Huizar Blocks Housing Project in Boyle Heights & Partners with Bonin to Concentrate Development in Venice
As reported in this article from the New York Times, Councilman Huizar blocked a modest Prop HHH housing project in a commercial district in Boyle Heights last month on the grounds that “the nonprofit group promoting th[e] project was trying to muscle through a plan over well-grounded neighborhood concerns.”
“You cannot force a project onto a community at all costs,” Councilman Huizar complained. “A majority of people who live around the project were opposed to it. The people who are in favor of it live someplace else.”
Now, Huizar (who was one of the leading proponents of Prop HHH) is bringing a City Council Motion – seconded by none other than Councilman Mike Bonin – calling on the Housing and Community Investment Department and the City Attorney “to report back on the feasibility of an artists’ affordable housing program” and the “steps required … to establish such a program.”
Why would Huizar take such an interest in affordable housing for artists so soon after spiking a puny affordable housing development — between a supermarket, a Pizza Hut and a cemetery — in his own district?
Because Venice Community Housing Corporation (VCHC) wants to use the promise of “artist housing” (34 units in all) as a selling point for the massive Venice Median Project (2.8 acres, 150 units, 2 parking structures and 10,500 sq. ft. of “social enterprise” space) at the gateway to Venice Beach.
The one problem with the VCHC scam? The law doesn’t allow it.
Thus, Huizar is helping Bonin rewrite the law, so Bonin can concentrate Prop HHH housing projects here in Venice (Venice Median (2.8 acres), Oxford Triangle (2 acres) and MTA Lot (3.5 acres)) – and keep them out of Huizar’s district.
Similarly, Bonin and VCH are backing a new law — the notorious PSH Ordinance — that will exempt Bonin’s housing projects from zoning restrictions, size and density limitations, environmental review and community input. Bonin is selling City land in other parts of his district — including Westchester, West L.A. and Pacific Palisades — to build projects here.
And VCH’s leadership has come out publicly in favor of repealing the Venice Beach Curfew.
In short, we are getting played. Hard.
This is not right.
Now is the time to take a stand.
Don’t dog dogtown!