March 22, 2007
It appears that the City of Los Angeles, Department of Building and Safety, is prepared to reissue the St Joseph’s Center at 404 Lincoln Blvd., a building permit with the use classification as:
COUNSELING AND REFERRAL FACILITY. (Added by Ord. No. 149,517. Eff. 5/26/77.)
A neighborhood facility which provides counseling services and subsequently refers applicants to appropriate licensed social service agencies offering professional remedial assistance. Counseling and referral services may be offered in one or more of the following areas: welfare, housing, employment, health, education, legal matters, job development, consumer action, recreation, family problems, juvenile problems, probation, and neighborhood improvement. Tutoring and legal aid shall be permitted as an accessory use only.
The facility may also administer the implementation of government funded programs established to provide low-income housing, job development classes and recreation.
The facility shall:
(a) permit no more than 5 employees, and;
(b) where located in a residentially developed area, maintain the residential character of the exterior of the building.
Extensive time was spent on the phone today with the attorney and several officials from building and safety. It is presumed that the operator will pull the new permit very soon, if they did not do it today. The permit is classified as: READY TO ISSUE.
Our next step is to file an appeal with the department of Building and Safety. Presumably, our appeal will be denied and we have 15 days to appeal to the Planning Department which will review the case. At that time, a public hearing will be held. There are further appeal procedures which I believe are to the Planning Commission and then maybe to the City Council. The following has become more apparent through this process:
- Councilman Rosendahl and his office’s assertion that SJC’s operation at Lincoln and Flower is a matter of right was a lie at the highest level. How could it make that assertion if it didn’t know what it’s own use is?
- Given the lengthy review by the Building Department and its eventual reclassification, makes it abundantly clear that SJC and the Councilman attempted to mislead not only the public, but the Department of Building and Safety.
- This new classification is an attempt to appear to comply with a proper classification for the use, but in fact it is merely another charade. Even with a superficial review of the above definition, it is apparent to anyone that the SJC Homeless Service Center is not a Counseling and Referral Center.
- SJC and the Councilman are attempting to find any loophole and any rationale to allow them to operate, even on the fringes of the law, without regard to the community and without regard to the spirit of the zoning laws.
- If SJC is misrepresenting the operations to the City or to any organizations that it has received funding for, these misrepresentations would constitute nothing less than fraud.
- SJC and the Councilman have grossly underestimated the determination of Venice SONIC, and SONIC will only become stronger and more organized.
Future Status Reports will be provided as information becomes available. Certain strategies will not be disclosed in order for the legal and political teams to execute as effectively as possible.