August 8, 2016 | Venice, California
On Saturday August 6th, 2016 Venice residents of all cultural and economic backgrounds protested the most recent case of unscrupulous development in their neighborhood— 742, 744, 748, and 748 Brooks Ave headed by Lighthouse Investments/ Lighthouse Brooks LLC (a large donor to Mike Bonin’s 2017 reelection campaign).
The general background is that a 5 unit apartment building (2 affordable units) was demolished to install prefabricated condos. While the shenanigans to get this development project cleared is sadly nothing new it has been exuding more negativity than the average gentrification project of recent. Not only did residents have their street closed for four days, have their street’s infrastructure damaged, water use cut off, it also led to the tragic murder of a Lighthouse Development contracted employee.
The 20+ resident protest was an effective demonstration garnering attention and literature exchange from passersby on Brooks Ave. as well as Lincoln Blvd. The only instances of negativity was when a silver sedan of young white men yelled “Build the wall” to an African American and Chicano man who were a part of the demonstration, and the other instance was when the security guard watching the property called police blatantly lying about our protest activity.
Aside from the brief negativity it was a great display of neighborhood unity for a common just cause.
Infrastructure Busted and Water Outage
Aug 2nd, 2016— While bringing in the pre-fab houses, one of the trucks cracked the street and broke a sewage pipe. This led to residents’ water being out for the whole day if not longer. This unfortunately is yet another example of Venice’s failing infrastructure due to overdevelopment. This Brooks Ave situation being the 4th water main infrastructure failure in the past few weeks within the same area. A resident spoke to the crane representatives and determined that crane was at 150 feet but had the ability to extend to 400 ft. and weighed about 350,000 pounds. The crane representative said DWP was absorbing all the costs of the repair because the project had pre-approval from the city for the crane to be there. So it seems the urgency for DWP to make the street ready after the the infrastructure fiasco was for the crane the following day, not for the neighborhood residents to have access to their homes again.
Contracted Employee Marvin Ponce Killed at Corner of 7th/Brooks Ave.
August 3rd, 2016— at approximately 3:45 pm, contracted crossguard Marvin Ponce of San Fernando was killed by an unknown assailant. Witness described the shooter as a 5-foot-8 inch, 25- to 30-year-old black man in a black, hooded sweatshirt, sunglasses and black jeans. Some speculated the shooting was linked to local tensions over development in the area or that it was local gang related situation but none of those notions have come close to being substantiated. The shooter has not been caught and no suspects have been found. There seems to be more questions than answers at this point. Prayers up that his spirit, family, our community, and all associated parties find justice and clarity on this terrible murder. There is a donation fund set up for Marvin’s funeral expenses and hope that you can contribute: https://www.gofundme.com/2bdkptz7
Lighthouse Brooks Project Violates the Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan in Many Ways
This project violates the Venice Coastal Zone Specific Plan in many ways, as indicated in the notes on the attached 4 VSO’s.
Also, this project is required to be processed using the Specific Plan Project Permit Compliance Review (SPP) and not the VSO exemption processing procedure. This should have been done at the same time as the CDP was done. They waited until AFTER the CDP was issued and just before the building permit was issued because they processed one VSO for each of the four single-family dwellings; whereas they should have processed the “demo and 4-lot small-lot subdivision” construction project using a SPP, along with the CDP.
This 4-lot small-lot subdivision project was not processed according to correct City or Specific Plan procedures. Thus, it is illegally permitted and un-permitted. Four VSO’s are erroneous and MUST be revoked immediately:
Based on all of the official documents, below outlines the owner and people involved:
Lighthouse Brooks, LLC (We’re guessing that there are several members of the LLC, possibly including the two below, David Breslin and Ramin Kolahi)℅ (in care of) Lighthouse Investments
David Breslin (he signed the Applicant’s Affidavit)
742 Brooks Ave, Unit 5
Venice, CA 90291
Ramin Kolah (Owner per CDP and PMLA determinations)
Note: Ramin Kolahi–slightly different spelling of the last name–is also indicated as Applicant on only the two Building Permit Applications for the demos (garage and 5-unit apartment building)
1180 S. Beverly Drive, Suite 508
L.A., CA 90035
Ph: (310) 556-1600
APPLICANT (as per the Venice Sign Off’s):
Lighthouse Brooks, LLC (owner) , Kelly Kaine (applicant)
11150 Olympic Blvd, #700
L.A., CA 90064
APPLICANT (as per the CEQA Mitigated Negative Declaration):
DHS & Associates, Inc
275 Centennial Way #205
Tustin, CA 92780
APPLICANT’S REPRESENTATIVE (as per the CDP & PMLA determinations):
275 Centennial Way, Suite 205
Tustin, CA 92780
Note: Also listed on Building Permit for Grading and Compacting the Soil of the 4 lots as:
Hassan Steve Nazemi
Irvine, CA 92602
License # C44100
See also Steve Nazemi for next item.
SUBDIVISION ENGINEER, SURVEYOR AND CIVIL ENGINEER:
Lighthouse Investments, LLC
1180 S. Beverly Drive, Suite 508
L.A., CA 90035
FACTORY BUILT HOME Vendor:
2910 Lincoln Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90405
It should NOT be complicated and would not be complicated if the proper process and approval controls were in place, but there are essentially no controls for the land use/development process and the process is spread out among many people, this is done on purpose!
Please understand that Venice is being given away as you read these lines. We need to stop Mayor Garcetti , CD11 Mike Bonin, LADBS, and LA City Planning now! Attorney General Mike Feuer office is also in the thick of it all, from not pursuing Criminal Forgeries, to delaying the appeals process, the City’s Strategy is to be as convoluted as possible to try and keep us from connecting the dots.
Please join us in raising funds to support our lawsuit and
Save Venice from those who seek to exploit her.
Support the Venice Coalition to Preserve Unique Community Character
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