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New Venice Development Committee to Hold First Meeting

Committee was established to seek community input on new developments.

As a result of complaints regarding new Venice developments, the Venice Neighborhood Council formed a committee to solicit and provide input regarding proposed building projects – and it will meet on Thursday for the first time.

The creation of the Mass Scale and Character Ad-hoc Committee in September was a response to public outcry over new homes that some residents say do not fit Venice’s character.

Despite set rules that developers must abide by regarding height, width and density limits in the Venice Coastal Zone Plan, the “character” of the building is vaguely-defined in the building code, and the committee will be tasked with helping to interpret the “character” of a building and whether it is congruous with the overall feel of an existing neighborhood.

L.A. officials established the Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan on Jan. 19, 2004. The plan created eight distinct areas, all with different land use development regulations. In the Venice canals for example, homes must not exceed 30 feet in height, while on the Venice walk streets, the maximum height is 28 feet. 

Sue Kaplan, who leads the Venice Walk Street Association, will spearhead the committee and she was chosen “because I am confident that she brings to the table the necessary skill set,  knowledge and intelligence and motivation to protect our communities, to move the mission statement  forward in a fair and balanced way,” Venice Neighborhood Council President Linda Lucks said in a letter.

Kaplan recently lost the race for chair of the Land Use and Planning Commission by 197 votes to incumbent Jake Kaufman, 685 to 488.

The Mass, Scale and Character committee's jurisdiction will be limited to the Venice Coastal Zone Area, which does not include the area east of Lincoln Boulevard or the Oxford Triangle.

The meeting will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. at Extra Space Storage Community Room, located at 658 Venice Blvd. Committee members will introduce themselves and discuss goals and procedures. The public will also be able to comment.

Sue Kaplan November 15, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Thank you David for your interest in this issue. This committee is tasked to give guidance to how mass and scale should be handled as it is defined in the Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan and the Venice Coastal Land Use Plan, among others. It is not about "the 'character' of a building" but of the immediate neighborhood. It is about how a building fits into its surroundings not about a particular style of a particular building. I just want to clarify this as Venice has no design review board and the land use plans all encourage a diversity of style in the neighborhoods of Venice. --Sue

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