Sunday, June 17, 2007

Status Report of St. Joseph Center Homeless Day Facility

Based on an unofficial appeal request in the early part of 2007, the City of Los Angeles, Department of Building and Safety struggled on how to classify the use. Since, in our opinion, it is not a legal use and since there is no clear use definition of a Homeless Service Center, the City struggled to find out how to legally permit a Homeless Service Center operation at Lincoln and Flower.

After many weeks, they finally decided to reclassify the use from "Office" to "Office for Counseling and Referral Services to serve homeless and low income." St. Joseph Center Homeless Day Facilty opened for business in early April of 2007.

Based on this approval, a community member filed an official appeal in April of 2007. As of June 18, 2007, no decision has been made. The appeal was filed with building and safety, and then forwarded to planning and zoning for a decision. Planning and zoning has sent it back to building and safety for unknown reasons.

If this appeal is denied it will allows us to advance to a hearing before the West Los Angeles Planning Commission which will hold a public hearing.

It appears to us that the City has quite a dilemma on their hands. Our arguments to have the permit and Certificate of Occupancy rescinded are sound, numerous, logical, and moral. But that has not stopped City Council Members before, from getting what they want, at least in the short term.

Our attorney and consultants have helped form the arguments, which are extremely compelling. So the city is faced with the dilemma on how to overcome logic and the law in the face of immense political pressure from Councilman Rosendahl.

They are looking for loopholes, justifications, etc., to cover themselves from the onslaught
of criticism they will surely receive if they find in favor for this obviously illegal use. Hopefully, before the appeal process is exhausted, someone with integrity and guts in the chain of command, will stand up and defend the law and the rights of Venice community members, before legal action becomes necessary.

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