Gjusta Continuance, Venice Arts Crawl, Vandalism, and more
By Roxanne Brown – Member Concerned Neighbors of 320 Sunset
Concerned Neighbors of 320 Sunset (CNS) appealed the City’s approval of Fran Camaj’s request for “change of use” from Gjusta as “bakery/take out” (which it has never been) at 320 Sunset to restaurant with full alcohol. The City approved this despite objections from residents within 500 feet, despite the fact that Gjusta’s owner, Camaj, has a Certificate of Occupancy for bakery/take out and built a restaurant with counter/bar and patio.
January 20, 2016 was the date for this Appeal Hearing in front of the West LA Area Planning Commission. CNS requested a continuance in order to be given the legally required amount of time to review Gjusta’s revised MND (Mitigated Negative Declaration). It is being circulated until February 8th, and is available for public comment.
The new Appeal date is now March 2, 2016. Mark your calendar now:
MARCH 2, 2016 – WEDNESDAY – 4:30 P.M.
WEST LA PLANNING COMMISSION
HENRY MEDINA WEST LA PARKING ENFORCEMENT FACILITY
11214 EXPOSITION BLVD. 2nd FLOOR – ROLL CALL ROOM
LOS ANGELES, CA 90062
Ben Reznik, the attorney representing Gjusta, asserts that Fran Camaj’s Gjelina, GTA, 1305 Abbott Kinney (Black Beast), and Gjusta have a stellar record and that Camaj is an upstanding member of the community.
VENICE ART CRAWL
The Venice Art Crawl (VAC) received emails from members of several Venice neighborhood groups protesting VAC’s using Gjusta as venue for the January 2016 Venice Art Crawl. Gjusta is a restaurant operating without proper permit and in violation of numerous building and safety codes.
The City is not enforcing permits and codes, so Venice citizens need to do what they can. One thing they can do as tax paying, voting citizens is not give their business to what many Venetians call “property gangsters” – property owners who do what they will regardless of laws.
The Venice Art Crawl moved its January Venice Art Crawl from Gjusta to James Beach.
STOP PROPERTY GANGSTERS
You may say, “I don’t want to get involved in politics. I like the food, I like the architecture.” But, when you patronize places that operate without the right permit and without regard to building and safety codes, you are perpetuating the problem. You are part of the problem.
Meaning, when someone builds a McMansion next door, you may find yourself in Kathryn Conway’s situation. She wrote a letter to the editor of the Argonaut in their December 18, 2014 issue.
Conway wrote, “In my case, no public notice was posted and our side yard setback was reduced. (After my refusal to give a side yard variance, the builder just took it!) LADBS [Los Angeles Building and Safety] was made aware of each of these violations, and all of it was ignored.”
When you, your friends, your family get evicted and aren’t told of your rights or given relocation monies due, it may be because “property gangsters” don’t feel they need to follow laws. CNS was recently at a hearing where evidence was presented that the landlord appeared to have changed documents to make it look as though there had been no affordable housing on premises. West LA Area Planning commissioners asked, “Isn’t this fraud?” CNS is not aware of any penalties or consequences in that case.
Some air B&B investors are grabbing up available rentals and offering/paying even more money than asking rent to landlords. These investors are overbidding on properties (apartments and homes) for sale, because they plan to also rent them as Air B&Bs. These investors then manage several apartments and/or homes spread throughout Venice as Air B&B rentals. Many people can’t afford to rent or to buy in Venice, because “property gangsters” aren’t following the rules.
To quote Sarah Palin – and who thought the Beachhead would quote Sarah Palin – “Well, look, we are mad, and we’ve been had.”
MONEY AND LAWYERS WIN
It appears that Mayor Eric Garcetti, his administration, and his City Council, including our Councilman Mike Bonin, continue to support special interests.
The City uses citizens’ tax monies to fight against residents, while favoring special interests. Citizens use their own monies to sue the City. The City then defends itself, often outsourcing and using developers’ lawyers to fight citizens. Those lawyers are paid with citizens’ tax monies.
The City of Los Angeles fights its own constituents with lawyers and money. Citizens need to use the same means to fight back. CNS has launched a go fund me campaign to do just that. Please consider making a small $5 contribution now. You can make a donation in your name or anonymously. Spread the word.