Representatives from Councilman Bill Rosendahl's office and PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) gave a short presentation Tuesday night at the Venice Neighborhood Council board meeting on the status of the Roadmap to Housing program.
The program, which has also been known as Streets to Homes and Vehicles to Homes, is a two-pronged approach to removing RVs from Venice's residential streets by helping Venice's vehicular homeless find housing, while using regulations to prohibit illegal parking on the streets.
The program intends to change language in the city charter to allow vehicular homeless to park in designated areas overnight, provided the individual participates in the social service programs PATH will facilitate. Last week, Rosendahl's office released the draft changes to the city charter, proposed ordinance 85.11. (The draft ordinance is attached in pdf form at left).
"This issue has consistently been a challenge to address," said Arturo Piña, district director for Rosendahl's office. "Some of the language may come as a surprise to some, but not to others."
According to the proposed ordinance, the parking spaces available for vehicular homeless would be in public parking lots or on public streets. No more than five spaces would be located in any given parking lot, and no more than three vehicles would be assigned to a block.
There would also have to be a minimum of 50 feet between any parking space authorized for residential use and any residential lot. Technically, this means the block where the Venice Farmers Market is located could be used for RV parking, however, Rosendahl's chief of staff, Mike Bonin, told Patch that oversized vehicle parking restrictions, which are available in Venice by petition, would allow residents to prevent their streets being used for the program.
According to the language of the ordinance, the program administrator would be responsible for assigning the parking spaces. Bonin offered scant clarification to the process, saying, "The councilman would have effective veto over any property."
Bonin said that the councilman would work with residents and local police to find appropriate spaces.
"The most likely lots are the ones at Rosendahl's office at Westchester," Bonin said. "But the burden needs to be shared. There needs to be someplace in Venice, because that's where most of the vehicles are."
According to most recent estimates, carried out by PATH, there are about 40 vehicles being used as homes in the area, down from approximately 200 last summer.
The VNC agreed Tuesday that further discussion was necessary before the City Council's transportation committee (chaired by Rosendahl) discusses the draft ordinance Wednesday.
The VNC will hold a stakeholders' meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at a location to be determined. Community feedback will then be conveyed to the councilman's office.