The Los Angeles Homelessness and Poverty Committee voted to approve the Venice Median Project, again, on Thursday. In a 3-1 vote, with Councilmember Joe Buscaino being the only member to vote against the project citing the exorbitant price tag--members voted to approve a Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) – an agreement on the sale of property where a specific type of Project is developed and to forgo a California Environmental Quality Act review.

The Coalition for Safe Coastal Development (CSCD), an organization that represents the coastal interests of Venice, asked the committee to postpone Thursday's vote stating there was too many unknowns to transfer legal control of about $70 million of beach property to a developer that does not yet have the necessary entitlements from the city or the coastal commission.  

CSCD filed a lawsuit against the Hollywood Community Housing Corporation (HCHC) and the Venice Community Housing Corporation (VCHC), the two project developers—as well as the LA Department of Transportation (LADOT) and the City of Los Angeles in early January—for their participation in the Project.

Four primary allegations are made in the lawsuit by the CSCD. These include a California Subdivision Map Act violation, a Mello Act violation, a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) violation and violations of due process. 

 “From a legal perspective, environmental law is too important to not fight,” stated Charles Rosin, a member of CSCD,when the lawsuit was filed. “If there is one fight it should be this one. This is the last open space in Venice.” 

The project is set to go to the Planning and Land Use Committee next week.