The city of Los Angeles renewed its year-old legal action against the California Coastal Commission this week, filing an amended and updated call-for-action in Superior Court that seeks to overturn a recent commission board vote that denies L.A. the ability to impose residential-permit parking zones overnight in Venice.
The filing in Los Angeles Superior Court Tuesday joins and updates existing action against the commission by the Venice Stakeholders Association and seeks to immediately void the June 10 commission decision, in a 6-3 vote, to deny "overnight parking districts" in the beach-side community. In other words, the city wants resident-only overnight parking as an option in Venice.
The city was previously part of a suit against the commission for essentially the same reason -- its denial of permit parking -- but understood, at least according to commission staff, that a settlement agreement allowing the zones would be forthcoming.
Tuesday's filing however, claims that opponents at the June hearing had the effect of "emotionally and physically intimidating the commissioners into voting against the city based on considerations entirely outside the purview of the commission and the act."
The suit claims: the commission does not have jurisdiction to prevent the city from creating such districts (it disputes that such districts would constitute "development" of the type the commission could regulate in such a situation), that the zones (proposed for 2 to 6 a.m.) would not impact coastal access, that members of the commission offered varied and sometimes nonsensical rationales for their votes (one apparently referred to Venice home-dwellers as "so-called residents"), findings for the vote were being prepared after the fact, and the commission ignored its own staff recommendations to approve overnight parking.
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Indeed, according to the filing by the Los Angeles City Attorney's office, "The city relied upon the representations of the staff of the commission that its proposed findings and recommendations would lead to approval by the commission board."
The parties, including the Venice Stakeholders Association, are scheduled to be in court Tuesday.
It's a contentious matter, with opponents of overnight parking in Venice arguing that it would push out some of the liberal beach community's residents who live in RVs and that it would indeed limit access to the beach.
Venice, however, is a rare Southern California beach community without such parking zones, and the city argues in the filing that without the parking limits there is "blight and a public nuisance caused by persons using vehicles as their homes overnight in residential Venice neighborhoods ... "