Dunes Development (Venice)
|Summary||This item is an appeal of a Coastal Development Permit approved by the City of Los Angeles to change a commercial retail space to a 2,831-sq.-foot restaurant. A key issue with this CDP is the lack of sufficient existing or proposed parking.
Staff recommended that the Commission determine substantial issue based on the project not being consistent with the parking requirements of the certified Land Use Plan (LUP). The lack of parking would adversely affect the public’s ability to access the coast. Additionally, approval of a development that worsens Venice’s current parking shortage in Venice will impair the City’s ability to prepare a certified LCP due to the project’s inconsistency with the LUP because it will generate increased parking demand and adversely impacts public access.
|Outcome Description||Following a comprehensive presentation by Deputy Director Steve Hudson outlining why the project didn’t meet Coastal Act Standards and explaining how staff had determined the minimum number of additional parking spaces (22), discussion from Commissioners began.
Commissioner Vargas strongly questioned Staff’s findings and the need of parking spaces with comments such as “Sometime we get stuck in this idea that parking is everything,” pointing out the photos submitted by the appellants showed “a lot of people riding their bikes” and stating that “… A restaurant in the Coastal Zone is access to the coast.” Commissioners Uranga and Luevano also thought public transportation was sufficient in this case.
Commissioner Shallenberger pointed out that the Commission’s standard “is Chapter 3 of the Coastal Act” – in other words, the question isn’t how Commissioners feel about providing parking, the question is whether or not the project complies with the Coastal Act. Commissioner Shallenberger also noted that people’s access to visitor services such as a restaurant “isn’t the same as public access to the beach.”
Even acknowledging the burden that such a decision would place on staff, Commissioner Vargas moved for a continuance with McClure seconding, stating more “studies” were needed.
Commissioners voted 6 - 5 to continue the item.
|Why You Should Care||This project and comments made by Commissioners are important to highlight due to the primary concern raised: If Commissioners aren’t going to apply the Coastal Act as the standard against which projects are reviewed, then how can the public be assured the Coastal Act is being upheld?|
|Staff Recommendation||Finding of Substantial Issue|
|Lobbyist/Agent||City Land Use|
|Opposition to Project||Coastal Commission Executive Director, James Murez, Robin Rudisill, James McCullagh, Maripaz Maramba, Marie Pabianova, Kimmy Miller, Roxanne Brown, and Ilana Marosi|
|Coastal Act Policies||Chapter 3 Policies|
Voting Detail for Dunes Development (Venice)
|Mary K. Shallenberger|
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