PETITION TO DENY STATE COASTAL DEVELOPMENT PERMIT FOR CONVERSION OF 2 BREEZE FROM RENT-STABILIZED APARTMENTS TO HOTEL
Honorable Coastal Commissioners:
We, the undersigned residents, displaced residents and supporters of the Venice community STRONGLY OPPOSE the request for after-the-fact approval to convert 2 Breeze, a 31-unit Rent Stabilized apartment building, into a hotel.
We have signed this petition because the applicant was granted not one, but two continuances, resulting in a hearing almost 400 miles away from Venice; and due to the cost and time involved in having to travel such a distance we are not able to testify in person.
We implore you to deny Coastal Development Permit (Application #: 5-14-1932) because
The Coastal Commission is tasked with protecting the unique character of our coastal community, which is being deluged by unpermitted conversions of rental housing to short-term rentals and de facto hotels.
As of today, there are 1,207 entire homes and apartments and 333 private rooms from Venice listed on AirBnB, and approximately 1,000 more listed on 30 other marketing platforms. This applicant himself has owned and operated approximately 128 de facto hotel rooms spanning 5 apartment buildings that were converted without permits from rent-stabilized apartments.
We need to Preserve and Protect our Neighborhoods and our Homes
Venice is recognized as a Special Coastal Community, pursuant to Chapter 3 of the California Coastal Act — it is a stable, economically and ethnically diverse neighborhood with a hundred-year history of social diversity that is unmatched in the California Coastal Zone.
The existing residential housing supply is our reservoir of diversity. It is being critically impacted by conversion to hotels and other short-term rentals, which some property owners use as an under-the-table shortcut to rent deregulation and quick profits. This has contributed to a larger speculative boom and has further diminished our housing stock.
Our neighbors, friends and families are being replaced by lockboxes, cleaning crews, loud parties and a constant revolving door of strangers in our residential neighborhoods. Long-term tenants face harassment and loss of their homes, and receive offers to move out quickly for cash or face eviction. This phenomenon is destroying the very unique and special character of Venice that makes us a popular destination in the first place.
Approving this project would set a significantly injurious precedent that would lead to Venice being further transformed into a neighborhood without neighbors –a virtual city of strangers. The very character of our community, that is to be preserved and protected under the Coastal Act, would be wiped out of existence by the cumulative impact of illegal conversions to hotels of apartment buildings that should be our homes. The owner of 2 Breeze has done one unpermitted conversion after another. It’s time to say NO MORE!
We respectfully ask for your “No” vote on this Coastal Development Permit.