In an April 19 letter to Mayor Garcetti, Councilman Mike Bonin and City Council President Nury Martinez, in reference to putting homeless in little homes on Will Rogers State Beach, the Pacific Palisades Community Council Executive Committee wrote:
“Councilmember Bonin should have known that any proposed use of the state beach parking lots would be strongly opposed (indeed, over 1,000 written public comments in opposition have been submitted to date in CF 21-0350). He was less than forthright with his constituents about the actual plans when he failed to mention prior communications with relevant parties.
“The PPCC Executive Committee decries this lack of transparency from our elected City representative in the strongest possible terms.
“At this time, we respectfully urge that the Will Rogers State Beach and Dockweiler Beach parking lots be removed as proposed locations for homeless housing in connection with ongoing settlement negotiations and/or as part of the Sheltering Plan for CD11 proposed by the City in the Alliance case.”
At the PPCC’s April 8 Zoom meeting, attended by almost 500 people, who almost unanimously objected to taking away the parking lots from weekend visitors, Bonin appeared to reassure constituents that it was only an idea; that approvals would be required from several jurisdictions; that it would be a long process; and nothing would happen without public input.
Unfortunately for Bonin, the brief filed in U.S. District Court on April 15, by the City, tells a different story. The document lists Bonin’s proposal to put homeless at Will Rogers State Beach, at the site of the Junior Lifeguards camp. (The story reported in CTN on April 16, “Court Document Lists Will Rogers Beach as Housing Alternatives,” can be read https://www.circlingthenews.com/court-document-l…sing-alternative/ ).
PPCC wrote in its letter:
“Since the April 8th PPCC meeting, the PPCC Executive Committee has learned that under the terms of the settlement under discussion in Alliance for Human Rights v. City of Los Angeles (the Alliance case), the State beach and County-operated parking lots would not fall within the scope of potential court-mandated sites because the City would only be obligated to contribute City-owned land.
“Councilmember Bonin is very familiar with Pacific Palisades and should know that there are no feasible City-owned sites in our community; if there were, he would have proposed them. We have also learned that: 1) on April 15, 2021, the City submitted a Quarterly MOU Status Report in the Alliance case, specifically listing the State-owned parking lots at Will Rogers State Beach and Dockweiler Beach, with “50 shelters” at each site, as part of CD 11’s participation in the Sheltering Plan for each Council District (“Proposed Additional Interventions”); and 2) as early as November and December, 2020, Councilmember Bonin and/or staff may have engaged in communications with Coastal Commission staff and one or more County Supervisors regarding use of the state beach parking lots to shelter homeless individuals.”
The PPCC urged that the beach parking lots be removed as proposed locations for homeless housing.
CTN contacted the PPCC to ask them what other steps could be taken if the beaches are not removed from the court document/settlement. PPCC President David Card said, “PPCC hopes that the City of Los Angeles and other government agencies will listen to our Palisades community. What can any citizen do to make their feelings known to their elected representatives? Write or call them; organize. As FDR is reported to have replied to a plea for a certain action, ‘Go out and make me do it.’”
Other concerns from residents include environmental issues, as raised by a CTN reader who wrote: “Have you checked in with Heal the Bay or any of the other coastal organizations regarding the plan to house the homeless at the beaches? Millions have been spent over the years to clean the bay and promote good beach habits; hard to see how the proposed homeless plan would dovetail with these historic efforts and money spent.”
Another reader wrote: “How can I get my name on the list for a tiny house on the beach that would be rent free?” And one reader asked, “How could the Coastal Commission approve such a plan that would take away beach access from thousands?”
Yet another reader sent the link to an April 14 Venice Current article (“Column: Bonin Recall 2.0”): https://www.venicecurrent.com/opinion/editorials/column-bonin-recall-2-0/article_c351fce6-9d59-11eb-8d59-7bf205a5cf97.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share&fbclid=IwAR2hA2q2cDZKtfQNC1JWc4UuUa9XLr_6odcKu_wV91jaY2xi0kWA_LWEQTM).
A Change.org recall Mike Bonin petition has 8,676 signatures, with almost 3,000 new signatures added in the past five days. (Visit: https://www.change.org/p/west-los-angeles-citizens-recall-mike-bonin)