Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The City of Los Angeles is not paying attention to Venice.

Dear Living in Venice Readers,

The City of Los Angeles is not paying attention to Venice. Even though the high value of land in Venice is bringing more money into the city coffers every year and Ocean Front Walk brings visitors from around the world, Venice does not seem to be worthy of serious attention.

The city apparently feels it is easier to pay the fines for E.coli contaminating the Pacific Ocean from the storm runoff drains than to face down the lawyers sent to protect the "civil rights" of RV dwellers who feel they are entitled to enjoy all of the perks of living in a city without paying rent or contributing to the cost of maintaining city streets or sewers.

For over a year now I have been visiting other cities that have programs for getting RVs, campers, and other kinds of vehicles used for sleeping off the streets. The Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) sent one report to a number of city and county officials without receiving one response. Not one.

The demographic of Venice is not what it used to be. The beautiful homes I saw on the recent Garden Tour for Las Doradas tell me that Venice is a land of families who love their community and respect their neighbors. To neglect their right to live in a clean environment is a failure of the city to observe health laws.

In a blog to this site I see that some health official said the RVs parked on the street are not a health hazard. I would certainly like to know the name of that city official because I would love to lead a delegation to that official's office to demand proof. Any vehicle with holding tanks is a potential health hazard. To live in such a vehicle without a proper connection to a sewer is an insult to the community and to the city.

RVs and campers are not meant to be homes. These vehicles are for vacation traveling and parking at sites with hookups for draining holding tanks.

At the next Venice Neighborhood Council meeting I will present the results of a trip to Eugene, Oregon, another city with a program for dealing with, as they put it in their laws, "camping on the streets." I will ask the board to take the report home to read it over carefully and consider making a motion in June to send the report on to city officials again. Whether or not anyone agrees with what other cities do, the question here is: WHY ISN'T LOS ANGELES DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT?

Another VNC board member and I tried to get some of the $500,000,000 Proposition O money for a study to determine the amount, source, and correction of contaminants and bacteria in the storm water runoff from Venice. VNC supported the effort, but it was rejected. So please do not think that VNC members haven't been trying.

One more thing, encouraging poor and sick people that there is a right to live in vehicles on the street is cruel and it has to stop.

The petition supported by Living in Venice just might do it. I hope so.

DeDe Audet
Living in Venice

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