Be Heard: ACT NOW: PSH Planning Committee Submission



In October, Venice residents sent over 500 emails to the City Planning Department in opposition to the PSH Ordinance, which would exempt large Permanent Supportive Housing Projects (like the ones Bonin has planned for the Venice Median and Thatcher Yard) from parking, density, height, environmental and open space requirements, while creating a accelerated process that is not subject to appeal or community input.

We now have a very short window of opportunity to tell the Planning Commission itself how we feel about this end run around the rights of working families.

Fill in your First and Last Name, and Email address.  City and State are optional.  Press Submit.

The email below — including the subject line — will be sent to the distribution list at the bottom on your behalf, and you will receive a copy!

If you prefer to compose your own message, feel free to use our email directory and any content you may wish from the email below or other pages on our site.

Let’s Fight Back, Venice!

The Submission Deadline is 48 hours before the hearing – December 14. Emails must be sent by 8:30AM, December 12.




Subject Line: Case CPC-2017-3136-CA: PSH Ordinance: Not Properly Vetted & Bad for Neighborhoods

Email Body:

Dear Honorable Planning Commissioners:

I am writing you to ask you reject the proposed Permanent Supportive Housing because (as currently drafted) it will cause unnecessary harm to the character of local communities and has been rushed through the City’s ordinance-adoption process without adequate public input.

As a Venice resident, where two major PSH Projects totaling nearly 5 acres have been proposed, I am extremely concerned that the proposed PSH Ordinance would deem certain projects on land zoned as Public Facilities to be “by-right” projects, allowing them to bypass environmental review and other zoning approval processes that would otherwise be required. PSH Projects should not be permitted as “by right” in public facilities zones. It is clear that this provision is included solely to enable PSH projects such as the Thatcher Yard. This completely contradicts the purpose and intent of the Specific Plan adopted for this community.

Councilman Bonin and other officials in the City of Los Angeles have promised that any proposed PSH projects would undergo all required environmental review and would obtain necessary zoning approvals. Yet, the proposed Ordinance completely EXEMPTS almost all PSH projects from both CEQA and the City’s zoning approval process. This is both unacceptable and unlawful.

While the City Planning Department did hold a few public meetings for the PSH Ordinance, the City did not allow members of the public to express their opinions in a public forum as is the normal process. Instead, the City recorded private statements from individuals at the meetings. This meant that members of the public were unable to understand, digest and consider the input of other community members. The “public hearing” process is not just an opportunity for the City to consider the input from the public, but for other members of the public to do the same.

Additionally, the City just released the proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration for the PSH Ordinance on November 30, 2017. The public has simply not had enough time to review a 122-page document and provide meaningful comment to this City Planning Commission for a hearing on December 13th. This is compounded by the fact that the City has prepared a 303-page Staff Report that was issued just a few days before the hearing. How is the public supposed to digest and consider over 400 pages in such a short amount of time? This is completely unfair and prejudicial.

The City appears to be rushing the PSH Ordinance through the adoption process and has made almost no effort to interface with the City’s 96 Neighborhood Councils. This is an ordinance that will impact the entire City and almost every community and yet the Planning Department has not presented to any Neighborhood Council to my knowledge.

The PSH Ordinance would exempt hundreds of properties throughout the City, many of which are close to residential communities, from any environmental review and other discretionary zoning processed. Los Angeles has been described as a “constellation of communities” and yet the development standards proposed in the PSH Ordinance are not customized for particular communities at all. Instead, the City has proposed a “one size fits all” mandate for all PSH projects in the City. This is the antithesis of a “constellation of communities.” The Ordinance would limit basic planning and public review procedures, and would remove remove critical code requirements designed to protect lower-density zoned neighboring properties. Community needs will differ and the PSH Ordinance simply does not provide the kind or level of control needed to protect the public safety.

While the proposed PSH Ordinance does require community notice, there is no public hearing and no right to appeal the decision of the Planning Director. Further, the Director cannot add specific conditions of approval to mitigate unique impacts that may derive from the particular facts and circumstances in the area. The Ordinance states that applications “shall be approved by the Director of Planning through a ministerial Public Benefit process if the eligibility criteria and performance standards of this subsection are met.” The City would be abrogating their responsibilities by allowing projects which, while admittedly beneficial from a social perspective, also may have negative impacts on the community if not properly assessed, evaluated and mitigated. The City should provide for a discretionary process with a public hearing and an appeal procedure.

While solving homelessness and providing affordable housing in the City is important, any regulatory reform efforts designed to speed up the entitlement process must be transparent, thoughtful and deliberative.

Therefore, I am asking the Planning Commission to:

2. Continue this public hearing to another date in 2018.

3. Direct staff to revise the development standards in the PSH Ordinance such that they can be customized for specific neighborhood types.

3. Direct the Planning Department to conduct additional community outreach (especially to Neighborhood Councils) regarding the PSH Ordinance.

4. Direct staff to remove the “by right” provision for PF facilities in the PSH Ordinance.

Thank you,


Email addresses:
To: [email protected]

CC: [email protected]

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