific Avenue and Windward Avenue in Venice.

5. Announcements & Public Comment on items not on the Agenda (15 min, no more than 2 minutes per person) no board announcements

6. Old Business

A From Board Members

I Joe Murphy (310-895-0344; joedmurphyvnc@ca.rr.com): Motion to substitute this for Item 6BI below:

POLICY STATEMENT REGARDING PROJECTS REQUESTING SIGNIFICANT VCZSP VARIANCES
To be presented at neighborhood meetings before consideration by LUPC

1. The Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan (VCZSP) sets out guidelines for new development in Venice.
2. Projects requesting significant variances to the VCZSP are subject to additional VCZSP provisions – including but not limited to provisions relating to character and scale – which do not apply to projects that do not request such variances.
3. It is recommended that projects requesting significant variances to the VCZSP be designed in such a way that they address the above additional provisions for presentation and discussion at Neighborhood Meetings and at the LUPC meeting at which the project is to be considered. [Postponed to 11/18 Board Meeting]

B From LUPC

I Challis Macpherson (Chair-LUPC@VeniceNC.org) on behalf of LUPC: I, Challis Macpherson as Chair of the Land Use and Planning Committee, request that the VNC Board of Officers approve the LUPC policy statement on massing, scale and mansionization as approved by a vote of 6-2-0 August 27, 2008 at a regular LUPC meeting. This policy statement will be included in LUPC’s Neighborhood Notification Policy which is sent each applicant for a significant variance to the VCZSP. [Postponed to 11/18 Board Meeting]

LUPC POLICY STATEMENT ON MASSING,
SCALE, AND MANSIONIZATION

To be read or otherwise presented at each neighborhood meeting arranged to present a project to that neighborhood before it goes before LUPC to be heard

1. Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan (VCZSP) sets out the guidelines for new development in Venice.

2. VCZSP notwithstanding, the LUPC expects that new development projects shall attempt to accommodate neighborhood concerns regarding, in particular, massing and scale.

3. New construction projects should be designed so that they do not completely fill the buildable envelope, but are rather articulated and designed in such a way that they address the scale and massing of the immediate neighborhood for which they are proposed.

4. LUPC believes that in order to address neighborhood concerns on density and scale, compromises between the maximums permitted under the VCZSP and the legitimate desires of neighbors and neighborhoods should be sought regarding height, light, air and space. This issue should be addressed in the Neighborhood Meeting suggested by LUPC and convened by the project applicant.

5. PARTIES MAY consult not only the relevant sections and provisions of the VCZSP, but also the plans drafted by each individual neighborhood, which can be found on the LUPC web site, www.VeniceNC.org or on www.Veniceunchained.com. (The “draft specific plans”).

These plans were created in a public process organized by the city in 1988 and address scale and massing for specific Venice neighborhoods. These documents were not incorporated into the VCZSP when it was compiled by the LA City planning department.

The Draft Specific Plans arguably represent the formally presented ‘intent’ of the Venice neighborhoods and should be consulted by both the applicants and their neighbors prior to the LUPC mandated neighborhood meeting for each new project.

6. This policy statement is issued by the Land Use and Planning Committee of the Venice Neighborhood Council only, and is not binding. Compliance with it does not guarantee a particular outcome of any kind, nor does it obviate an applicants need to comply with any other notices, policies, rules, laws or otherwise as required by city, county, state, federal government or other applicable laws or regulations.

7. Treasurers Report accept report as presented

8. New Business

A Mike Newhouse (president@venicenc.org):

I Selection of Community Officer: to fill the vacant Community Officer position on the Administrative Committee. Per Bylaws ARTICLE VII A, this position is to be filled by a Community Officer elected by the Community Officers.

II Vote on Board Vacancies: to fill 2 vacant Community Officer positions on the Board.

III Vote on LUPC Vacancies: to fill 2 vacant positions on LUPC.

IV Approve Special Board Retreat Meeting12/7/08 from 11 am to 3pm.– See Exhibit B for draft agenda

II Aldis Browne (310-487-2533; aldis.browne@venicenc.org): Certificate of Appreciation honoring the Other Venice Film Festival was approved by the Board of Officers at the October meeting. A presentation of this Certificate at the opening of the November meeting would be appropriate.

B From Board Members

Ia Linda Lucks (310-745-3240/310-450-2554; Lindalucks@aol.com): Motion to send a letter :

Letter To: Councilman Bill Rosendahl cc: Members of the Los Angeles City Council; The Board of Neighborhood Commissioners FR: Venice Neighborhood Council

The VNC supports the City Ethics Commission’s view that the twin goals of transparency and enhanced citizen participation for neighborhood councils need to be balanced.

Should the Council decide to adopt some form of annual filing requirement, we prefer a non-intrusive form, which may include a signed statement that the board member has taken the already mandated City Ethics Training, understands the laws governing conflict of interest, signed a Code of Civility, and one which may include a pledge not to accept gifts totaling $390 or more per year from a single source with business before the filer’s neighborhood council.

We understand the need for Neighborhood Council board members to fully understand rules that govern City government, such as Ethics, Conflict of Interest, The Brown Act and Code of Conduct. As the VNC Neighborhood Council continues to gain in influence, we pledge to hold ourselves accountable to each other and to our stakeholders.

To that end, we are adopting a Code of Civility, agree to self regulate our board members compliance with required Ethics Training and have determined to publicly ask our members to state for the record that they have no conflict of interest before any vote on awarding City funds or on land use issues.

Within 45 days of being elected and on an annual basis thereafter, the VNC pledges that our entire board of officers will certify completion of the City Ethics Training. Failure to do so will result in a mandatory recusal on any discussion and/or voting of any issue that comes before the council relating to land use ore expenditure of Neighborhood Council Funds.

We do not agree that the City Council needs to adopt stricter regulations at this time but urge you to encourage all NC’s to comply with already existing mandates in the plan.

However, we support the adoption of a 2 year pilot program for filing of Neighborhood Council Files and to require an limited alternative financial disclosure tool for those Neighborhood Council filing, but one that reflects their advisory role

Ib City Ethics Committee Recommendation – NC Financial Disclosure (see Exhibit A): The City Ethics Committee statement is as follows: [Postponed to November 18 Board Mtg]

On September 5th, the City Ethics Commission directed its staff to communicate its strong support for NCF-based disclosure made through Form 52. However, citing its understanding that the City Council might prefer a universal annual disclosure requirement, the Commission urged the Council to use Form 53, rather than Form 700, for that purpose.

On September 9th, the Education and Neighborhoods Committee considered both Form 52 and Form 53. After receiving input from the Ethics Commission, the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, and neighborhood council activists, the committee voted to recommend that the NCF pilot project move forward without any financial disclosure requirement. The full City Council is expected to make a final decision in the coming weeks.

There are 4 options listed below for Board consideration

1. Challis Macpherson (Chair-LUPC@VeniceNC.org): Request that VNC Board of Officers send a letter to City of Los Angeles Ethics Committee Members and City Council E&N Committee Members (listed below) stating that the Venice Neighborhood Council adamantly rejects any neighborhood council participation, endorsing or use of City Council revised form 52 (en lieu of Form 700) which proposes that any neighborhood council board member must:

a. Within 30 days of taking office, fill out Form 52 listing all property owned by board officers, their spouses or domestic partners with a value of more than $2,000.00.
b. Within 30 days of taking office, fill out Form 52 listing board members, their spouses or domestic partners employers.
c. Within 30 days of taking office, fill out Form 52 listing all property owned by board members, their spouses or domestic partners in or within 1000 feet of Los Angeles (excluding personal residences) with a value of more than $2,000.00.
d. Within 30 days of taking office, fill out Form 52 listing businesses in Los Angeles of which board members, their spouses or domestic partners own more than 10% or more if valued at more than $2,000.00.

The Ethics Commissions resolution, based on the request of the F&N Committee is not limited to a two-year trial period but is a permanent action.

Ethics Committee members E&N Committee Members
Helen E. Zukin – President Paul H. Turner Richard Alarcon – Chair
Sean Treglia – Vice President Nedra Jenkins Dennis Zine
Michael Camunez Janice Hahn

2. Linda Lucks (310-745-3240/310-450-2554; Lindalucks@aol.com): Request that VNC support the City Ethics Commission which in it’s report recommending that the twin goals of transparency and enhanced citizen participation for neighborhood councils would be most appropriately balanced by a periodic personal financial disclosure requirement. The VNC agrees that form 700 forms are not appropriate due to the fact that our roles are advisory. However, we agree that NC board members should be subject to an alternative, annual reporting tool which asks for disclosure regarding key financial interests, such as employers, real estate interests, and business interests and other financial issues that could affect our particular council. In addition, each NC board member should be required to take the mandated ethics training within a set period of time for their votes to be valid.

3. Linda Lucks (310-745-3240/310-450-2554; Lindalucks@aol.com): Request VNC to adopt a rule where VNC board and committee members state for the record at public meetings or provide a statement in writing that they have a potential conflict of interest if they have received money or a gift from an interested party involved in a project or recommendation they are planning to discuss or on which they plan to vote. President could ask before each vote on development, policy.

4. Linda Lucks (310-745-3240/310-450-2554; Lindalucks@aol.com) on behalf of BONC: Request VNC to take a position on proposed options on Neighborhood Council financial disclosure filing requirements and to send a letter to the City Council stating their position, if any. The City Ethics Commission has recommended various options which will be taken up by the City Council in late October or November. BONC is asking for NC’s to take positions and/or individual members to speak up. Options: 1)Required filing of modified (form 52 or 53) annual personal financial disclosure forms for all NC members in order to serve; 2) filing of modified form for NC’s opening Neighborhood Council files only; 3) Filing of form 700 forms for all NC’s (unlikely); 4) other: required Ethics training in order to serve (already mandated, but not enforced); See links for background and language of proposed forms: http://ethics.lacity.org/newsletter/issues/2008-2/6-NeighborhoodCouncils… 1. ) See links for full City Ethics Commissions(CEC) Report and proposed language http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2008/08-0351 rpt eth 2-19-08.pdf – Report from CEC dated 02/19/08 regarding financial disclosure and Form 700.
http://ethics.lacity.org/pdf/policy/NCFinDisc/Transmittal (Forms 52 & 53) Sep08.pdf – Report from CEC 08/11/08 Supporting Form 52.

II Linda Lucks (310-745-3240/310-450-2554; Lindalucks@aol.com): Motion to send a letter of support to The Board of Public Works before the 11/21/08 Hearing, in support of the Appeal on the City’s decision to place Automated Public Toilets at various locations on Venice Beach. The Venice community wished to join Councilman Rosendahl as a partner to identify acceptable and appropriate locations, if any, and to negotiate an agreement to share the revenue collected in Venice for community improvement projects in Venice.

Board of Public Works
. 9:30 a.m. – Edward R. Roybal BPW Session Room
Room 350 City Hall
200 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, California 90012
Members: Cynthia M. Ruiz, President
Julie B. Gutman, Vice President
Paula A. Daniels
Ernesto Cardenas
Valerie Lynne Shaw
(James A. Gibson, Executive Officer 213-978-0261)

III Linda Lucks (310-745-3240/310-450-2554; Lindalucks@aol.com): Consider the motion: that the board adopt the language of the City approved Code of Civility(Conduct), to be read by the presiding officer at the start of every board meeting:

VNC SCRIPT

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the meeting of the _____ of. Today is ___________, 200. My name is_____ and I am_______.

Our board is an elected representative body representing the Venice community.

Please sign up at the table located___ if you wish to become more involved with the Venice Neighborhood Council and if you wish to be added to our mailing list.

During the meeting tonight we will discuss the items listed on the meeting agenda in numerical order, unless I receive a request from a board member to take an item on the agenda out of order. We will then proceed with the remaining items on the agenda.

Copies are available for you on the table located _____________.

Should any board member have a conflict of interest at the time the agenda item is announced for discussion, the board member should identify the general nature of the conflict, indicate that he or she is recusing him or herself from participating in the matter, and leave the room during the duration of the discussion of the item.

Before we make a decision on any item, the public is provided with the opportunity to provide its comment on the item that we are considering. If you have a general comment on an item that is not listed on the agenda, then you may provide us with your comment during the “Public Comments” portion of the meeting. Please understand that there are certain laws that apply that limit the actions that we may take during tonight’s meeting, thus, we may be legally prohibited from acting on a concern that you expressed. However, please note that your concern may become the topic of discussion at a future meeting before our board after we have had the chance to list the item on the agenda.

Please fill out a speaker card so that you may be heard on any agenda item. You will be called by me when it is your turn to speak. Please be sure to place the # of the item you wish to speak about on the card.

Copies of the speaker Cards are located on the table______________. Please hand cards to______ who is seated _____________of this table.

When a person is speaking, they are entitled to courtesy and respect. Please refrain from any other discussion in the room. If you wish to chat, then please take that discussion outside while our meeting is in session. We treat one another with respect. That means we act with Civility and decorum. We do not “boo” or hiss when disagreeing with someone’s point of view. Completing viewpoints may be articulated without the need for inappropriate or uncivil actions.

Last but not least, please turn off your cell phones and pagers. Thank you.

IV Linda Lucks (310-745-3240/310-450-2554; Lindalucks@aol.com): Consider a motion for the VNC Board to adopt the following Code of Civility:
Venice Neighborhood Council Code of Civility
Collectively and individually, the members of the Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) agree to abide by a Code of Civility to ensure that VNC business is conducted in a respectful and courteous manner, and in a way that will generate respect and credibility for the VNC .

The freedom to express one’s views about public matters is cornerstone of the democratic process. The VNC welcomes the diverse views and opinions of Neighborhood Council board members and stakeholders as they relate to the issues before us. In order for these discussions to be meaningful and effective, we must treat others with respect and dignity.

By adoption of this motion, and by affixing our signatures to this document, we collectively and individually agree to abide by our Code of Civility to the best of our abilities.

1. I will conduct myself in a professional and civil manner at all times as a representative of the VNC.

2. I will treat each member of the VNC and members of the public with respect at all times, regardless of an individual’s opinion, ethnicity, race, sexuality, age, disability, or religion.

3. Even in the face of disagreement, or differences of opinion, I will demonstrate esteem and deference for my colleagues and the public.

4. Under no circumstances during VNC meetings, functions, or events will I engage in or threaten to engage in any verbal or physical attack on any other individual.

5. I will commit to communicate my ideas and points of view clearly, and allow others to do the same without interruption.

6. I will not use language that is abusive, threatening, obscene, or slanderous, including using profanities, insults, or other disparaging remarks or gestures.

7. Derogatory language about an individual’s ethnicity, race, sexuality, age, disability, or religion is not acceptable.

8. I will take responsibility for my own actions, and will work to fulfill my role and responsibilities as specified in the bylaws.

9. I will commit to learn the applicable laws that govern the VNC, the Brown Act, ethics rules, and other applicable laws and will not knowingly violate any of the above.

10. I will do my utmost to create a safe and effective environment for conducting business.

11. I will promote and enforce a safe meeting environment at all times. At moments when members of the public become disruptive and violate the rules of civility that we have pledge to follow, I will join my fellow board members in demanding that the persons conduct themselves in a respectful and orderly manner even if I agree with the point of view that is being expressed.

12. I will seek to present information truthfully, and will not knowingly misrepresent, mischaracterize, or misquote information received from others.

13. I pledge to truly listen to and hear other points of view.

14. I will practice the art of being able to disagree without being disagreeable.

15. If I find myself representing my personal interests before my community’s interests, I will publicly disclose the differences and recuse myself from voting on such matters.

16. I will commit to good faith efforts to resolve any grievances that come before the VMC as specified in the Plan or city ordinance.

17. I owe it to my fellow VNC members, the public, and the decision-makers who we are trying to influence to make the best possible effort to understand the issues before me. I will “do my homework”.

Signed:
Name________________________ Date _______________________________

I Challis Macpherson (Chair-LUPC@VeniceNC.org): move to utilize posting VNC agendas, board and all committees, on City of LA’s early notification listing. Motion regarding this made February, 2008:

EDUCATION & NEIGHBORHOODS
FEB 2 0 2008
MOTION
In August of2003 the Deparment of Neighborhood Empowerment was requested to report to the Education and Neighborhoods Committee with a report on whether the posting of Neighborhood Council agendas on the City’s Early Notification System website should remain optional or become mandatory (CF#03-1477).

At the time, ITA had not yet provided a way for this to happen. DONE responded with a report to the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners on January 29, 2004 in which they suggested allowing neighborhood councils that post their agendas online to reduce by one the number of posting locations where they have to place a hard copy of their agendas.

The Ralph M. Brown Act only requires that agendas be posted at one location, which is what many government agencies chose to do. Neighborhood Councils are required as par of the certification process to post in five locations currently, with the thinking being
that more people will be aware of their meetings if several posting sites are used.

The Commission ultimately chose then not to adopt this proposal and DONE did not push the issue. Now that four years have passed and the members have all changed, BONC should reconsider this idea. In any case, the Council can choose to make this small edit to each Neighborhood Council’s bylaws through an amendment to the “Plan.”

In this day and age of technology, where most people own a computer and many use other hand-held communication devices, it is a missed opportunity that just a fraction of the 89 Neighborhood Councils are taking advantage of the City’s posting service. Many

Neighborhood Councils still do not have a web page, which further limits information. The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment’s Project Advocates should assist Neighborhood Council boards set up web sites, which can be done easily at no cost, and train them and any staff they may have to post agendas to the Early Notification System. This will lower the bar for participation by stakeholders in their meetings.

I THEREFORE MOVE that the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment be requested to report to Council on the idea of reducing the number of posting locations a Neighborhood Council has to place agendas at in exchange for making their agendas available to the public through the City’s Early Notification System.

PRESENTED BY: /s/ Janice Hahn, Councilwoman, 15th District
FEB 20 2008
SECONDED BY: ??

08-0410
Old Council File 03-1477

C From LUPC

I Challis Macpherson (Chair-LUPC@VeniceNC.org) on behalf of LUPC: Moves that the VNC Board of Officers accept LUPC staff report regarding 248 Westminster Avenue, and LUPC recommendation, made seconded and passed 5-0-2, that VNC Board of Officers recommend approve this project as presented with conditions. Conditions to be submitted to Administration Committee November 10, 2008.

II Challis Macpherson (Chair-LUPC@VeniceNC.org) on behalf of LUPC: Moves that the VNC Board of Officers accept the Land Use and Planning Committee’s Staff Report, and that the Board of the VNC approve this project as conditioned that the applicant demonstrate compliance with parking requirements for the proposed project. This relates to 1711-1719 Lincoln Bl. Neighbors are concerned that the project not add to the local parking problem. One neighbor is concerned about the increased intensity of use.

III Challis Macpherson (Chair-LUPC@VeniceNC.org) on behalf of LUPC: Moves that the VNC Board of Officers accept the LUPC staff report on this project; and approve the project as presented with the condition that at the end of the project the roof reverts to a state conforming to the Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan. Vote 4-0-1. See Exhibit E. [Postponed to November 18 Board Mtg]

This is an innovative rooftop concept incorporating solar panels, hydroponic/greenhouse garden to feed a family of four, a cistern for water run-off, a variety of native plants and trees, and water areas for migrating birds and insects, areas to enjoy the greenroof, entertainment areas and, of course, art and design.

Website and blog: http://leilalevi.com/greenroof/. Architect’s rendering and elevations emailed to LUPC.

This building is 30’high and is under dual jurisdiction, City and Coastal, and can be 35’ high with a varied roofline, which can go 40’ high, with a set back of 5’. The solar shield and panels qualify as “varied” roofline. Note that the zoning is Neighborhood Commercial.

Building & Safety conditioned a 5’6” railing around the perimeter of the roof. Solar shield and panels would be 8’ high.

Applicant is requesting that LUPC recommend that the VNC Board of Officers send a letter of support for this concept to Councilman Rosendahl, City of Los Angeles Planning Dept. and Building and Safety. Draft of letter included.

Case Number: TBA
Address of Project: 18 East North Venice Blvd
Size of Parcel: Calculated 4,982.1 square feet
Size of Project: Roof Top of Condominium Building, built in 1983, with an approximate square footage of 3,450 square feet (50’X69’)
Venice Subarea: North Venice subarea; bounded by LA City line on the North, Washington Blvd on the South, Ocean Front Walk on the West and Hampton Drive on the East, in accordance with Exhibit 3a and 3b maps included with Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan.
Zone: [T]{Q}C1.5-1-O-CA
General Plan Use: Neighborhood Commercial
VCZSP Height: Pager 17, Section F, 3, a:
Permit Application Date: TBA
Date of Planning Report: TBA
Date of End of Appeal Period: TBA
Planning Report Prepared by: TBA
Applicant: Leila Levy
Address: 18 East North Venice Blvd.

D From Neighborhood Committee

I Ivan Spiegel (310-821-9556; ivan13147@verizon.net) on behalf of the Neighborhood Committee regarding Community Improvement Projects: The following request was approved unanimously by the Neighborhood Committee and will be incorporated into the appropriate standing rule if approved by the Board.

Request that the Board approve the following changes to the Neighborhood Committee’s 2009-2010 Community Improvement Project funding cycle:

1- Projects will be funded up to $2000 maximum (changed from $5000). Previously funded applicants will be required to match VNC funds with additional funds on at least a one-to-one basis.

2- More emphasis be placed on community involvement in projects (as opposed to just getting signatures of support).

E From Arts Committee

I Aldis Browne (310-487-2533; aldis.browne@venicenc.org) & Christopher Shaw (323-632-4894; cshawbytheseasha@sbcglobal.net) in conjunction with Tania Getty (tsparkly@aol.com) & Pacific Resident Theatre, Venice Library, & Youth Theatre Program: Request that the Venice Neighborhood Council approve funding from the Board’s Discretionary Funds for the proposed SECOND Young Adults Theatre FALL Program as presented in proposal, in an amount not to exceed $2190.00, pursuant to the proposed Budget submitted herewith. Request reaffirmed and passed unanimously. [Postponed to November 18 Board Mtg]

PROPOSAL: Continuation of Youth Theatre Program, Venice Community Improvement Project Fall 2008

Based on the success of the initial Youth Theatre Project (see original VNC approved proposal attached) in conjunction with VNC, Venice Library and Pacific Resident Theatre, we would like to request funding for a similar fall program.

The Theatre Program is expected to directly benefit approximately 25-40 members of the Venice youth community including members of the Venice Library Young Adult Program, as well as an additional 60-100 (approx.) of the students’ friends, families, and the general public when the Theatre Program culminates in a FREE public showcase performance at the end of the fall program.

A) Objective

Cutbacks in the Arts Curriculum have left a gap in arts education for many students. Our goal is to bridge that gap within the Venice youth community. In addition to learning acting and theatre skills, some of the benefits are increased self-confidence, increased public and social skills, group dynamic skills, and public speaking skills.

By working in conjunction with professional actors that are involved in the Venice and Los Angeles performing arts institutions and community, this is also an opportunity to develop the “new audience” for performing arts within the Venice community and the Los Angeles community at large.

Communication and collaboration is the fulcrum of theatre arts. Students will build communication and performance skills in a fun, collaborative environment by exploring Imagination, Voice, Body Movement, Focus, Concentration, and being part of an Ensemble. Teaching artists will cultivate the Ensemble spirit of collaboration and participation as well as honing the individual skills and talents of each student.

The idea of community outreach is especially important in this partnership, which would provide free instruction to young people that may not otherwise have this opportunity. We particularly want to target a diverse group of kids who are under-served in the arts.

Ultimately, we are interested in developing this new program into a potentially ongoing partnership between the VNC, Venice Library and Pacific Resident Theatre.

B) Content

As in our first program, the curriculum will involve Theatre Games, Structured Improvisation, Neutral Scenes (Etudes), and Scene Work from published scripts and adapted literature. The program will culminate with an “invited master class” presentation at Pacific Resident Theatre that involves the students participating in class work in front of an invited audience as well as presenting scenes that are “works in progress” from their time in class.

***Recruitment: The main thing we learned after the initial summer session was that recruitment is absolutely essential to the success of the program. We are aiming to host a larger number of participating students from diverse backgrounds. Therefore, recruitment and preparation efforts before the program begins must be a high priority. We are hoping to remedy these challenges with the following approach:

• Allow at least 3 weeks before beginning of classes for recruiting students. If the project and its budget are approved, it is crucial that Venice Library, PRT and the individual teaching artists combine their efforts and resources to expand the initial roster of students.
• Marketing efforts would include contacting and communicating with drama teachers and principals from local schools, thereby creating yet another partnership for the betterment of arts education.
• This 3 or 4-week time span would also allow time for potential “free advertising” through feature articles in city and local papers, as well as flyer distribution at key attraction points.

C) 8-Week Class Structure

1) Two groups: Ages 8-12 and ages 13-17 in two separate classes, each meeting once per week for 8 weeks with 1 teaching artists per class. **(Would ideally like 2 teachers per class but not until we find matching funds)
2) One group ages 8-17, 2 teaching artists together.

D) Teaching Artist Salaries

The average rate for teaching artists in Los Angeles Theatre Arts and Acting programs is $67.50 per hour: $45 per hour of class time, plus 50% of the hourly rate ($22.50) as compensation for outside class preparation. This is true of all similar programs, whether privately-endowed or city, grant or university-funded. Given that this is a new program, we have structured our stipends at $45 per teaching hour. All additional lesson planning, administrative work and recruitment efforts are included within this stipend.

BUDGET

As with the summer program, PRT will submit receipts and invoices for the total expenses.
Invoices for teachers will be submitted at week 4 and 8 if approved.

Note: our requested and approved funding from summer program $3,200
and the final lower figure of actual invoice/receipt submission to VNC $ 1,822

NOTE: Increase of figures is based on the projected attendance increase and an 8-week program as opposed to the 4-week summer program.

Class / Program Administrative work: FREE
Recruiting students: FREE
PRT/VNC Liaison and Producer: FREE
Lights for presentation: FREE
PRT Theatre space for presentation: FREE
2 Teaching Artist Stipends: $1440
Script, Published material: $100
Class material Photocopying: $100
Recruitment flyer Photocopying: $100
Dry Cleaning: $50
Props: $50
Program/Poster (presentation): $100
Light Technician (presentation): $100
Refreshments (presentation): $150
TOTAL: (Not to exceed)………………… $2190

II Aldis Browne (310-487-2533; aldis.browne@venicenc.org): The Department of Cultural Affairs has agreed that the Venice Neighborhood Council may submit in writing a proposal to be considered as the City addresses a “Cultural Master Plan” this month. The Arts Committee requests that the Board of Officers submit the following letter:

The Board of Officers of the Venice Neighborhood Council requests that Los Angeles support the development and integration of Venice as an ongoing “Brand” unique to the City as part of the pending Department of Cultural Affairs Master Plan.

MISSION: The name “Venice” already conveys a seductively unique image of a world-famous arts center. By establishing an “Arts Gateway” to Venice on Venice Boulevard, from Lincoln Boulevard west to the Beach, including Abbot Kinney Boulevard north to Main Street, our mission is to further cultivate this identity. By working more closely with the City of Los Angeles to develop an immediately identifiable Venice “Brand”, Venice will greatly increase its local tourist, and visitor participation and awareness of Venice’s remarkably vital and diverse schedule of cultural and environmental events occurring throughout the year. Not only could this “branding- benefit Venice and Los Angeles by increasing public awareness and City revenues, this could well serve education with a focus directed toward attracting both adults and students.

VISION: To further increase Venice awareness and revenues, we propose to work with the City to build upon Venice’s cultural diversity and environmental consciousness (witness Venice’s highly successful annual Eco-Fests) in order to establish throughout all Southern California annual Venice – Los Angeles generated “Venice – Southern California Arts, Performance, and Education” cultural arts festivals. This will be loosely modeled on Art Basel Miami, however with greater emphasis on the inherent benefit of relating arts exposure to education which will be an integral element (Art Basel Miami presently attracts over 40,000 visitors.)

OBJECTIVE: To further an “Arts Economy” within Venice in order to substantially benefit all of greater Los Angeles. Arts economies have substantially impacted areas throughout the United States. Among other benefits, they serve to increase tourism, create jobs, and help to reverse urban blight. Numerous studies are available on the benefits of arts economies throughout the United States.

GOAL: To enable Venice to house diversified arts facilities. Permanent facilities with sufficient flexibility to house an art museum, heritage museum, civic auditorium, repertory theater, music center, resident dance company, and, of course provide the necessary infrastructure, such as adequate parking, to accommodate them would create a thriving arts community that will significantly financially benefit all of Los Angeles.

FUNDING: A Special Assessment District municipal bond offering overlaying Venice and adjacent areas: Such bonds do not require a general vote, only the approval of real estate owners within such a district. Annual “Venice – Southern California Arts Performance and Education” cultural weeks, while drawing support from major sponsors, could generate substantial revenues for the City, for example by incorporating a Pan-Pacific exhibition at the L A Convention Center. (Though many arts festivals in the U.S. address Europe and Latin America, Los Angeles is in a unique position to focus on the thriving arts interest in Asia, Australia and the Western U.S.).

9. Announcements & Public Comment on items not on the Agenda (15 min, no more than 2 minutes per person)

10. Adjourn (approx 10:00PM)

Exhibit A – Neighborhood Council – Case Tracking System
Pilot Overview V1.0, September 6, 2008 (Murez)

The Land Use and Planning Committee (LUPC) has matured over the past several years. It has evolved from one meeting every couple of months with only one or two projects on the agenda to now responding to a Memorandum of Understanding with the City to submit a written determination report on every permit issued within the VNC geographic region. The committee has become more educated about the planning process and is now working towards a 2010 target of revising the Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan.
Along with these growing responsibilities, the workload of the committee has increased from one or two projects being calendared every few months to the present level of hearing three to five projects twice a month. On average, what does this mean to each of the eight volunteer members that make up this committee, a workload that includes preparing 27 staff reports per month.

The process to analyze and prepare a project for hearing is fairly simple; contact the applicant, convince them to submit their plans for review, research the variances sought and flush out any that were not realized, organize their information and post it to the LUPC website, engage the potentially impacted neighbors and prepare a synopsis to post for Brown Act notification. Now multiply this process for one project 27 fold and the amount of information gathered and disseminated through this eight member volunteer committee becomes massive. What started out as a simple endeavor has now grown into a complex task with time sensitive details that must be accurately managed.

Automation to the rescue… with this sort of workload, managing details calls for a computerized case tracking system. What is needed is a centralized system that all committee members can access when they have volunteer time to give, that can reduce or eliminate many of the mundane tasks, and that will help engage the general public in the process. The system needs to enforce the policy rules of the VNC Board and the committee, while ensuring Brown Act laws are adhered. And, finally, the system must be available to all Venice Stakeholders and the City at large.

A pilot proof-of-concept system is being developed to address many of these needs. The system is being designed as a collaboration tool that will be managed over the internet. System access will be regulated through User Accounts that are grouped into security levels, starting with the general public then moving up the access ladder to project applicant, followed by registered stakeholder, committee staff member, committee chair, system administrator and program developers. Each higher group will be granted more access to functionality and system capabilities.

The system will track information by assigning case numbers to each project. The project or case files will be stored in a database and accessed through their respective case numbers. The routines that extract and modify the stored information will vary based on the individual access rights. The system will offer read-only reports to the general public while allowing stakeholders the rights to post feedback about issues they might have with any given project. Applicants will be assigned temporary access to upload their information and respond to feedback. LUPC staff members will be able to monitor all aspects of the cases, including being able to publish their findings, track correspondence and write recommendations (tentative motions) for the VNC Board to approve. Search and mapping functionality along with tracking key indicators will enable statistical analysis of accumulative impacts to be graphically generated. The VNC Board members, besides inheriting all the rights of the lower groups, will be able to post their final motion decisions and generate reports required by the City.

In addition, the audio meeting minutes that are digitally recorded will be divided into segments that correspond to the each project and posted into the case file along with any other archives.

In a nutshell, the LUPC Case Tracking system will automate the flow of information through the Neighborhood Council in a consistent, easy to understand format, while relieving a lot of the tedious tasks volunteers must perform at present. (follow up with PowerPoint overview and system demonstration.)

Exhibit B – Draft Board Retreat Agenda

Special Board Retreat Meeting Agenda
Beachwood Restaurant
822 Washington Boulevard, Venice, 90291 (310-448-8884)
Sunday, December 7, 2007 from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Call to Order & Role Call Mike 11:00 am
Public Comment (1 min per speaker) Mike 11:05 am
Suspension of Roberts Rules of Order Mike 11:10 am
Welcome & Round Table Introductions Mike 11:10 am
LA City Conflict of Interest Guidelines (Required Ethics Training Course for NC board members available online at : www.lacityneighborhoods.com) Linda 11:25 am
Distribution of Board Binders & Updates – Review of Contents – Agenda Setting Joe 11:35 am
Land Use & Planning – VSP & Coastal Commission Guidelines Challis 11:45 am
Budget & Finance – Acceptable Purchases & Procedure for Allocation Approval Hugh 11:55 am
Lunch – Introduction to New VNC Website
Sean
Noon
Committee Accomplishments (1 min per committee) Chairs 1:00 pm
Board-Committee Relationship Guidelines – Discussion (see next page) Linda & Joe 1:20 pm
Board-Committee Relationship Guidelines – Posting of Ideas Linda & Joe 2:20 pm
Feedback Mile 2:50 pm
Public Comment (1 min per speaker) Mile 2:55 pm
Adjourn Mile 3:00 pm
Social Hour 3:00 – 4:00 pm

DRAFT proposed ‘VNC Board-Committee Guidelines’ Standing Rule

To stimulate community-building vitality in Venice and in the deliberations of the VNC Board and its Committees, the Board hereby:

1. Provides the following set of broadly shared and flexible vision goals for review by VNC Committees in the discussion and preparation of recommendations for Board consideration:

? Pedestrian-friendliness
? Diversity-creating
? Creativity-generating
? Promoting ‘dialogue-encouraging’ over ‘hostility-generating’ dynamics
? Promoting ’pro-active seizing & creating of opportunities’ over ’reactive adoption/imposition of rules/positions’ – (to build credibility & respectability)

2. Provides the following guidelines to indicate the scope and intent of the above vision goals:

Pedestrian-friendliness guidelines Consider strategies that encourage broad cooperation & facilitate realistic recommendations to reduce the use of cars and to increase alternatives such as walking, skateboarding, biking & bike racks, circulation systems (trolleys), park & ride rather than additional parking, fences/hedges that encourage ‘friendly walkability’, street-narrowing (separated from traffic walk/bike/skateboard lanes), legalized crosswalking, neighborhood access to commercial stores that do not channel access only from parking lots, commercial and multi-residential designs that encourage pedestrian ingress/egress with the street rather than channeling users into parking facilities (reduce pedestrian-unfriendly sterile facades) … [etc – DRAFT]

Diversity-creating guidelines Consider strategies that encourage broad cooperation & facilitate realistic recommendations for the development of affordable housing … [etc – DRAFT]

Creativity-generating guidelines Consider strategies that encourage & facilitate creativity in architecture, fences/hedges, competitions, friendly suggestion forums … [etc – DRAFT]

Promoting ‘dialogue-encouraging’ over ‘hostility-generating’ dynamics guidelines Consider strategies that encourage & facilitate the ‘level playing fields’ necessary for collaborative negotiation and to discourage factionalism, prefer dynamics that ‘facilitate flexible dialogue’ over ‘imposing rigid criteria’ … [etc – DRAFT]

Promoting ’Pro-active creating & seizing of opportunities’ over ’reactive adoption of positions’ – (to build credibility & respectability) guidelines Consider strategies that encourage & facilitate exploring of ‘out-of-the-box‘ options to achieve shared objectives … [etc – DRAFT]

3. Encourages the VNC Committees to:

• Consider the above guidelines in deliberations on any matter that will come before the Board as a recommendation from the committee.

• Designate one of their members as its Guidelines Advocate to consult with and solicit comment from peer advocates from other affected VNC Committees as deemed appropriate by the committee.

• In its recommendation to the Board, provide a brief summary that includes:

a. Analysis of each guideline considered (including input from other committee Guidelines Advocates); and

b. Its impact, if any, on the recommendation. [Referred to Board Retreat Committee]

Exhibit C – City Ethics Commission – NC Financial Disclosure
Commission Re-Affirms Support for Limited Neighborhood Council Financial Disclosure
As policy discussions about the appropriate role of personal financial disclosure for neighborhood council board members continue in the city, the City Ethics Commission re-affirmed its support for limited disclosure tied to the creation of neighborhood council files, or NCFs. At its meeting on September 5, the Ethics Commission considered an alternative proposal requested by the City Council’s Education and Neighborhoods Committee to require annual disclosure. The staff report proposed to modify the Ethics Commission’s Form 52, which was first transmitted to the Council in March 2008. The Commission’s special meeting was called to enable the ethics panel to consider the issue and then share its views with Education and Neighborhoods Committee members at their meeting on September 9th.
After hearing from neighborhood council activists and others, the Ethics Commission concluded that the twin goals of transparency and enhanced citizen participation for neighborhood councils would be most appropriately balanced at this time by periodic disclosure tied only to the creation of an NCF. On a 4-1 vote, the Commission restated its continuing strong belief that the financial disclosure required of neighborhood council board members should reflect their advisory role and should not rise to the level and scope of disclosure required by state Form 700.
This issue first arose in January 2008, when the City Council approved a two-year pilot project authorizing neighborhood councils to create NCFs. As part of the pilot project, the City Council added a requirement that neighborhood council board members who participate in creating an NCF file a Form 700 relating to that NCF. Under City law, however, neighborhood councils are currently exempt from filing Form 700. If that exemption were eliminated, neighborhood council board members would be permanently subject to filing Form 700 on an annual basis and would also be subject to other City laws.
In response to requests for input from several councilmembers, the Ethics Commission observed that neighborhood councils are advisory bodies and, in its opinion, should not be required to file financial disclosure statements regarding matters over which they have no ultimate authority, such as NCFs. However, acknowledging the potential for conflicts of interests under state law, as well as the City Council’s stated desire for financial disclosure, the Commission adopted Form 52 as an alternative to Form 700 for neighborhood council board members. Form 52 asks for disclosure regarding key financial interests, such as employers, real estate interests, and business interests. It also asks for disclosure regarding other financial issues that could be affected by the particular NCF that triggered the filing. Only those neighborhood council board members who vote on an NCF would be required to file Form 52.

Exhibit D – FINAL LUPC STAFF REPORT – 18 East North Venice Blvd

Venice Neighborhood
Council
Post Office Box 550

Venice, CALIFORNIA 90294

310-606-2015.

Land Use and Planning Committee Report Compiled for VNC Board of Officers Meeting On

October 21, 2008

Case Number: TBA
Address of Project: 18 East North Venice Blvd
Size of Parcel: Calculated 4,982.1 square feet
Size of Project: Roof Top of Condominium Building, built in 1983, with an approximate square footage of 3,450 square feet (50’X69’)

Venice Subarea: North Venice subarea; bounded by LA City line on the North, Washington Blvd on the South, Ocean Front Walk on the West and Hampton Drive on the East, in accordance with Exhibit 3a and 3b maps included with Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan.
Zone: [T]{Q}C1.5-1-O-CA
General Plan Use: Neighborhood Commercial
VCZSP Height: Pager 17, Section F, 3, a:
Permit Application Date: TBA
Date of Planning Report: TBA
Date of End of Appeal Period: TBA
Planning Report Prepared by: TBA

Applicant: Leila Levy
Address: 18 East North Venice Blvd.
Date heard by LUPC: September 24, 2008
Date heard by VNC Board: October 21, 2008
LUPC MOTION: Motion made, second and passed by a vote of 4-0-1 that LUPC recommend that the VNC Board of Officers accept the LUPC staff report on this project; and approve the project as presented with the condition that at the end of the project the roof reverts to a state conforming to the Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan.

STAFF REPORT
Project Description: This is an innovative rooftop concept incorporating solar panels, hydroponic/greenhouse garden to feed a family of four, a cistern for water run-off, a variety of native plants and trees, and water areas for migrating birds and insects, areas to enjoy the greenroof, entertainment areas and, of course, art and design.

Website and blog: http://leilalevi.com/greenroof/. Architect’s rendering and elevations emailed to LUPC and on VNC/LUPC web site.

This building is 30’high and is under dual jurisdiction, City and Coastal, and can be 35’ high with a varied roofline, which can go 40’ high, with a set back of 5’. The solar shield and panels qualify as “varied” roofline. Note that the zoning is Neighborhood Commercial. Building & Safety conditioned a 5’6” railing around the perimeter of the roof. Solar shield and panels would be 8’ high.

Applicant is requesting that LUPC recommend that the VNC Board of Officers send a letter of support for this concept to Councilman Rosendahl, City of Los Angeles Planning Dept. and Building and Safety. Draft of letter included.

Summary of Arguments Against this Project: That the rooftop be restored to its condition when and if the project is discontinued. This is reflected in LUPC motion to recommend approval.

Summary of Arguments For this Project: An excellent opportunity for Venice to lead the City of Los Angeles in converting unsightly and wasteful roof tops into sustainable environments for people and migratory birds and insects.

Summary of Public Comment: Approval of this concept.

Authors of Report: Challis Macpherson
Date: September 24, 2008

Draft of LUPC Recommended Letter from VNC Board of Officers to Council District 11 and selected others included at bottom.

Approximate Hours Spent on this Project by LUPC Staff: 28

AGENDA REQUEST SUBMITTED TO ADMINISTRATION COMMITTEE SEPTEMBER 25, 2008

LUPC REQUEST FOR BOARD RECOMMENDATION: I, Challis Macpherson Chair of VNC Land Use and Planning Committee, move that the VNC Board of Officers accept the LUPC staff report on this project; and approve the project as presented with the condition that at the end of the project the roof reverts to a state conforming to the Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan. Vote 4-0-1

HISTORY AND DESCRIPTION OF PROJECT FOR AdCom:

Applicant previously submitted this project to Councilman Rosendahl, who suggested that she present it to the Venice Neighborhood Council. Ms. Levy requests that a letter of approval of this concept be forwarded to Councilmember Rosendahl, LA City Building & Safety, and City Planners. Plans, elevations and related documents and on web site. Staff Report and draft letter to be emailed to VNC board members.

FYI to AdCom members, here is excerpt from draft LUPC staff report:

This is an innovative rooftop concept incorporating solar panels, hydroponic/greenhouse garden to feed a family of four, a cistern for water run-off, a variety of native plants and trees, and water areas for migrating birds and insects, areas to enjoy the greenroof, entertainment areas and, of course, art and design.

Website and blog: http://leilalevi.com/greenroof/. Architect’s rendering and elevations emailed to LUPC.

This building is 30’high and is under dual jurisdiction, City and Coastal, and can be 35’ high with a varied roofline, which can go 40’ high, with a set back of 5’. The solar shield and panels qualify as “varied” roofline. Note that the zoning is Neighborhood Commercial.

Building & Safety conditioned a 5’6” railing around the perimeter of the roof. Solar shield and panels would be 8’ high.

Address of Project: 18 East North Venice Blvd
Size of Parcel: Calculated 4,982.1 square feet
Size of Project: Roof Top of Condominium Building, built in 1983, with an approximate square footage of 3,450 square feet (50’X69’)
Venice Subarea: North Venice subarea; bounded by LA City line on the North, Washington Blvd on the South, Ocean Front Walk on the West and Hampton Drive on the East, in accordance with Exhibit 3a and 3b maps included with Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan.

Zone: [T]{Q}C1.5-1-O-CA
General Plan Use: Neighborhood Commercial
Applicant: Leila Levy
Address: 18 East North Venice Blvd.

DRAFT OF LETTER:

October 21, 2008

Councilmember Bill Rosendahl
City of Los Angeles City Hall, Room 452
200 North Spring
Los Angeles, CA 90012-2601

Subject: 18 East North Venice Blvd., Venice, California 90291 Innovative Use of Rooftop

Dear Councilman Rosendahl:

Attached are the plans and description of an innovative rooftop concept incorporating solar panels, hydroponic/greenhouse garden to feed a family of four, a cistern for water run-off, a variety of native plants and trees, and water areas for migrating birds and insects, areas to enjoy the greenroof, entertainment areas and, of course, art and design. This directly influences this city’s desire to encourage sustainability on a private level. The applicant, Ms. Leila Levy, has been working on this for several years.

Ms. Levy has taken this concept to Planning, Building & Safety and your office. She was told to take it to her local neighborhood council for recommendation. Our LUPC investigated this project and took public comment.

LUPC has recommended that we forward our recommendation that this concept for an innovative rooftop garden be advanced to the Mayor’s office, City Planning and Building & Safety at the highest level to you. Our city needs this.

Sincerely,
Mike Newhouse, President, Venice Neighborhood Council
Cc: Ms. Leila Levy Secretary@VeniceNC.org Challis Macpherson, Chair (Chair-LUPC@VeniceNC.org) VNC Land Use and Planning Committee

Exhibit E – FINAL LUPC STAFF REPORT – 10 19th Avenue

Date: October 6, 2008
Project Address: 10 19th Avenue
Case Number: APCW-2007-2429-SPE-SPP-CDP-MELENV 2007-2430-MND
Applicant: Glen and Jane Hickerson, Sonoma, CA; email: GHickerson@JetWorks.aero; phone: (415) 568-4822
Applicant’s Representative: Steve Kaali, Windrich Group, Canoga Park, CA; email: askaaliman@gmail.com; phone: (818) 795-7697
Size of parcel: two adjacent lots of equal size totaling 5,279 square feet, as per ZIMAS; 60’ x 88’, on the southwest corner of 19th Avenue and Speedway. 19th Avenue is a walk street, and there is alley access from the south side of the property and on Speedway.
Size of project: Existing 7,600 square foot 10-unit apartment building constructed in 1971 (as per ZIMAS); approximately 41’ tall (as per City Planning Recommendation Report); 16 parking spaces inside closed garages, 12 tandem, 4 standard
Parking:
Unit mix/parking: 2 2-bedroom units, 1 tandem parking space per unit
2 1-bedroom + loft units, 1 tandem parking space per unit
4 1-bedroom units, 1 standard parking space per unit
2 singles, tenants share a tandem parking space
The Manager’s unit (existing illegal 11th unit) uses the remaining tandem space for parking and for himself and for vendor/maintenance/repair person parking
The Manager reports that no tenants park on the street, and there is no guest parking.
The project is located in the Beach Impact Zone as defined in Section 5.D. of the VCZSP, and the Beach Impact Zone parking requirement is “One parking space for each 640 square feet of floor area of the Ground Floor,” as that term is defined in Section 5.M. of the VCZSP. The only Ground Floor area is the lobby and the Manager’s unit which are less than 640 square feet, which would require 1 BIZ parking space.
The VCZSP Parking Requirement Table bases parking for multiple dwelling units on the width of a lot. If the two lots are considered as one, the width is 60’, and two parking spaces are required per unit, plus .25 guest parking spaces per unit, rounded up. The total number of parking spaces which would be required if this project was built today, 24 parking spaces would be required, whereas the building currently has 16 parking spaces.
Zoning: R3-1-O
General Plan Land Use: Medium Residential
Venice Subarea: North Venice, VCZSP Section 10.F.
Department of City Planning Recommendation Report: recommends that the application be denied in its entirety.
West L.A. Area Planning Commission Hearing Date: September 17, 2008
Nature of Application: A previous owner converted a storage area into an illegal unit which has been occupied by the building manager for the last 16 years. The Applicant is requesting a Specific Plan Exception, Project Permit Compliance review, and a Coastal Development Permit (as per the City Planning Recommendation Report) as follows:
1. Pursuant to Section 11.5.7 F of the Municipal Code, an Exception from the following Sections of the Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan:
A. Section 10.F.2 to permit density to be calculated by permitting one unit for each 479 square feet of lot area in lieu of the required 1,500 square feet per unit as specified by the Specific Plan.
B. Section 13.D to permit the requested 11th unit to provide only one parking space in lieu of two (2) parking spaces per dwelling unit and one guest parking space as is otherwise required..
2. Pursuant to section 8.B. of the Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan and Section 11.5.7 of the Municipal Code, a Project Permit Compliance determination.
3. Coastal Development Permit for the above.

ISSUES AND ARGUMENTS IN FAVOR AND AGAINST:

Parking:
Adding a new parking space as proposed by the Applicant in the front yard of the site will result in a loss of outdoor common area and will require the removal of landscaping.
Each tenant has a parking space, but there is no guest parking for this 10-unit building.
The building manager who resides in the illegal unit has a tandem parking space for himself and for parking by vendor/maintenance/repair persons. If this 10-unit apartment building could be built today,

Density:
The combined square footage of the two lots is 5,279 square feet. If a new project were built there today, a total of 4 units could be built on the two lots. The existing apartment building is 10 units.
Creating/Preserving Affordable Housing:
In an effort to create and preserve affordable housing, the LUPC has sometimes recommended that the VNC Board recommend approval of the continued use of an illegal unit, so long as it is maintained as an affordable unit.

MOTION PASSED BY LUPC:
On September 10, 2008, the LUPC passed a Motion recommending that the Board of the VNC recommend that the City approve the Specific Plan Exception as requested, on the condition that a unit in the building other than the manager’s unit be designated as an affordable unit for the life of the project, at the level of “very low” income, with a covenant duly executed between the City and the Applicant, and that the fence in the front yard be brought down to 3 ½ feet, with no additional parking space.

EXPRESS REASONING UNDERLYING LUPC’S MOTION
The LUPC felt that the designation of an affordable unit at the level of “very low” income was such a significant benefit to the community that no new parking space should be required, particularly because adding a new parking space would take away a landscaped common area.
The LUPC felt that the unit designated as affordable should not be the manager’s unit because the manager might not qualify for the “very low” income level and would have to vacate the unit, and because even if the manager qualified, the Applicant might already give the manager a reduced rent, and designation of that unit as “affordable” would be subsidizing the owner’s payment to the manager in the form of reduced rent.

Location(s)

Extra Space Storage, Presidents Row Room
658 South Venice Blvd
Venice, CA, 90291
See map: Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps
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