Permit Was Valid, But Warning Was Lacking
On June 22, Circling the News received a photo showing that Swarthmore Avenue (north of Sunset) had been closed starting around 10:30 a.m. In short order CTN received a second photo, two emails and two calls from residents wondering if Caruso had obtained a permit to close the street.
In a June 24 email to CTN, Street Services Public Information Officer Elena Stern said that a permit had been issued.
CTN asked in a subsequent email why signs had not been posted, and also about the status of the “police” kiosk at the corner of Swarthmore and Monument.
On July 9, Stern replied, “We followed up with DOT and the registered applicant for the event. Regulatory parking signs were not properly posted before the event. The applicant failed to complete the required sign posting process with DOT prior to the event.”
Stern said that the applicant was put on notice about the complaint and the violation of permit rules. “They have been advised that future violations may result in the denial of permits,” Stern said. “As for the kiosk, the review continues, but it is not accurate to define it as illegal until that review process is completed.”
In an email to Stern, CTN had called the kiosk illegal, but Stern clarified that the structure was unpermitted.
“The kiosk has not been deemed a safety hazard and while not permitted, it is not ‘illegal’ if it can be permitted. The City can give the applicant reasonable time to bring an installation into permit compliance. Since it is not a safety hazard, there is no urgency to remove it during the permit review process.
“If the permitting agency (BOE) determines that they cannot reach a reasonable agreement with the applicant and notifies StreetsLA to move forth with the removal process for the lack of a permit, the installation becomes illegal once an order to remove is issued and compliance is not achieved,” Stern said.
The question remains … who gave permission for an non-permitted commercial structure to occupy public space on a public sidewalk? Do private corporations have the right to appropriate public space?