We’re down to the wire…

Apr 9, 2024

Here’s the latest- after finishing up our CEQA trial with tenacity (and a challenging judge) we are now awaiting his ruling, expected shortly. We’re cautiously optimistic but know we should be prepared to appeal.

Soon after that trial ended we delivered a killer opening brief to the other judge in the DDA case (“Disposition and Development Agreement” where the City gave away taxpayer land to a Hollywood developer for $1.00 a year for 99 years.).

One key issue in the DDA case is that the site choice is a heavily used public beach parking lot that must be replaced. The City Charter requires the “Transportation Commission” approve such projects prior to going to City Council. This step was ignored by then Mayor Garcetti and his bud Mike Bonin.

Also, we deposed City Officials during discovery and they confirmed our suspicion that the “Reuse Analysis”, identifying risks and high costs of the project (including the mysterious appraisal claiming the land is only worth $3.4 million) that was prepared by an outside consultant the City hired, was never shared with the public or City Council when deciding to give away this valuable taxpayer asset, even though this was required by City law.

More information prepared by consultant and never shared with City Council:

Since this report in 2022, interest rates have more than doubled! A “considerable risk” that should have been considered by the decision makers.

And from the same report:

The largest project Venice Community Housing has managed to date is 720 Rose Ave. that has 35 units, while the Venice Median is proposed at 140 units, 4 times larger.

The state-issued PBV’s (Public Benefit Vouchers) are only guaranteed for 20 years, and if the contract is not extended, the net operating income (NOI) wouldn’t be sustainable and the project “would need to change the focus from extremely-low income units”. Change the focus to what exactly? Another consideration not known by the decision makers.

Two council members (Joe Buscaino and Paul Koretz) voted against the project based on the ludicrous costs exceeding an estimated $1.2 million per 460 sq. ft. unit. Had the entire council been given the opportunity to see the costs and risks in the consultant reports, they very well may have done the math and also voted to deny the project.

The audacity of our City to give away valuable City assets without required public disclosure and input or City Council review of the pertinent documents! Our lawsuit asks for the current DDA to be revoked and redone properly with an injunction on spending any further taxpayer funds on this reckless land giveaway. We ask for the project to go back to the Transportation Commission and City Council with all reports and analysis made available.

Check out our opening brief with detailed arguments on all of this in our document library:

Opening Brief, DDA Lawsuit

We hope you’re as outraged as we are and will help us pay our lawyers so we can continue these crucial legal actions that will get the project back to Council where our Councilwoman can now represent the best interests of all of her constituents.

For those who have not yet donated, now is the time to step up! Please donate and share with anyone who can help us get this over the finish line!

With Appreciation,
The Team at Safe Coastal Development