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Bill Rosendahl - Council District 11

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

A letter from Councilmember Bill Rosendahl

Dear Friends:

I am writing to give you a further update on the progress of the Roadmap to Housing program, which will help people living in their vehicles in CD11 get off the streets and into permanent housing.

Recently, outreach workers with People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) identified a family of seven living in a van in Westchester. Two weeks ago, PATH found that family transitional housing at the Upward Bound House, and soon they will be placed in permanent housing.

That is the kind of success we hope to emulate with the Roadmap to Housing program. Administered by PATH, the program's main goal is to find permanent housing for people living in their vehicles. Since transitional placement like Upward Bound is rare, the program will temporarily move selected program participants from our residential streets to assigned and supervised spaces in publicly owned parking lots.

Last month, the City Attorney released a draft ordinance (LAMC 85.11) that allows PATH to legally operate the program in designated spaces in public parking lots. A few weeks ago, after hearing much feedback that the proposal was overly broad, I amended the draft ordinance by eliminating the use of public streets, and specifying which lots could be used. I identified and listed the parking lots at my offices in Westchester and West LA, and capped the number of vehicles per lot at eight. Finally, I agreed to a sunset provision for this pilot program.

At this time, I am prepared to offer two more amendments to the proposed ordinance:

Tripling the minimum buffer zone between any parking spot and a residence from 50 feet to 150 feet.
Identifying a third lot for the program: The parking lot of the Penmar Golf Course in Venice.
Supporters of the program -- from Venice, Westchester and other communities -- have insisted that Venice, which has the largest population of people living in their vehicles, must have a lot participating in the program. The eastern end of the parking lot (at the golf course on Rose Avenue, not at the park and recreation center on Penmar Avenue) is a greater distance from residences than any other publicly owned lot in Venice. And the immediate neighborhood, which falls outside of the jurisdiction of the California Coastal Commission, has the ability to implement a range of parking restrictions, which will prevent RVs and campers from parking on nearby residential streets.

I have already secured 50 housing vouchers, which will expedite the transition for many program participants. Those enrolled in the program will be screened and monitored by PATH, and will be required to adhere to a strict code of conduct. PATH will provide private security and oversight of the lots, and program participants will be limited to CD11 residents and those who were living in a vehicle in the district prior to December 2010, and want to find permanent housing.

PATH will use the spaces if and when needed -- but will concentrate its program on outreach, case management and helping people find permanent housing. PATH may not need to use all of the spaces in the lots, and may not need to use the lots at all for periods of time. Only eight vehicles will be allowed to park in each lot, and the hours will be limited to 6 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Like any important matter of public policy, this ordinance is a work in progress and there are many more opportunities to be heard.

The Neighborhood Council of Westchester/Playa endorsed the proposal last night, and the Venice Neighborhood Council and the West LA Neighborhood Council will each hold hearings on the issue. I will also hold a special meeting on the Transportation Committee, 2 p.m., Wednesday, April 13 in Room 1010 of City Hall, 200 N. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

A copy of the draft ordinance, including my proposed latest amendments, is available here. A copy of the program guidelines from the PATH contract is here. You can also see a PowerPoint summary of the program here.

I look forward to your input as we continue to shape and refine this program.

Regards,

Bill Rosendahl

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