LA to explore controversial Westside homeless camps

LOS ANGELES, Calif .– The Los Angeles City Council has voted to move forward with a study on the feasibility of housing the homeless in temporary cabins or campsites in some western parks and parking lots in beach despite opposition from neighborhood groups in the region.

City Councilor Mike Bonin, who represents the Westside communities affected by the proposal, insisted the action only required a “feasibility study” and was not a final decision. Ever since he came up with the plan to put homeless cabins and campsites in some of the wealthiest and most picturesque parts of town, Bonin has faced fierce opposition. Many in the community say they have suffered impacts on their quality of life due to the proliferation of homeless settlements in the region. On Wednesday, Bonin called the opposition vitriolic.

“I’ve always said there are two approaches to homelessness,” Bonin said. “There are those who say there are places we should look, and there are those who say there are places we shouldn’t look. I’m determined to be in this first (group) ). And like I said. I don’t feel it would be appropriate to say that we can’t do it in my neighborhood. “

He said the city’s homelessness crisis demands that the city “have a full menu of solutions” and must “leave nothing behind”.

City Council President Nury Martinez noted that her office received around 550 calls and 100 voicemails regarding the proposal as of Tuesday alone. Tens of thousands of people have signed a Change.org online petition opposing Bonin’s motion. The petition alleged that “if the motion is approved by city council, people who are homeless due to drugs and mental illness will have the legal right to live in the parking lot at our public beach at Pacific Palisades.”

Bonin’s motion asks the city’s administrative officer to assess the feasibility and identify funding for:

  • tiny single-occupancy temporary homes or a safe campground in the Will Rogers State Beach County-owned parking lot at 17000 CA-1 at Pacific Palisades;
  • tiny single-occupancy temporary homes, safe camping or secure parking at Dockweiler Beach County Parking Lot Three at 11999 Vista Del Mar in Playa Del Rey;
  • a secure temporary RV parking spot in the county-owned RV park at Dockweiler Beach, 12001 Vista Del Mary in Playa Del Rey; and
  • Tiny single-occupancy temporary homes or a safe campground in the Fisherman’s Village County parking lot at 13755 Fiji Way in Marina del Rey.

The motion also calls on the Parks and Recreation Department to assess the feasibility of identifying parts of Mar Vista Park and Westchester Park for safe camping programs, while leaving the rest of the parks open for use and use. public programs. He’s also asking Los Angeles Global Airports to work with the city’s administrative officer to identify and fund an airport-owned site for safe camping, secure parking, or small homes.

The motion was carried by 13 to 1, with Councilor Joe Buscaino dissenting, saying the sites included in the motion “are not feasible” for housing the homeless.

Buscaino said the proposal raises concerns about public access to beaches and parks, as well as public safety concerns.

“I am also very concerned about this proposal which will have an impact on access to leisure spaces in this city,” said Buscaino.

He said the city must “balance the needs of our homeless residents with the needs of the housed,” adding: “Parks and beaches must not be sacrificed for the needs of the few at the expense of the many. “.

Bonin retorted, “If Mr. Buscaino has additional sites in his district for people who are currently homeless in my district, I would be happy to consider them as substitutes for the ones I have proposed.”

City Councilor Mitch O’Farrell, who has come under fire from some homeless advocates after around 200 homeless people were removed from Echo Park to make way for a renovation effort, also raised concerns about the fact that Los Angeles is a “poor park” city and the possibility of Bonin’s proposal exacerbating that problem. But he said he would not object to a simple feasibility study.

Bonin’s motion also calls for an exploration of the use of a vacant space adjacent to his West LA district office in the LA Municipal Building at 1645 Corinth Ave. as a temporary accommodation site for women without. -shelter.

Funding would also be considered for temporary secure camping sites on the private plot of 5000 Beethoven Avenue in Del Rey and for a temporary single occupancy cottage site or secure camping site on property owned by Culver City.

City News Service


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