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12 Condo Units at Venice and Ocean Avenue Stalling on Affordable Housing Questions

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A 12-unit condo complex is in the works for 522 Venice Boulevard (across the street from the Abbot Kinney Library). Venice Neighborhood Council President Linda Lucks tells us via email that the NC's Land Use and Planning Commission discussed the project for an hour at a hearing earlier this week, but did not act due to questions over whether the developer, Lens Judaken, can locate the required affordable housing at a separate site. The LUPC hearing followed a previous vote by the board not to support the project, after which Judaken made changes to his proposal. Yo! Venice! reported prior to the hearing that changes included an offer to "double the number of affordable housing units" required by city affordable housing requirements.

Another issue holding up community support for the plan is that local art advocates want to use a portion of adjacent land for an art installation. From Judaken's letter: "... some have suggested that a small patch of land, that was previously part of our property and was acquired some years ago by the City for street purposes and is no longer needed for those purposes, be used as an art park." Judaken claims, however, that his development requires the parcel to build enough units to trigger the city's affordable housing requirements: "The return of the City fragment will allow us to build a project of sufficient size (12 units) to contribute affordable housing units as envisioned by the Mello Act...Without that fragment, our project will remain at 9 units, generating no affordable housing at all." Judaken goes on to suggest that he would, "commit resources and funds to a community-wide exploration of options which could produce a broader, more interactive arts showcase than the small patch of land can sustain." Centennial Park and Abbot Kinney Library are suggested as alternative locations.