Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, whose 11th District includes Venice, has sent a letter to the U.S. Postal Service demanding an immediate end to the building of a postal facility to replace the historic Venice Post Office on Windward Circle.
The letter, which was sent Tuesday by Rosendahl and City Attorney Carmen Trutanich, also requested an audit of the Postal Service's department of Facilities and Network Operations. At issue is the Postal Service's construction at the nearby Venice Carrier Annex at 313 Grand Blvd. to handle retail operations currently provided at the Venice Post Office at 1601 Main St.
The Postal Service has failed to comply with local planning, zoning requirements and building codes in violation of the Code of Federal Regulations, the letter said. The Postal Service has started construction on the Venice Carrier Annex to house the relocated retail operations, while simultaneously seeking to sell the Venice Post Office, the letter said.
The letter requested an immediate investigation and audit and demanded that the Postmaster General cease activites to relocate retail services to the Venice Carrier Annex.
The Venice Neighborhood Council during its March 20 meeting unanimously endorsed sending letters to Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and Rep. Henry Waxman urging them to support HR3591 and SB1853 that place restrictions on the closure of post office facilities. The bills require the Postal Service to allow users of a postal facility designated for closure or consolidation to present their views, conduct an investigation that includes consideration of the impact on the community of a facility's closure, submit a written decision on closure or consolidation of a facility and make public a notice of its findings posted within 90 days.
A wide range of community members have protested the plans to close the 1939 Venice Post Office and its historic mural known as the "Story of Venice," or the "First Thirty Years of Venice's History," that is one of two remaining murals by artist Edward Biberman. The art deco post office was built during the Great Depression under the federal Works Project Administration and is the last WPA building remaining in downtown Venice.
An online petition to save the Venice Post Office gathered more than 800 signatures.
The Venice Post Office building has been listed for sale online with an asking price of $7.5 million.