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Controversial Development Project to Be Discussed at VNC Meeting

The project could bring 12 townhomes to the corner of South Venice Boulevard and Ocean Avenue and a sculpture garden to nearby Centennial Park.

A housing development project—which has been criticized because it seeks to procure a city-owned corner lot—will be discussed at the Venice Neighborhood Council Land Use and Planning Committee meeting on Wednesday night.

The project proposed by developer Kalnel Gardens could erect 12 townhomes on 16,927 square feet of land at 522 South Venice Boulevard if the city agrees to sell the the lot. The project would also bring two affordable housing units to the area and a sculpture garden at nearby Centennial Park, located just east of the library.

Kalnel Gardens' Len Judaken owns the land adjacent to the corner lot and said that if the city decides not to sell it, he'll build nine townhomes and the city will be deprived of the two affordable-housing units and a sculpture garden.

The city land in question—located on Ocean Avenue between the Venice Public Library on South Venice Boulevard and Kim's Market on Mildred Avenue—was bought by the city from Judaken's family in 1970 for the construction of Ocean Avenue, he said.

"The city paid $10 for the land to make the transaction legal," said Judaken. "The city doesn't need it anymore."

Venice resident Robin Murez was awarded a $10,000 city beautification grant some four years ago to install a sculpture garden on the corner lot, but that grant was halted after Judaken started his proposal.

Judaken said that he'd match the city's grant up to $50,000 for the sculpture garden at Centennial Park. The installation will be restricted to Venice artists, Judaken said.

Are you familiar with the proposed development project at 522 South Venice Boulevard? What do you think about it? Tell us in the comments below.

Scott October 13, 2012 at 07:56 PM
I'd like to see a plot map of this development and what the set backs will be before I decide.
Jared Morgan October 14, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Scott, what does that mean? Is that construction speak? There are a few photos here: http://venice.patch.com/articles/developer-unveils-plans-to-build-on-former-church-lot-on-venice-boulevard
cherina October 15, 2012 at 09:29 PM
It would be good to see that neighborhood be revitalize...built something there ...at present it's an eyesore
Jim Smith October 16, 2012 at 10:40 PM
The park in question was named "Peace Park" by a secret ballot vote at a well-attended Neighborhood Council Town Hall. Our unelected city councilmember at the time, Cindy Miscikowski, disregarded the community's wishes and changed the name to Centennial Park.
Proud to Be An American October 17, 2012 at 07:57 PM
This is what free enterprise is all about. Small business, job creation, low income housing. Everything that makes America great. 100% support this project. The only set backs here is the development not passing with the city. And that would be un American.

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