Now the Structure’s Legality Is Questioned
On May 8, Circling the News posted the following Post: “New Uses for Police Station on Monument? Readers Are Asked to Suggest Some Ideas.”
CTN had received some suggestions before we posted the story – such as making it a little art gallery or a place to house the Steadfast statue. We thought a bit of humor about the little house might be fun, but instead several well-versed readers had legitimate concerns, such as the letter printed below:
Unfortunately it should be removed ….
Quaint as it may appear, The Palisades Village – Los Angeles Police Department station on Monument has no business on the public sidewalk or in the public right-of-way.
The Carusoville sub-area, which was carved out of the Pacific Palisades Commercial Village and Neighborhoods Specific plan, enabling construction of the shopping center, ends at the property line; it was never intended to include the sidewalk.
When the Farmer’s Market was located on Swarthmore (personally I wish it would return) it occupied a public street with a permit to do so and with community support. There is a process for placing temporary commercial endeavors on public property and public streets.
Does the Police kiosk have a legal permit for its current location and purpose? If so, where is a copy of that permit and why did it not come before the DRB? Is this really a sanctioned LAPD building?
The police kiosk is built as a temporary structure at best, along the lines of the “Bunny Hutch” and the “Santa House.” The fact that it has never been used as a “Police Station” underlines the futility of it being there. There are so many uniformed guards, undercover security guards, corporate visits, and security cameras in the Palisades Village a “Police Station” seems like overkill. What is the point; a command post? Everyone is already hooked up to central security.
Another grave concern to the public and I hope to the Caruso Corporation is the safety hazard, which the location of this structure presents. It definitely blocks the view of drivers making a right turn onto Monument, making it difficult to see jaywalking pedestrians stepping into the street or drivers exiting their parked cars near the intersection and structure.
Unfortunately, the police kiosk, or any kiosk does not belong in this location for many reasons: Public safety, non-conforming use, an unpermitted structure and violation of the public domain.
As citizens of our community, we should not be eager to forfeit the public right-of-way to a private developer for advertisements, commercial endeavor, corporate promotion or personal gain, particularly when it puts the public at risk.
Donna Vaccarino, AIA
Chair, Pacific Palisades Design Review Board
(Editor’s note: After receiving readers concerns, CTN contacted Building and Safety about the kiosk on May 12. A spokesperson wrote in a May 13 email “Since it is on the sidewalk, it would fall under the jurisdiction of Street Services.” CTN next contacted Street Services and a spokesperson responded that same day “I will follow up with both Streets LA and the Bureau of Engineering, as they also issue permits relating to sidewalks.” As soon as CTN hears the result of the inquiry, we’ll pass it onto our readers.)