Neighbors in an Uproar Over Condo Development

By Roger Linnett

A meeting, June 20, between prospective developers of the property at 522 So. Venice Blvd. (across from of the Abbot Kinney library) and neighborhood residents went pretty much as one might expect. The meeting room at The Bible Tabernacle Church on Washington Way was charged from the get go.

The developers were introduced by Sarah Dennison from the VNC’s Land Use and Planning Committee. Reaction to their designs for the property was one of instant and unanimous displeasure.

The part of the proposal which drew the most ire was the intention of purchasing the triangular space at the corner of South Venice Blvd. and Ocean Ave. from the city.

The residents were wholehearted against the idea of building out this area, which would substantially reduce visibility at the intersection.

Stories were told of past instances of near accidents and pedestrian-involved close calls.  Concerns were also raised about the increase in traffic on Mildred Ave., onto which the complex’s driveway would egress.

According to the developer’s consultant, Eric Lieberman, who gave the presentation, the plans call for 12 units in what is called a “small lot” subdivision. The difference from a townhouse complex being that each unit would own the ground upon which their unit stood. The units would also be separate from each other, with about six inches between them.

Although the presenters explained repeatedly that their proposal was not carved in stone, the residents were unassuaged, and the 40 or so in attendance were resolute in opposing the project.

More meetings on this controversial development are being planned. The VNC ‘s Land and Use Planning Committee is scheduled to hear from residents and any possible revisions of the developer’s plans.