WESTSIDE - Councilmember Mike Bonin's' Motion requesting a feasibility study to allow homeless camping and shelters in public parks and beaches will be heard by the full City Council today.
Bonin and Mark Ridley-Thomas submitted a motion that asks to study temporary tiny homes/safe camping at Will Rogers State Beach, temporary tiny homes/safe camping at Dockweiler Beach, RV parking at Dockweiler and temporary tiny homes/safe camping in Marina del Rey.
The motion also asks to study several other sites including property in Culver City, Westchester Park, Mar Vista Park, LAX property, the West LA Municipal Building and funding for more hotel rooms to be converted into homeless shelters.
The motion cleared its first hurdle on May 13 after the Homeless and Poverty committee voted 4-1 to move forward with study. Councilmember Joe Buscaino, the only committee member to vote against the motion, said beaches and parks are not appropriate options. Other members of the committee pushed back and said this is a feasibility study-- all options should be looked at.
Katrina Schmitt, one of three principal founders of “Protecting Our Beaches Schools Neighborhoods And Parks” (POBSNAP), a newly formed community-based, non-partisan, non-profit organization said: “We care about cleanliness and public safety, the accessibility of our public beaches and parks, the quality of our local schools, and the vibrancy of our individual neighborhoods. This proposal by Councilman Bonin will undermine all of that.
Nico Ruderman, a co-founder of POBSNAP and candidate for the Venice Neighborhood Council, echoed those sentiments. “Enough is enough. Rather than working to actually fix the problem, Councilman Bonin just wants to spread the problem around so the same problems Venice has been wrestling with for the past few years will now be felt by nearly every community on the Westside of LA."
More than 19,000 opponents of the motion have signed a change.org petition against the creation of camping sites and tiny home sites in westside beaches and parks.
An additional 800 letters have also been submitted to the City expressing concern for the feasibility of moving forward with the idea. Included in the letters is one from the Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness. In its letter, the PPTFH said its Board first became aware of Bonin's motion only when it was announced to the general public.
According to an email sent by the Brentwood Community Council, A large number of CD11 residents have contacted City Council President Nury Martinez, requesting public comment during Wednesday's Council hearing. Technically, under Council rules, she is not required to allow further public comment as public comment was heard on this Motion at last weeks City Homelessness Committee.
However, a number of impacted communities during the call were not allowed to speak. The council meeting starts at 10 a.m. and is being held via Zoom. Click Here to watch the meeting.